Tara E. Allen
School of Environment and Natural Resources
Environmental Science - Honors
2021 Distinguished Senior Award Celebration Program (.pdf)
2021 Distinguished Senior Award Recipient Poster (.pdf)
Attending the Nobel Prize week in Stockholm, Sweden, an opportunity made available to her as a sophomore through a program sponsored by Stockholm University, is the venture Tara Allen shared as her most valuable learning experience. As part of the event, she was able to sit in on the Nobel Week Dialogue, a conference where Nobel Laureates, world-leading experts and scientists, policymakers, and key leaders, all came together to discuss current issues and breakthroughs. In addition to gleaning knowledge from presentations during the week, she also had the chance to immerse herself in Swedish culture through visiting different sites around Stockholm, trying new foods, and meeting new people. The other students in the program were from around the globe, including Japan, Malaysia, Greece, and Brazil.
Tara recognized Dr. Elizabeth Toman as her faculty mentor. Tara shared, “I met Dr. Toman when I was selecting my Honors research project and advisor. What first struck me about Dr. Toman was her kindness and enthusiasm for her work and for helping students with theirs. I knew immediately after our first meeting that I would like to work with her, and I was right. When I had to alter my research goals because of unforeseen pandemic-related issues, she was there for me, providing guidance and helping me navigate the new course I’d chosen. Knowing that she genuinely cared, not only about my work with her, but [also] about my overall wellbeing and my long-term goals, meant a lot to me. The support and guidance I found in Dr. Toman is something that I will cherish for many years to come.”
Her undergraduate research project initially centered on invasive honeysuckle in riparian areas and its effects on aquatic macroinvertebrates, but due to the pandemic, she was not able to go back into the field and collect data, so she had to change directions. Though reorganizing and altering the focal point of her project was difficult, it was also an enriching and empowering experience because it taught her to adapt to situations outside of her control.
Following graduation, Tara plans to take a gap year, in hopes of traveling abroad and teaching English in another country. If she is unable to do that, then she will most likely continue her current internship at the Warren County Regional Planning Commission while studying for the GRE. After her gap year, she plans to attend graduate school to obtain a Master’s and PhD in a field related to her undergraduate degree. Tara ultimately aspires to work in land management and habitat preservation, either doing academic research or working directly at a government agency, such as NOAA or the BLM.
Service, involvement, and accolades: Towers Agricultural Honorary, treasurer | Advocates for Women of the World (AWOW) | OSU Kendo Club (Martial Art that teaches Japanese swordsmanship) | Undergraduate Research Small Grant from the School of Environment and Natural Resources | Undergraduate SEEDS Grant from CFAES to fund her undergraduate research project