Name: Kristina Hill-Spanik

Hometown: Greensboro, N.C.

Education: M.S. in marine science, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Va.; B.A. in environmental science and policy and B.A. in music, Duke University, Durham, N.C.

Job title: Lab Manager of the Molecular Core Facility at Grice Marine Laboratory

How long have you worked at the College? 7 years

What are your job responsibilities? I support and advise faculty, staff and student researchers who have a molecular component to their research through training, project design assistance, sample preparation for DNA sequencing, and data analysis.

What do you like most about your job? I love that I’m always learning something new! I am so lucky to work with so many researchers who focus on different biological and ecological questions using a variety of organisms and techniques.

What question do you get asked most in your job and what’s your typical answer? When I’m in the field (usually to collect sediment or water for microbial research), people always ask if I’m studying sea turtles. My challenge is to convince them that microorganisms are cooler!

What’s your favorite location on campus and why? The harborside picnic tables at Grice Marine Lab where I got to tell my husband I was pregnant with our daughter.

What are your hobbies? Singing/music, anything outdoors, reading, cooking.

What personal and/or professional accomplishment are you most proud of? Probably the completion of my masters work where I studied the diversity, distribution and evolution of an oyster parasite. (And, after a seven-year hiatus, I recently started working on this parasite again with a colleague here at the College!)

Name a creative work (book, movie, performance, etc.) you enjoyed recently and why? I just read the prequel to the Hunger Games books, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, by Suzanne Collins. Everyone needs some brain candy every once in a while.

What was your favorite TV show growing up? The Wonder Years.

What’s next on your bucket list? Going to Ireland with my husband.

What is something your campus colleagues would be surprised to know about you? I used to compete in windsurfing races and once won a speed contest at a windsurfing festival in the Outer Banks!

What was your first job? My first real job was working the night shift on a construction crew for a home goods store the summer before I went to college.

What’s your favorite Lowcountry restaurant? Jack of Cups on Folly.

Describe your perfect day: It’s cliché, but a beach day with my family followed by a delicious dinner outside.


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