Coming to Virginia Tech was one of the best last-minute decisions I ever made. During my college search, I was dead set on studying environmental science at a small northern school. Fearing out-of-state tuition, my dad convinced me to drive to Blacksburg, where I was introduced to the College of Natural Resources and Environment. Sitting in Cheatham Hall, I remember Professor Dean Stauffer flipping to the wildlife conservation slide of the program presentation and I was immediately sold. There was a picture of a student cradling a small bear cub. I knew instantly that I had to join the Hokie Nation so that I would have the chance to take advantage of the incredible programs and opportunities.
I have always had an interest in wildlife, stemming from my mom rehabbing squirrels and birds during my childhood. My real passion, however, is large mammals. Through my work and research at Virginia Tech’s Black Bear Research Center, I participated in a yearlong black bear pseudopregnancy study. I was also granted funding to pursue my passion as an intern at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia.
With the recent addition of my second major in sh conservation, I am thrilled to be given the chance to study another one of my passions and am incredibly anxious to dive into the sh world. I am excited for what’s in store and am extremely happy with where I am in my college career.
Aside from my research and studies, the college has allowed me to foster a second passion of mine: mentoring. Through my roles as a First Year Experience Peer Mentor and CNRE Ambassador, I have realized that I truly love serving my college and its students. My goal is to be a university professor of wildlife reproductive biology. My professors are my greatest role models. Following their example and serving future undergraduates would be my greatest aspiration.