Name: Madelyn Sislow
Hometown: Gurnee, IL
Major and Graduation Date: Animal Ecology and Biology, December 2016
Favorite ISU Class: BIOL 351, Comparative Chordate Anatomy with Dr. Pleasants. It was by far the most difficult class I have ever taken, but I was fascinated by the content and still use what I learned in her class every day.
Job Title & Company: Raptor Educator at Schlitz Audubon Nature Center, Milwaukee, WI.
Major Job/Position Responsibilities: My responsibilities are split between animal husbandry and conservation education. Mornings are dedicated to managing a team of passionate volunteers as we clean up after and feed our 15 educational birds of prey. Afternoons are often spent traveling around the greater Milwaukee area with a few of the birds and educating the public on how amazing wildlife is! We have traveled to schools, libraries, the State Fair, and countless other venues to teach people about raptors, reaching tens of thousands each year.
What do you like most about your job/position? I love the opportunities to create trusting relationships with the animals I’m caring for and training. We work incredibly hard to ensure that the animals are only trained using positive reinforcement, and that allows us to showcase their natural behaviors in the public! Nothing beats watching the faces of the audience as a bird flies over their heads.
What advice would you give to current students pursuing a career in Agriculture and Life Sciences? Something that helped me immensely during my time pursuing a career in the field was volunteering and doing internships – I wouldn’t have my job today without them. Get involved in anything and everything you might be interested in. You will meet people with fabulous connections, gain valuable experience, and learn more about what you love to do!