Ohio Wesleyan Student Helps Australia’s Tasmanian Devil
Experience: Theory-to-Practice Grant, “A Devil of a Disease: Conservation of the Endangered Tasmanian Devil through Disease and Population Management in Tasmania, Australia”
Cutshaw traveled to Tasmania and worked at the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program (STDP) for nine weeks. During her residency, she received hands-on experience in animal care and learned more about the STDP organization and its approach toward species management.
Lessons learned: “This Theory-to-Practice Grant has had greater impacts on my academic development than I ever anticipated. I was welcomed to the STDP by the staff as more than an intern – I became part of the staff and [was] given the same responsibilities, duties, and treatments [as] every other team member.
“The assignments I was given for policy writing was beyond anything I could have gained in a traditional course. The work I completed had real life consequences for the animals, making this a new kind of motivation and pressure I have never been exposed to before.
“Writing these documents gave me real-world experiences in a field [where] I intend to pursue a career. Through this, I was able to hone and develop my skills in writing, communication, and collaboration, leaving me confident that I have acquired the skills needed to be successful in graduate school and as policymaker.”
Why I chose Ohio Wesleyan: “I chose OWU because of The OWU Connection. As a prospective student, I was amazed by all the travel opportunities available to students. Additionally, I was happy to find a school [where] I could combine my interests in environmental studies and government to tailor a degree in zoology to fit my passions.”
My plans after graduation: “Enter a master’s program in environmental management with a concentration on poverty alleviation in coastal areas.”