Allison Shultz got involved in the MVZ in the Spring of 2006, and has been since that time. It began with her enrollment in the “Natural History of Vertebrates” class that spring, followed by her participation in the Grinnell project as a field assistant for the bird survey and collecting teams that summer. In the Fall of 2006 and the Spring of 2007, she completed a senior honors thesis under Dr. Rauri Bowie, assistant professor and curator of birds. She ended up presenting this thesis at a MVZ Lunch Seminar and at the American Ornithologist’s Union meeting in August of 2007. She is continuing to edit this manuscript with Professor Bowie, and they plan to submit it to a peer-reviewed journal for publication in February of 2008. While working on her honors thesis, she also volunteered in the prep lab, including participating in the team of students who worked on the articulated ostrich skeleton. She graduated in May 2007, receiving the Joseph LeConte Award for excellence in the field of natural history, and continued working on the Grinnell project again that summer. This year she is working in the MVZ as a Museum Scientist and Centennial Coordinator. In addition, she is working on another project with Professor Bowie and getting experience in the genetics lab. She plans to continue her career in biology by starting graduate school in the fall of 2008.
“My involvement in the MVZ has changed my life. Prior to the experiences I had there, I knew that I wanted to be a biologist, but I had no idea that one could have a career doing vertebrate research. I feel that I have learned as much being involved in the undergraduate program of the MVZ, interacting with graduate students, researchers and faculty as I have in many of the classes I have taken. The experience gained here has provided me with a very strong foundation from which I can launch myself into a successful career in academia. I know that the connections I have made here will last a lifetime, and in the future there will be the possibility for collaborations.”