8th Ryan Saba Memorial Student Fellowship Awarded

May 22, 2022
Ryan’s parents, Kevin Saba and Ellen Musante, presenting the Fellowship award to Catherine.

The Horn Point Laboratory (HPL) awarded the 8th Ryan Saba Memorial Student Fellowship to open the student seminar program on Friday, May 6.  The fellowship was created by Ryan Saba’s family and friends to honor and remember Ryan who was a research assistant at the Horn Point Laboratory beginning in the fall of 2013. Ryan died tragically in an automobile accident near the campus on July 13, 2014. He was well regarded by the Horn Point community as a friend and colleague. 

The annual award of the Fellowship honors Ryan’s boundless curiosity about nature and life and his zest for making each day better than yesterday. His family and friends have funded this scholarship to carry forward Ryan’s optimistic world view by supporting a Horn Point student to fulfill his or her career goals and dreams for an environmentally healthy planet.  The $2,500 award is presented annually. 

This year’s recipient is Ph.D. student Catherine Fitzgerald. Catherine’s studies focus on the ecological interactions between Choptank larval fish, their zooplankton prey (tiny drifting animals), and their collective environment. The Fellowship’s funds will allow Catherine to attend the annual science conference of the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) held this September in Dublin, Ireland. Catherine and Ryan worked side-by-side during Ryan’s time at the Horn Point Laboratory.  Accepting the fellowship, Catherine shared, “In the spirit of how Ryan lived his life, I'm looking forward to presenting the results of my research, meeting colleagues, forming new connections with researchers around the globe, and exploring a new place- hopefully with new friends.”

Following 2 years of presenting the Fellowship virtually, people were pleased to celebrate the awarding in person. Left to right: Ryan’s father - Kevin Saba, 2022 Fellow – Catherine Fitzgerald, 2021 Fellow – Sophia Ahn and Ryan’s mother – Ellen Musante.

This year’s award presentation was shared in person at the Lab and virtually. Ryan’s parents joined the Horn Point community at the lab and members of Ryan’s family and friends were able to participate from across the country.  Past fellows shared updates on what they are doing professionally in their careers and how their Saba Fellowship continues to inspire them.  Over 65 people shared the award presentation.