Name: Miranda Furrer
Title and Company: Graduate Research Assistant, Purdue University
Hometown: Hanna City, IL
Major and Graduation Date: Animal Ecology (Minor in Agricultural Business), December 2013
Major Job/Position Responsibilities:
Currently, I am a master’s student at Purdue University studying Youth Development and Agricultural Education. I work with a professor as a graduate research assistant. We have implemented a semester-long program focusing on STEM integration in a non-formal setting. I’ve helped to develop curriculum that will help students become more science literate and how to apply STEM concepts to the real-world problem of native pollinator decline. I coordinate the volunteer educators (Master Gardeners) and prepare supplies for each program session. I’m also responsible for organizing meetings with team members. After we finish the program at the end of the summer, I will help to write an article about what we learned.
Before I went back to school, I worked as a Naturalist at a wildlife park, and this helped me figure out where I wanted to go with my career. After I graduate, I hope to become an Education Director at a zoo or nature center.
What you like most about your job/position:
Many of the lessons we have planned for the students participating in the program are hands-on and interactive. When we were testing the lessons before teaching them, it was fun to try the activities, such as building and testing an anemometer, pollinator garden design, and bee family identification.
What advice would you give to current students:
I would encourage current undergraduate students to step outside their comfort zone. Apply for the internship you don’t expect to get, join the club you want to join even if you don’t know anyone in it. Try something new. You never know where it may lead. It is important to make connections with people outside of your major.
Favorite ISU Class(es)
Wildlife Diseases and Concert Band