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The Griffin

Senior Centerfold: Julia Clark

Meher Hans, editor-in-chief

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On a crystal clear April day in the midst of spring break, Julia Clark grasped a box of swarming honeybees, coaxing the insects into the wooden hive at her dad’s house in Smithsburg.

For the second year, this soon-to-be biology major at the University of Maryland, College Park bought a batch of 10,000 Italian honeybees to raise during the summer.

“You can feel them buzzing in the wooden box and I could hear them when I put my ear up against it. I held them in my lap the whole way home,” Clark said, recalling the first time she bought bees. “I was terrified.”

Her fear quickly transformed into fascination and advocacy.

“It’s a cool thing to get involved in since I’m interested in sustainable farming,” Clark said. “Beekeepers and bees have a symbiotic relationship and bees kept have a much higher chance of survival.”

In the classroom, Clark, a National Merit finalist and Banneker/Key scholar, is known for being the unofficial teacher.

“She’s able to take information that most people find difficult and help her classmates understand material better than I can sometimes,” Advanced Placement Biology teacher Marty Stranathan said. “It became obvious to me in September that the only way I could push her is if I ignored everyone else in the room, and that’s not going to happen ever.”

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