MSU student chapter members awarded for outreach during COVID

Members of the Mississippi State University Chapter of TWS were awarded for their public outreach during COVID-19. Students provided no-contact wildlife craft projects and book readings to young people.
Credit: Jimmy Smith

Mississippi State University recognized an outreach project organized by members of the university’s chapter of The Wildlife Society in its Community Engagement Awards.

The project, “Engaging and Educating Youth about Conservation,” was the winner in the “Community-Engaged Teaching and Learning” category. The project was led by TWS members Kayla Feist, a conservation education master’s student, and Abby Florez, a spring 2021 wildlife, fisheries and aquaculture bachelor’s graduate. Members of the MSU student chapter of The Wildlife Society and faculty advisors Leslie Burger and Chris Ayers assisted with the project, which provided youth engagement during the COVID-19 pandemic in ways that did not require face-to-face interaction.

Chapter members created “drive-by” and “pick-up” crafts to highlight wildlife science and conservation. The students also recorded wildlife-themed book reading videos that quickly reached an average of 1,000 views on the Starkville Public Library website and generated positive feedback from local parents.

Winning projects received $3,000. Mississippi State University’s Center for Community-Engaged Learning, Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President, Office of Research and Economic Development and the Division of Student Affairs selected the recipients.


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