Leadership Institute Participants Announced

Scenic Image Credit: Jeremy Matlock, BLM

Congratulations to the participants who have been chosen to attend the 2015 TWS Leadership Institute! These promising early-career wildlife professionals, selected from a competitive pool of applicants, will participate in a variety of distance learning projects over the coming summer. The program culminates in October, with intensive hands-on mentoring activities and leadership workshops during the 2015 TWS Annual Conference in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

“The Wildlife Society established the Leadership Institute in 2006 to enrich the future of our membership and our profession,” says TWS Executive Director Ken Williams. “The program has garnered widespread support because it has been very successful in preparing our early-career members to adopt active professional leadership roles both within and outside TWS.”

A committee of TWS members and staff selected participants based on the applicants’ academic record, demonstrated leadership capability, and demonstrated level of excellence either in their current position or in their position as a leader of a Chapter or Section of The Wildlife Society.

This year’s participants are:

  • Shawn Crimmins, University of Wisconsin
  • Sarah Fritts, Texas Tech University
  • Ashley Gramza, Colorado State University
  • Tyler M. Harms, Iowa State University
  • Jerod Merkle, University of Wyoming
  • Lindsey Messinger, University of Nebraska – Lincoln
  • Bridget Sousa, H. T. Harvey and Associates, California
  • Emily Thomas, The Pennsylvania State University – DuBois
  • Andrew Tri, Texas A & M University-Kingsville
  • Kelly VanBeek, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

“Many young wildlife professionals entering leadership positions have not necessarily been trained in the skills needed for successful management of large groups or complicated programs, says Laura Bies, Director of Government Affairs for The Wildlife Society and coordinator of the Leadership Institute. “The Leadership Institute introduces these exceptional young people to the management, mentoring, and organizational skills they need to become exceptional leaders.”

From May through October, participants will complete a wide variety of exercises, which include reading and reflection on leadership topics, presenting to peer groups, leading seminars, and developing summary documents regarding their professional leadership goals. During TWS’ Annual Conference in Manitoba, the participants will meet for focused analytical discussions, serve as mentors for students, be mentored by Institute alumni and Council members, and attend Council meetings.

Funding for this year’s Leadership Institute Class was generously provided by Dallas Safari Club, whose mission is to conserve wildlife and wilderness lands; to educate youth and the general public and to promote and protect the rights and interests of hunters worldwide.

Learn more about the Leadership Institute here.