Alison Munaylla-Bohorquez

Class of 2024

Alison Munaylla-Bohorquez


Biology with a minor in Sustainability

Why did you decide to come to Marymount?

I visited Marymount in the fall of my senior year of high school and the foliage was amazing, I thought the campus was beautiful. It was easy to picture myself here for my academic career.

What drew you to your field of study?

I have always been very interested in the mechanisms and processes within biology. I have a lot of background in environmental conservation work, and I thought that Biology would be a great fit for pursuing a career in conservation.

One experience that defined my passion started in the summer of my senior year of high school. I worked with the American Conservation Experience to eradicate invasive plant species all over the George Washington Memorial Parkway. It was very hard, laborious work — 40 hours a week outside in the sun during the summer. It was the best summer I ever had — that is where my love for conservation began. I have always been very interested in mycology — studying mushrooms and fungi, going out and looking for mushrooms and seeing how the mechanisms work and their role in the ecosystems. 

What opportunities have you had because of your Biology major?

In the summer before my sophomore year, I worked with the Youth Conservation Corps in partnership with the National Park Service to learn more about federal roles in park services, become more educated in the conservation field and eradicate invasive plant species. In my junior year, I was accepted into the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program (DDCSP) and joined a group of students that traveled to different parts of California with UC Santa Cruz to learn more about various fields in conservation work. Following that, DDCSP matched me with an internship they felt would align with my interest in the mycology field, and I worked at the University of Oregon’s Roy Lab where I got a lot of lab research and field experience. In September 2023, I received a scholarship to attend the Sequanota Foray in Pennsylvania with the Mycological Association of Washington, D.C. Mycology enthusiasts like myself went out and looked for mushrooms, inspected them and identified them through DNA sequencing.

I was also accepted into the Scholars for Conservation Leadership Program with the Land Trust Alliance, and I worked with Envision EEB (Ecology, Evolution and Behavior) for its Graduate Preview Weekend at Michigan State University. It definitely gives me a lot more experience on my résumé. It’s like I get one internship, and then others open up because of that internship.

Alison Munaylla-Bohorquez

What is an important lesson that you have learned at Marymount?

The greatest lesson I’ve learned here was to never be set on one specific plan because, with all of the opportunities that come your way, your plans might change. I’ve always kept in mind that things work out in some way if you want what is best for yourself. With that being said, be open to all the opportunities that you can. Trying new things and getting exposure to different fields and hobbies can help you find the right path for you — whether it’s career-wise, academically or just for life in general.

What do you hope to do after you graduate?

I’m hoping to travel through different internships or job opportunities in the field of mycology or conservation. I also hope to attend graduate school to study mycology even further, educate others on the crucial role that mycology plays in our ecosystems and hopefully get others excited about mycology as well.