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From Hamilton to Cambridge and a Ph.D.


Mary Beth Day ’07’s Hamilton College education inspired her to pursue a doctorate in earth sciences at Cambridge University. 

Her senior year, Day became the first Hamilton student named to the USA Today All-USA College Academic team, which honors students who have excelled in coursework and extended their intellectual abilities beyond the classroom.

She went straight to graduate school at the University of Florida. In 2009, she was awarded the Gates Cambridge Scholarship, which allowed her to continue her graduate research at Cambridge.

Day studied the paleoenvironmental history of Cambodia using lake sediment records while completing  her master's and doctoral degrees.  When she was getting her doctorate she could work independently full time. On any day that could have been lab work, number crunching or writing for her dissertation. She found that Hamilton prepared her especially well for that last task.

“The focus on writing at Hamilton was certainly an advantage to me as a graduate student and researcher,” Day says. “Writing is a hugely important part of science.”

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