Student Spotlight

Student Spotlight

Student Spotlight: Brittany Lazzaro

 Brittany Lazzaro Spotlight


Hear from the Mathematics Department's Student Spotlight, Brittany Lazzaro:


I've been a local my whole life, so I've long been familiar with what Rowan offers in terms of degree programs and opportunities, both of which appealed to me during my university search. Additionally, Rowan was a smart choice financially, because having less debt as I move onto graduate school and into my career will give me a head start that I may not have had at another university.

My major is a BA in mathematics following the comprehensive concentration. I'm also going to be receiving a minor in applied math. 

Most research that I've worked on has not been here at Rowan. However, I'm currently taking the math research course offered by Dr. Thanh Nguyen and with additional guidance from Dr. Helga Huntley. The course gives me the opportunity to learn about how to properly structure and perform a research project, including writing a proposal, giving presentations, how to read a research paper effectively, and many other excellent research skills that will benefit me well beyond this semester.

Outside of Rowan, I've had the incredible opportunity to intern with the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) as part of their Significant Opportunities in Atmospheric Research and Science (SOARS) program. The internship partners students with research mentors at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and other research institutions to tackle a project on a topic within atmospheric and related sciences. The multi-year program aims to provide opportunities to underrepresented groups in the geosciences to allow them opportunities that may have otherwise been unavailable to them.

I have personally completed two out of my four allotted summers of research. My projects have been concerning the prediction and modeling of the intensification of tropical cyclones/hurricanes, which is an incredibly fascinating topic that I'm excited to continue researching in the future. These projects have given me experience writing research papers and abstracts, making and presenting effective scientific posters, and giving conference-style talks. SOARS has also supported me in presenting the research I've completed by funding my attendance at the American Meteorological Society (AMS) annual meeting this past January, and will again support me by funding my attendance at the AMS Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology in May 2024.

Presently, I'm hard at work on my application for the National Science Foundation's Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP). The GRFP would allow me the financial support to pursue a research project of my choice independent of existing university funding, or allow me to join an existing project that currently does not have the funding for additional students. Once my application is completed, I'll move on to my graduate school applications in the hope to continue on to a Ph.D program in the atmospheric sciences so I may be able to work with some of the top researchers in the field of hurricane intensification.

My dream is to perform research on hurricanes and related topics, either at a research institution or as part of a university's faculty. Knowing that my work can have real-world impacts on the lives of those who live in areas that are at risk of hurricane impacts—including New Jersey—is one of the biggest motivators for my continued research into the complex topics within hurricane intensification and intensification prediction.