The Citadel

The Military College of South Carolina

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Rachelle Riegerix

Corps Grad ’12
CGC Grad ’14

Rachelle RiegerixI was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. I was a cadet in Delta Company and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biology and education. After graduating from the Corps, I continued my education at The Citadel and received my master’s in biology in 2014. I studied under Dr. Weinstein researching the effects of microplastics on grass shrimp, Palaemonetes Pugio. I was accepted into the Ph.D. program at the University of Missouri-Columbia and offered a research graduate student position at the U.S. Geological Survey in Columbia, Missouri, under Don Tillitt. I am currently in my second year, and my research studies the effects of anticoagulant rodenticides on non-target fish species, specifically Hawaiian coral reef fish.

What is your favorite memory from The Citadel?
There are definitely quite a few favorite memories, but two stand out the most. Knob year, around exam time, when all the battalions have Christmas “activities,” there was a lot of mischief amongst the knobs between companies. One night, the female knobs in Delta decided that we were going to “fix” Bravo’s Christmas lights. So around 3 a.m. we low-crawled over to Bravo and removed the lightbulbs from every strand of lights they had displayed. We got in A LOT of trouble for “vandalizing.”

My second favorite memory includes the former Commandant, Col. Mercado. It was his first time meeting and addressing the sophomore class in the fall of 2009. He was speaking about positive reinforcement with knobs. He called on me and asked my opinion in front of my class. I stood up and stupidly responded: “fear and intimidation works just as well, sir.” I quickly sat down and slid very low in my seat. The next morning, Col. Mercado was standing outside my battalion so that we could further discuss my opinions.Rachelle-Riegerix-CGC

How do you think your experience at The Citadel got you to where you are now?
My junior year, I took a toxicology class from Dr. Weinstein. Prior to the class, I enjoyed every aspect of biology, but could not pick a concentration. Toxicology class changed everything. Until this point, I had never worked so hard or received so much enjoyment from a class. After the class ended, I joined Dr. Weinstein’s lab beginning work on microplastics. I also received my teaching certificate my senior year. I began my master’s degree at The Citadel, continuing my research and presented at my first conference. The tools that Dr. Weinstein gave me, allowing me to form research questions, methodology, etc. has carried over into my Ph.D. Because of my time at The Citadel, I was set up for success. I would not be where I am without The Citadel and those who helped me along the way.

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