Rodger was never discouraged by a problem, if an issue were to arise he would think of it less as an issue and more as an opportunity to learn. Rodger was not only invested in the rehabilitation of the Puritan Tiger Beetle but he was invested in everyone involved with the project; working with students to develop projects that would advance their careers, incorporating opinions of those who’ve studied PTB in the past, and scheduling time with volunteers who just wanted some extra lab experience. It was never hard to get in touch with Rodger, he was always available by phone or email to answer any question, big or small, related or unrelated to the project. It was a pleasure to work with and learn from Rodger Gwiazdowski.
I have worked with Rodger for the past year and a half as a Research Assistant with the Puritan Tiger Beetle Recovery Project. He has been instrumental to my learning and development as a member of the project team. He has always been there for me as a mentor, giving me useful advice when I feel out of my depth. I have benefited greatly from his extensive scientific knowledge, as well as from his many years of professional experience. Rodger has truly been crucial to my success as an undergraduate at the University of Massachusetts – Amherst, and my learning has been enriched by the many opportunities and experiences he provided me.
“Extremely motivating and enthusiastic” is the phrase that comes to mind when I think about Rodger. As an undergrad at UMass Amherst, I have had the pleasure of knowing Rodger for a year and a half, during which we collaborated on designing and implementing methods to create a life table for the endangered puritan tiger beetle. Above all, I was particularly impressed with Rodger’s ability to juggle advising multiple student research projects, which made a dramatic difference in the productivity level of our PTB recovery team. And, how could I forget, his unwavering ability to encourage others during our weekly meetings, making sure everyone left feeling optimistic. Rodger also graciously served as a reference for me, which resulted in my job offer at Marine Biological Laboratories in Woods Hole, MA. Rodger would be a true asset to any team and he earns my highest recommendation.