Congratulations to TWS’ Leadership Institute Class of 2022

By Jamila Blake

Pine Forest Range Wilderness Area in Nevada. The Leadership Institute Class of 2022 represents 10 states or provinces and six sections of TWS. Credit: Bob Wick/BLM

The Wildlife Society is excited to announce the Leadership Institute Class of 2022. While a class was not selected in 2021, TWS’ flagship leadership program is back this year with a new group of 10 early career wildlife professionals.

Members of this year’s class were selected from a competitive pool of applicants. Throughout the six-month program, participants will engage in a variety of distance learning and hands-on projects and develop a greater understanding of how to apply leadership skills in their professional careers. The Leadership Institute will culminate at TWS’ 29th Annual Conference in Spokane, Washington, this November.

Leadership Institute participants are selected by a committee of TWS members and staff based on factors like demonstrated leadership capability or potential, commitment to and involvement in TWS and the wildlife profession, and potential to contribute to the growth and development of the group as a whole. This year’s class represents 10 states or provinces and six sections of TWS.

Meet the Leadership Institute Class of 2022:

Christopher Cleveland, University of Georgia-Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study

Christopher Cleveland is an assistant professor at the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study, Department of Population Health, College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Georgia. His research focuses on wildlife diseases and molecular parasitology with particular foci on parasite lifecycles, transmission dynamics and disease management and surveillance. This work also entails understanding the effects that climate and landscape change have on the epidemiology of wildlife diseases and associated vectors.

Andre Delcalzo, Bureau of Land Management

Andre Delcalzo is a wildlife biologist with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management Ely District in Nevada. He works with species and habitats across the southern Great Basin and northern Mojave Desert and oversees the district’s threatened and endangered species program. In 2019, he received his B.S. at the University of Tennessee at Martin, where he was an active member of his TWS student chapter, holding the positions of policy chair, secretary and Quiz Bowl team captain.

Alixandra Godar, U.S. Geological Survey, Eastern Ecological Science Center

Alix Godar is a research scientist for the U.S. Geological Survey. Alix works with managers and researchers across the Atlantic Flyway to pool expert opinions and help coordinate research efforts. Originally from Wisconsin, she completed her PhD in biology at Kansas State University in August 2020 with a graduate certificate in applied statistics.

Katelin Goebel, Minnesota Land Trust

Katelin Goebel is the land protection coordinator for the Minnesota Land Trust, a nonprofit that protects wildlife habitat on private lands through conservation easements. She grew up in rural southern Minnesota and received her M.S. in Natural Resources Science and Management from the University of Minnesota. She has done fieldwork in all corners of Minnesota to collect data for wildlife research and in her current role to survey easements.

Hanna Karevold, Ulteig Engineers Inc.

Hanna Karevold currently works as an environmental specialist for Ulteig Engineers Inc. She obtained both her bachelor’s degree in zoology and a master’s degree in biology from North Dakota State University. She is heavily involved with the North Dakota Chapter of The Wildlife Society, having served as student liaison, executive board member and now secretary.

Angela Kujawa, Little River Band of Ottawa Indians

Angela Kujawa is a wildlife biologist with the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians in Manistee, Michigan. She is a board member for the Michigan Chapter of The Wildlife Society and a member of the Program Committee and Education and Information Committee. She received her B.S. in natural resources management and her M.S. in biology, studying home range dynamics and resource selection of American marten.

Summer LaRose, U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture

Summer LaRose is a program specialist at the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, where she facilitates the peer review and award process for several competitive grant programs. Outside of work, she serves as the board president and treasurer at the Biocultural Conservation Institute, a nonprofit that empowers communities to connect to and protect native wildlife. She is an avid yogi, hiker and reader, and has been a member of The Wildlife Society since 2013.

Anna Matthews, American Bird Conservancy

Anna Matthews is the Oaks and Prairies Joint Venture science coordinator and works for American Bird Conservancy. As a science coordinator, she helps guide the research, monitoring and overall science that supports the conservation and habitat delivery work of the joint venture. She is located in San Marcos, Texas.

Simona Picardi, Utah State University

Simona Picardi is a postdoctoral fellow at Utah State University. She is from Italy, where she earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Rome La Sapienza. After moving to the U.S. in 2015, she earned her PhD at the University of Florida. Her research focuses on wildlife movement, its fitness consequences and its management implications.

John Vanek, New York Natural Heritage Program

John Vanek is a research zoologist with the New York Natural Heritage Program. An all-around naturalist, he has a particular interest and expertise in herpetology and urban wildlife ecology. Originally from Long Island, New York, Vanek completed his B.S. in wildlife science at SUNY-ESF, an M.S. at Hofstra University studying Eastern hognose snakes and a PhD at Northern Illinois University studying urban wildlife.

Over the course of their Leadership Institute experience, these participants will have the opportunity to learn from TWS Council and staff, take part in discussions on a variety of leadership topics and engage in mentorship activities with established TWS members, like members of TWS Heritage Committee and Leadership Institute alumni.

Congratulations to the Leadership Institute Class of 2022!

Learn more about The Wildlife Society’s Leadership Institute.

Jamila BlakeJamila Blake is The Wildlife Society's Professional Development Coordinator.
Read more of Jamila's articles here.

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