Kayla Marie Yurco, daughter of Dennis and Palma Yurco of Howland and 2005 valedictorian of Howland High School, recently graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh with a B.S. in biological sciences, a B.A. in English literature, a minor in chemistry, and a certificate in conceptual foundations of medicine.
While at Pitt, Yurco spent a summer studying in Yellowstone National Park, a year conducting research in an ecotoxicology lab, and a semester participating in wildlife management research studies with the School for Field Studies in Kenya. She was also a recipient of the 2008 Brackenridge Honors Undergraduate Research Fellowship for an independent research project she designed and was accepted into an M.S. program in conservation biology at the University of Michigan's School of Natural Resources and Environment.