Briefs, News

Marine biology major pursues 2 dreams at UM

Max Jenkins

From an early age, Mia Vallée was always fascinated with marine life.

Although she is from a small, landlocked town outside of Toronto, Vallée learned how to snorkel on family summer vacations to the Virgins Islands. Within a matter of yards, she could swim from the shoreline to the flourishing coral reefs with just a few kicks of her pink flippers.

“I was always astonished by how much life there is in and around the coral,” Vallée said. “From tiny pufferfish to giant green moray eels, every time I would dive below the surface there was always more to see.”

Her love for the ocean and its aquatic specimen was a strong influence on where Vallée decided to attend college. She always knew that she wanted to go to school in the United States but didn’t know where.

When it came down to it, she decided to be a Hurricane. Miami reminded her of the Virgin Islands, and the chance to attend the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science was too good to pass up.

Choosing UM gave Vallée a chance to pursue her interest in marine biology and to participate on the diving team. Growing up, she was one of the top junior divers in Canada.

Vallée is a three-time junior national champion and specializes on the 3-meter springboard.  Over the summer she was selected to represent Canada in the World University Games in Naples, Italy, where she made finals on every event she competed in and scored a personal best on the 1-meter springboard.

Earlier this year she qualified for the NCAA Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships with the top performance in the 3-meter springboard at NCAA Zone qualifiers in Athens, Georgia.  She also was recognized with All-ACC Academic Honors. 

Vallée, a sophomore at The U, is diving deep into her studies this semester.

Once a week she travels to the satellite campus of the marine school on Key Biscayne.

“They set a three-hour block for our lab each week even though we were only in class for an hour and a half,” Vallée said. “The other half of the class is devoted to traveling back and forth between campuses on the shuttle.”

Although she says that these trips become exhausting and time consuming, she

says it’s worth it for all the great experiences she has had along the way.

Recently she visited the Miami Aquarium with her classmates to do research on the captive bottlenose dolphins. Vallée and her classmates were told to record how many times the dolphins came up for air and chirped to one another – their primary form of communication.

At the end of their observations, students were allowed to pull out their cellphones and record a Snapchat or Instagram story of the playful dolphins.

October 19, 2020

Reporters

Max Jenkins


Around the Web

Instead of in-person celebrations at Hard Rock Stadium, President Julio Frenk announced that the University of Miami will hold its four observances online because of updated COVID-19 data. ...

The newly chartered Peruvian Students Association seeks to expand its impact and influence beyond campus, supporting protests against education cutbacks in the South American country and connecting students across the United States to their Andean roots. ...

Leyna Stemle found that by attaching green LED lights to fishing nets in Ghana, the illumination was able to divert most of the reptiles from becoming entangled and hurt. ...

As the world observes the 32nd annual World AIDS Day, a University of Miami team is shining a bright light on a neighborhood initiative to curtail the epidemic. ...

With the acquisition of the new instrument and an accompanying nanoindenter, studies at the College of Engineering are entering a new and advanced era of materials characterization. ...

TMH Twitter
About Us

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published in print every Tuesday.