Tell Julian: PFW Honors Top 50 Student Allyssa Hennessey

Published: Apr. 18, 2023 at 8:37 AM EDT
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA) - This month, morning anchor Julian Teekaram has been highlighting Purdue Fort Wayne students for their academic and co-curricular achievements.

They’re known as PFW’s “Top 50 and Exemplars.”

Biology major Allyssa Hennessey is one of this year’s recipients.

Allyssa has juggled so many responsibilities throughout her college career, all while managing type 1 diabetes.

“It’s definitely a heavy load but I love being busy. I’m very much a type A person,” said Allyssa.

Allyssa doesn’t have a lot of down time. And she prefers it that way.

This biology major is also a student athlete and the founder of PFW’s Marine Biology Club.

After receiving her undergrad degree, she’ll pursue her master’s degree.

And she’s not slowing down anytime soon.

“I think after my master’s I’m gonna go for my PhD, because I do work in the tutoring center on campus and I do love teaching. So I think I’ll do some field work and then after that, become a professor.”

Allyssa has always loved science. And this past summer, she scored a highly competitive and important job as a sea turtle tagger in Florida.

“There are 7 species of sea turtles and all of them are either endangered, critically endangered, or threatened. So finding out what is causing their hatchlings to maybe not have as high a life expectancy or mortality rate is really important to keep that species going.”

On top of her classes and extra-curricular activities, Alyssa has the full-time job of living with type 1 diabetes.

“It’s really hard cause there are things that I have to do differently than other students. I have to eat candy in class or take a break sometimes or take my medicine in front of other students, but I don’t want diabetes to stop me from doing the same things as everyone else.”

Allyssa and the other PFW Top 50 students will be recognized at a dinner celebration on April 28th.

They were nominated and selected for this honor by staff, faculty, administrators and alumni.

Morning anchor Julian Teekaram is thrilled to be hosting the PFW Top 50 and Exemplar Awards ceremony once again this year.