Earlier this year, Auburn University of School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences undergraduate students majoring in the Wildlife Enterprise Management program had an opportunity to attend and volunteer at the annual Safari Club International Convention in Reno, Nevada.
The convention, which attracts thousands each year to tour the 650,000 square foot exhibit space, is the premier hunting show where SCI members gather to socialize, book hunting excursions and shop for the latest in hunting and outdoor equipment.
While on the week-long trip, Auburn students, Chase Stuckey, Tripp Hodges, Megan Justice, Chloe Medlin and Ben Ingram were accompanied by Dean Janaki Alavalapati and several others, including faculty members Mark Smith and Todd Franks and Development Director Heather Crozier, as well as the school’s advisory council member Michelle Isenberg.
The convention offered the students a valuable opportunity to learn more about the industry while networking with SCI members and leaders who may be resources for future career prospects.
“I believe the most valuable part of this entire trip was while we were there to promote Wildlife Enterprise Management, the businesses [we connected with] were also able to give us opportunities and offer us internships,” said Medlin.
While in Reno, the students volunteered extensively, assisting with various sporting activities coordinated for local youth and several fundraising events that support SCI education and outreach programs.
Franks, who is a professor of practice and the degree program coordinator in the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences said, “The show allowed the students to better understand the diversity of the industry and the breadth of career opportunities that await them after graduation.
“We are very grateful to SCI leaders, Randall Bush, Dan Brooks, Kathy Butler and Todd Roggenkamp, who organized the convention activities for the students,” said Franks.
Financial support for the trip and convention attendance was provided by the Alabama and Houston Chapters of SCI and Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Taylor of Houston, Texas.
Photo: Shown at the convention from left to right in the front row are Professor of Practice and Degree Coordinator Todd Franks, students, Ben Ingram and Tripp Hodges; Dean Janaki Alavalapati; students, Chase Stuckey, Chloe Medlin, Megan Justice; and Professor and Extension Specialist Mark Smith. Shown in the back row from left to right are Development Director Heather Crozier and Advisory Council Member and Former Chair Michelle Isenberg.