Francie Saunders makes the most of what EBIO has to offer and also gives back

Published: April 17, 2017
Saunders gestures toward a stand of banana trees.

Francie Saunders was born and raised in Memphis, TN, and is now a senior at the University of Colorado Boulder majoring in EBIO and minoring in business with a focus in innovation. She is passionate about the bettering of our society and planet through biological research and education. During her time at CU she studied abroad in Tanzania (January 2016-May 2016) with the SIT program for wildlife conservation and political ecology. There she learned the language of Swahili, explored the diverse culture of Tanzanians, and spent a month studying communicative behavior of olive baboons (Papio anubis). She also spent this past winter break as a study abroad student on CU's course of Ecology and Evolution of the Galapagos Islands.

Francie writes,
"Since my sophomore year at CU I have loved being a teaching assistant for the biology department on five separate occasions. I've TA'd for general biology 1 (2014-2016), animal behavior (2016), and general biology 2 (2017). I have spent some time as a research assistant for a graduate student of Dr. Michael Breed's lab, David Zonana, extracting phenotype data from digital photographs taken in a hybrid zone of California where he studies social interactions between California and Gambel's Quail. This past fall semester I was granted the opportunity to work with Dr. Sam Flaxman, as an accessibility support specialist, on his goal of making general biology course materials accessible for all students through universal design formatting. Since then, I have continued to collaborate with other general biology professors, converting their materials to fit the needs of students. Channeling my love for the arts and sciences, I have also had the pleasure to work with Dr. Andrew Martin as the illustrator of his Evolutionary Case Study book. This summer, after graduation in May, I will be working as a research assistant studying the behavior of harvester ants in Grand Junction CO with Dr. Diane Wiernasz and Dr. Blaine Cole of the University of Houston.
I have been so fortunate to have the opportunities to combine my passions of biology, education, and artistic creativity through one department in a variety of ways and I am very grateful to be a member of this EBIO community."