The Terry Foundation

Alumni Spotlight- Camilla Smith

Shark Week may only happen once a year on the Discovery Channel, but for Camilla Smith (UNT 2011), it happened approximately 52 times. After studying abroad at the School for Field Studies in the Turks and Caicos Islands, Camilla later joined their team as an intern for an entire year working directly with the students leading them on recreational scuba dives. She also worked as a research assistant studying sharks. Although there are no sharks in Denton, UNT did equip her with the skills and knowledge she would need to embark on such an educational adventure.

Not wanting to be pigeonholed into a specific career, Camilla chose UNT because of its diversity in majors. Fashion and marine biology were her two vastly different interests, and luckily, UNT offered degrees and course in both such as scuba diving. Because of this, it felt like fate that she would apply there and then the Terry Scholarship which would impact her life forever.

While Camilla was a Terry Scholar, she served as a service chair and was heavily involved in the organization’s activities. She says, ” It was important to me to keep the commitment I made during my interview. It was the only reason I was able to go to school, so I think I can commit that couple of hours a month to give back to something that has given me so much.” With so much excitement that surrounds the freshman year banquet, one of her fondest memories is that she was able to meet Mr. Terry before his passing. “It was pretty amazing to see someone who has devoted his life to making sure others got a similar opportunity to go to college,” she reflects.

Appreciative of Mr. Terry’s dedicated presence during the later years, Camilla adds, “we all saw and felt that, and it was pretty special.”  In addition to meeting Mr. Terry, Camilla’s favorite aspect of being a Terry Scholar was meeting her best friends, including her freshman year roommate who turned into her sophomore, junior, and senior year roommate as well!

Now that she’s back on the mainland, Camilla will continue her efforts in marine conservation. Next fall, she plans to enroll in graduate school where she can continue her undergraduate research in developmental physiology.