NatSci graduate student receives COGS Disciplinary Leadership Award

  • Feb 17, 2017
  • Research, students, Award
  • Research, Students, Integrative Biology

Picture of Connie Rojas

Connie Rojas

Connie Rojas, a zoology doctoral student in the MSU College of Natural Science, was among eight graduate students to receive a Council of Graduate Students (COGS) Disciplinary Leadership Award.

This award is presented to graduate students who have demonstrated leadership in their respective disciplines and/or professional societies at the local, state, regional, national or international level while a student at MSU. The award is provided as a $2,000 fellowship to further the leadership development of the recipient.

“The Department of Integrative Biology (IBIO) is proud of Connie,” said Thomas Getty, IBIO chair. “She is a wonderful role model for all of us - proof that one does not have to neglect their social responsibilities in order to be a successful, productive researcher.”

Rojas believes that activism, leadership and service are critical elements in becoming a scientist and a scholar. 

“I am honored and thrilled to have received this award,” Rojas said. “This award means that the work I’ve done for my community has not gone unnoticed and, most importantly, that others also view the work as necessary and important. It feels good to see that the wonderful projects I have been a part of—from fundraisers for Oaxacan teachers, to annual Dia de los Muertos cultural events, to research forums and colloquiums—have been successful and benefitted someone other than myself.”

Rojas plans to use her $2,000 COGS Leadership Endowment Fellowship award to attend scientific meetings relevant to her discipline; travel to and participate in leadership workshops, courses and institutes (i.e. SACNAS Leadership Institute and NIH Leadership Program); and start a blog, where she can share the pieces of knowledge and tips that have helped her advance in her field.

For a complete list of the COGS Disciplinary Leadership Award recipients, visit:

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