The Department of Entomology and the Forensic and Investigative Sciences program would like to congratulate senior Forensic and Investigative Sciences major Michelle Jonika as she received the 2018 Senior Merit Award from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
Jonika received the award during the annual Spring Convocation that was held in the John G. Hildebrand Equestrian Center on Saturday, April 14.
A native of Magnolia, Jonika currently works in Dr. Aaron Tarone’s lab on her undergraduate research thesis titled “Genes as Markers of Sex for Forensic Entomology.” She also has worked in the Gastrointestinal Laboratory at Texas A&M, researching the effects of antibiotics on the microbiome of companion animals.
Since her undergraduate career, Jonika has presented her research at different events including Texas A&M’s Student Research Week in 2017 and 2018, as well as during an internship at the Department of Homeland Security in August of 2017.
Jonika also has been a mentor for both the Aggie Forensic and Investigative Sciences Mentor Program and Aggies Reaching Out. As a mentor in the AFIS Mentor program, Jonika led a small group of FIVS majors through their transition into college, where she gave advice about college and surviving the first years of the program. With Aggies Reaching Out, Jonika tutored and mentored students in the area and helped them realize their potential and showed them the opportunities they have to attend college.
Jonika also was a member of the Resurgimus Cineribus and a counselor for Fish Camp, as well as the Kappa Phi sorority. She also has won several awards, including the Sigma Xi STEM Award in 2018, second place at the 2017 Student Research Week and first place poster in the 2018 Student Research Week, and the Distinguished Student Award in fall of 2017.
“I am really honored to receive such an incredible distinction from the College,” Jonika said. “It means a lot!”