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Undergraduate Student

Roxzanna Dalton

Junior, Wildlife Science


Barren Springs, a small, rural town in Southwest Virginia, is and always will be the place I call home. I never made a conscious decision to love and work with wildlife; it was always a given. As a child, I always got little toy animals instead of dolls, watched Animal Planet instead of Nickelodeon, and spent hours outside watching squirrels, salamanders, and anything else I could find. My favorite trips were when we went to zoos or state parks, and with mountains literally in the backyard hiding black bear, deer, fox, and so much more, it was impossible for me not to fall in love with nature.

Throughout the years I have had several interesting experiences that have only strengthened my desire to work in this field. For three years, I worked at the Fort Chiswell Animal Park as a zookeeper. I led tours, sheared llamas, captured blackbuck, and herded water buffalo. I also fed snakes and helped raise a water buffalo calf. Recently I have been doing an independent study with Associate Professor Marcella Kelly and Assistant Professor Sarah Karpanty. Their research in Madagascar has opened my eyes to new possibilities.

After I graduate from Virginia Tech, I plan to continue on to graduate school where I will at least obtain my master’s. I hope to work in predator/prey ecology, and my dream is to study either wolves, big and small cats in Africa or South America, or fosa and civets in Madagascar.

Honors and Awards

  • Southwest Virginia Burley Tobacco Scholarship Recipient, 2009-present
  • Gray Lumber Company Scholarship Recipient, 2010-11
  • Graham Claytor Scholarship Recipient, 2010-11
  • Tobacco Farmers Scholarship Recipient, 2010-11
  • Walter S. Newman Memorial Scholarship Recipient, 2009-10
  • Foundation for Excellence Scholarship Recipient, 2009
  • Dean’s List, 2009-present
  • Golden Key International Honor Society
  • Virginia Tech Chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Success
  • Xi Sigma Phi member

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