Katey Huggler is one student who can vouch for the importance and power of their education.
Huggler, a graduating senior at the University of Idaho, has been involved in myriad clubs and organizations in her time in Moscow. She was recently awarded a competitive fellowship for her master”s degree in wildlife resources.
“I grew up in a family where all we did was outdoor activities – hunting, fishing, trapping,” she said. “You name it, we probably did it. I guess I just developed a passion for it, and figured I might as well get paid to do it.”
Huggler said she found out about the Graduate Research Fellowship Program while at a conference for an internship she had two years ago.
“One of the leaders of the internship was talking about it, and was trying to get people to do it, so I just decided I would apply,” she said. “I worked with the adviser I”m going to have (in the graduate program), and we worked together on some of the ideas that he had had from his larger project, and I built a proposal based on some of the ideas he had given me.”
The research Huggler proposed and plans to work on while obtaining her degree is concentrated around predation relationships between elk and mule deer. Her research will be a piece of the larger project facilitated by her adviser, Kevin Monteith.
“It”s a grant that funds my living expenses and my end of the stipend that grad school would normally give me,” she said. “I”m graduating with a bachelor”s degree at UI, and then I”ll be moving to Laramie, (Wyoming), and working under Dr. Monteith.”
Janet Rachlow, Huggler”s adviser, said the fellowship is extremely competitive.
“It”s from the National Science Foundation, and (the fellowships) are really nice, because it funds students at a nice level,” she said. “It”s a very prestigious award to receive, because there aren”t very many of them. Only highly qualified students receive them.”
Rachlow said receiving this fellowship is an honor, and will ensure her education and research is well-backed. She said that although there are few awarded in all spectrums of science specialties, there are even fewer awarded to those working in wildlife resources.
“She not only creates opportunities for herself, but also for other students as well,” she said.
She said Huggler is the type of student her department often asks to do things in terms of recruitment and student relations, as well as the type the department likes to highlight due to her personality and passion for her studies.
Rachlow said in order to obtain the fellowship, a board not only looked at the achievements of Huggler personally, but also judged the quality of her research proposal and the potential it had.
“She”s exceptionally hardworking, organized, and has been really involved in clubs and activities,” said Rachlow. “She is absolutely a phenomenal student.”
Will Meyer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org