Madeline WalkerRecreation, Parks and Tourism Resources
Class of 2021
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, its the only thing that ever has." -- Margaret Mead
What book would you recommend and why?
I would recommend the Foxfire Book Series written by students at the Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School in the Appalachian Mountains of Northeast Georgia. This group of students were having trouble engaging in their high school English class and were encouraged by their teacher to interview their family and neighbors to take down the oral history of the region. The series covers topics such as log cabin building, folk lore and home remedy medicine. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in seeing how the history of a culture can influence the present. As someone in the natural resources realm it is also a rewarding to see the connection of the people portrayed in the book to the land. This book portrays a beautiful culture and is also a ton of fun to read!
What do you love most about your major?
What I love most about my major is that I work with such passionate professors who really bring learning to life. Sometimes it can be hard to make the connection between what you are learning in a lecture and how it will be useful in your career. However, my passionate professors always help me to see how our curriculum is relevant to real life by showing us how it applies to West Virginia and the greater Morgantown area.
What are your career goals?
After my time at West Virginia University I hope to engage in a lively career of public service. I would like to work for a public park district whether it be federal, state or municipal as an environmental educator and naturalist. I believe that education is empowerment and I want to help people feel empowered through learning about nature in our nation's public lands.
What are your hobbies?
Hiking around wild and wonderful West Virginia, herping [searching for amphibians or reptiles] and kayaking. I also love to square dance and listen to bluegrass music; I consider myself to be quite the country music history junkie.
Tell us about your experience with research or an internship?
This past summer I worked as an environmental education programmer for Metroparks Toledo in northwestern Ohio. I had an incredible experience delivering interpretive talks and hikes to park visitors. I especially enjoyed working Connection Camp where I assisted in leading nature based curriculum where I got to apply what I had learned in my first two years and a recreation, parks and tourism resources student.
What advice would you give to incoming students?
My advice for incoming students would be to get to know your professors and other Davis College staff. Our administration and staff here at the Davis College are honestly so nice and can help you develop as a student, professional and as a person. The more people you get to know, the better your freshman year experience will be. Don't be afraid to step outside of your major, too.