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Student and kid fish.Student and kid fish.

WILDLIFE SOCIETY, ADVISER WIN NATIONAL HONORS

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Posted on October 15, 2012

Cal U’s student chapter of The Wildlife Society has been named 2012 Chapter of the Year, and the group’s adviser, Dr. Carol Bocetti, is the 2012 Student Chapter Advisor of the Year.

Bocetti, an associate professor in the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, and eight students accepted the awards Oct. 15 at The Wildlife Society’s 19th annual meeting in Portland, Ore.

The Wildlife Society — a professional community of scientists, managers, educators, technicians, planners and others who work to study, manage and conserve wildlife and habitats worldwide — is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. 

Chapters are recognized for their activities and initiatives, accomplishments, impacts on members and the profession, and resource management. Advisers are chosen for their roles in facilitating student involvement in Society activities.

“The fact that the students in this chapter chose to nominate me was very touching,” Bocetti said. Of her decision to nominate the Cal U chapter, she said, “I find myself inspired every year by these students. I know what other chapters do — we do that and so much more.”

Senior Frank Christopher, president of the student chapter; senior Samantha Zelenka, vice president; and junior Kate Kelly, treasurer, were among the students in Portland.

As president of the student chapter of the year, Christopher was invited to speak at a leaders’ lunch at the conference.

“The Wildlife Society gave me focus for what to do with my free time,” he said. “I have learned so many skills, and it has definitely helped my professional development. 

“It has helped my resume, and the internships were really helpful,” Kelly said of the student chapter activities, as well as the professional connections she has made. “My first year, I was on the education side with the (Pennsylvania) Game Commission and the (U.S.) Forest Service this past year. It really helps you figure out what you enjoy.”

Reflecting on the numerous activities the students help to plan and the hard work that is involved, Zelenka concluded: “The Wildlife Society is my life.”

Cal U’s chapter participates in events such as Family Field Day and the Outdoor Bash and Game Dinner, both of which invite community participation and provide educational components. 

Earlier this year, Cal U students were the hosts for the three-day Northeast Students Wildlife Conclave, inviting experts from federal and state agencies to provide hands-on presentations on topics such as stream assessment and animal capture techniques.

Approximately 135 students from 13 colleges and universities attended the conference.

Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences: