Tuesday, February 26, 2008

HCC Wildlife Student Receives 2008 Ken Wilson Memorial Award

HCC Fish and Wildlife Management student Erin Bellavia recently received the 2008 Ken Wilson Memorial Award at the annual meeting of the North Carolina Chapter of The Wildlife Society (TWS). The Ken Wilson Memorial Award is presented annually to outstanding wildlife students for academics, contributions to research, work projects that contribute to State wildlife conservation efforts, and other accomplishments that the North Carolina Chapter of TWS deems worthy of recognition. Erin received a plaque, a $250 check, and a special edition of A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold.

Erin entered the Fish and Wildlife Management Technology program in the Fall of 2006 and will earn an A.A.S. degree graduating with honors in the spring of this year. She has proven to been an exemplary student earning Dean’s List honors for each semester to date with an overall G.P.A. of 4.0. Due to this academic excellence, Erin received an invitation for Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society induction. To her credit, Erin has managed to excel in her studies as a full-time student, even while maintaining employment as an assistant Barn Manager for Bailey Branch Farm and as a Student Ambassador for Haywood Community College. Erin has consistently exhibited a strong work ethic, which will serve her well in future endeavors.

Not only exhibiting excellence in her academic pursuits, Erin has also demonstrated service above self in extra-curricular activities. She has exhibited willingness and capacity to assume leadership responsibilities and was elected President of the HCC Student Chapter, TWS in 2007. Erin is a well-respected, energetic organizer who inspires active involvement in chapter activities. She leads by example having devoted significant time and effort toward chapter projects. Erin will serve as a prominent member of the HCC southeastern wildlife conclave team, as she did last year. Erin has also been active in the HCC Volunteer Club, Forestry Club, and Student Chapter of the Society of American Foresters.

Erin also manages to devote considerable time toward volunteer service. She has attended and received workshop certifications in Project Wild, Aquatic Wild, CATCH, and EcoTeam; thus armed, she then volunteered on a regular basis to empower area youth in the application of these powerful teaching methods. Erin willingly accepted leadership roles in conducting countywide activities such as Big Sweep/Clean Stream Days, CATCH Clinic, Mountain Wildlife and Wilderness Day, and EcoTeam, an elementary school environmental education program. She also provides assistance and coaching to her high school’s agricultural education program. These outreach programs touch the lives of hundreds of children.

Erin exhibits the devotion and initiative suited to a wildlifer with promising career potential. This recognition by the North Carolina Chapter of TWS and her continued TWS involvement will help her realize this potential.

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