Albright College’s golf season finishes up at the end of October, just in time for Nicholas Griffith ’23 to join other members of the swim team for the start of their season. When swimming ends in the middle of February, it will be back to the golf course for Griffith, a member of both teams.
“A great thing about my time at Albright has been that I can participate in the sports I love, but they’re able to take a back seat to academics,” Griffith reflected during a recent interview. “At a lot of schools, if you’re involved in sports that needs to be your priority.”
Academics has always come first for Griffith, an environmental science major with a strong interest in research. He’ll get to put that interest to work this summer with an Albright Creative Research Experience (ACRE), during which he’ll assist his advisor, David Osgood, Ph.D., and Stephen Mech, Ph.D., who have been studying the effects of logging on the formation of wetlands at Nolde Forest State Park in nearby Cumru Township.
“I’m excited about this opportunity,” Griffith said. “It’s going to be really interesting work, and it should help me to get into a good grad school when I finish at Albright.”
Griffith, who minors in chemistry and marine and aquatic sciences, has a particular interest in water. He currently is an intern with the Berks County Conservation District, with which he conducts stream assessment studies to measure the effects of the conservation district’s stream restoration projects.
His love of the outdoors was instilled early in his life and fostered a sense of responsibility to work to protect an environment under threat.
“I have a passion for the outdoors,” Griffith said. “I want to protect that natural environment for future generations to enjoy as much as I have.”
Although he considered applying to a large, research-based institution, Griffith’s decision to attend Albright College turned out to be an easy one. He began taking courses at the college when he was still a high school junior enrolled in the PA Virtual Cyber School. He enjoyed getting to know some professors, and when the college offered him a Founders Scholarship, there wasn’t much else to consider.
“I already knew I liked the school and was comfortable here,” Griffith said. “And then they offered the financial help and that finalized my decision to do my undergraduate work here.”
Enrolling in Albright, he said, was the right thing to do.
“I really feel like my decision to attend Albright and study environmental science was the most defining moment of my life,” Griffith said. “I’m very grateful for the academic opportunities I’ve had here, along with the ability to play sports, which I really enjoy. It’s great to be able to balance those things.”
Griffith, who will complete his coursework next fall and graduate in May 2023, plans to apply to graduate school at a large institution like Penn State or the University of Florida, where he anticipates there will be many opportunities for research. Eventually, he’d like to land a research job at a government agency, university or private firm that would enable him to travel and pursue his interest in aquatic science.
“We’ll see what happens,” he said. “I’m looking forward to the opportunities I believe will be available to me, and glad for all I’ve been able to do at Albright. I’ve enjoyed getting to know my professors and them being able to know me. I like being a person here, not a number.”