Ryan LaGross – Class of 2020

When Ryan LaGross is not in his zoology classes at the University of Maine, he can be found painting, working as a Maine Learning Assistant (MLA) in biology classes, an undergraduate student assistant in chemistry classes, volunteering at his church, or at Siesta Sanctuary in Harmony, ME. LaGross received the Dr. Arnold R. Moody ’63 and Donna Reich Moody Scholarship in support of his studies at UMaine for the 2019-20 academic year.

In 2019, while in his junior year at UMaine, LaGross began to suffer from seizures, and was later diagnosed with Temporal Lobe Epilepsy in November of that year. “The thing that stands out the most at the University of Maine is the incredibly supportive faculty,” says LaGross. He began working with Student Accessiblility Services at UMaine and worked out a plan that would help keep him on track with schoolwork. He credits the staff at Student Accessibility Services with providing him with a plan which allowed him to focus on his health when he needed it most.

Of all of his experiences at UMaine, LaGross relishes his time helping with three research projects most.”One of the things I love most about UMaine is the incredible research opportunities; over the past few years, I have been a part of three different research projects, including field research with Dr. Allie Gardner studying tick abundance,” says LaGross. Currently, LaGross is working on his capstone project with Dr. Clarissa Henry in the zebrafish lab – specifically studying muscular dystrophy.

“Receiving this scholarship is much appreciated, allowing me to focus on my health and academics and worry less about the cost of attending school,” says LaGross.