Meet our 2019 Communities and Conservation Team!


Brady Maghran   Friendly | Hard working | Adventurous   Who is your personal hero?  My personal Hero is my grandfather, he is a wise and strong man who knows how to stick up for what he sees as right, and has taught me a valuable work ethic and helped me succeed in life   Why South Africa?  I choose South Africa because it was a perfect blend of different cultures, experiences and chances to interact with the natural world. I chose this program because I believe it is going to give me genuine and unique experiences that I could not get with any other study abroad program or probably through my life.   What are you most looking forward to?  I am most looking forward to the chance to explore one of the most diverse regions on the planet and discover the flora and fauna of the area. I am also looking forward to interacting with different cultures very different than my own, and learning about cultural interactions in such a culturally diverse nation.   What do you hope to accomplish?  When I am in South Africa I hope to learn about the local cultures and develop a more holistic world view. I hope to be able to get first had experience in wildlife conservation and the opportunity to see many beautiful African animals and landscapes.

Brady Maghran

Friendly | Hard working | Adventurous

Who is your personal hero? My personal Hero is my grandfather, he is a wise and strong man who knows how to stick up for what he sees as right, and has taught me a valuable work ethic and helped me succeed in life

Why South Africa? I choose South Africa because it was a perfect blend of different cultures, experiences and chances to interact with the natural world. I chose this program because I believe it is going to give me genuine and unique experiences that I could not get with any other study abroad program or probably through my life.

What are you most looking forward to? I am most looking forward to the chance to explore one of the most diverse regions on the planet and discover the flora and fauna of the area. I am also looking forward to interacting with different cultures very different than my own, and learning about cultural interactions in such a culturally diverse nation.

What do you hope to accomplish? When I am in South Africa I hope to learn about the local cultures and develop a more holistic world view. I hope to be able to get first had experience in wildlife conservation and the opportunity to see many beautiful African animals and landscapes.

Sammi Lauth   Curious | Amiable | Excited   Who is your personal hero?  Greta Thunberg is a force to be reckoned with and I look up to her activism for climate change even though she’s only 16! I think it takes incredible strength and willpower to head a movement at such a young age, especially when you receive incredible amounts of push-back from adults in positions of power who want to silence your voice. Her courage and tenacity are inspiring. Keep up the good fight, Greta!   Why South Africa?  Opportunities to travel to South Africa are few and far between, and I am most eager to live amongst people with varying perspectives from my own in a country with such remarkably diverse savanna species. While I think there is much to learn from education abroad experiences in countries with Euro-American values and traditions, I look forward to pushing myself out of my comfort zone and learning about South African livelihoods and behavior models in conservation.   What are you most looking forward to?  I’m most looking forward to the homestay in HaMakuya and the opportunity to learn Venda and make a fool of myself as I laugh my way through challenging dance moves taught to us by members of the community. I’m also eager to see big game animals in their natural habitat, stargaze with practically no light pollution, and develop close friendships with my homestay family and traveling companions.   What do you hope to accomplish?  I’ll be interviewing a few women from the Black Mambas Anti-Poaching Unit for my honors thesis, so I hope that the interviews will go great and I’ll get some good, ethnographic insights into their experiences as women in conservation working against rhino poaching. I’m also hopeful that I’ll be a pro at setting wildlife camera traps by the end of the trip!

Sammi Lauth

Curious | Amiable | Excited

Who is your personal hero? Greta Thunberg is a force to be reckoned with and I look up to her activism for climate change even though she’s only 16! I think it takes incredible strength and willpower to head a movement at such a young age, especially when you receive incredible amounts of push-back from adults in positions of power who want to silence your voice. Her courage and tenacity are inspiring. Keep up the good fight, Greta!

Why South Africa? Opportunities to travel to South Africa are few and far between, and I am most eager to live amongst people with varying perspectives from my own in a country with such remarkably diverse savanna species. While I think there is much to learn from education abroad experiences in countries with Euro-American values and traditions, I look forward to pushing myself out of my comfort zone and learning about South African livelihoods and behavior models in conservation.

What are you most looking forward to? I’m most looking forward to the homestay in HaMakuya and the opportunity to learn Venda and make a fool of myself as I laugh my way through challenging dance moves taught to us by members of the community. I’m also eager to see big game animals in their natural habitat, stargaze with practically no light pollution, and develop close friendships with my homestay family and traveling companions.

What do you hope to accomplish? I’ll be interviewing a few women from the Black Mambas Anti-Poaching Unit for my honors thesis, so I hope that the interviews will go great and I’ll get some good, ethnographic insights into their experiences as women in conservation working against rhino poaching. I’m also hopeful that I’ll be a pro at setting wildlife camera traps by the end of the trip!

Wes Wright   Food Security Activist  Wes Wright, Marine Corps Veteran, and food security activist with a marketing degree. Seeking a second degree in Sustainability at Colorado State University (CSU). Senior undergraduate student and current president of the SALUTE Veterans National Honor Society at CSU. Charismatic, goal-driven and self disciplined individual who puts the needs of others before himself. Paving a path for a future generation behavioral change to want to live more sustainably.   Who is your personal hero?  No question, my mom is my hero. Growing up in humble conditions, her hard work and dedication to ensuring my three sisters and I had food to eat, shelter and water gave us a foundation for a successful journey through this life. She has inspired and raised me to be the person I am today. I will continue to make her proud everyday.   Why South Africa?  This is a place I have no real knowledge of. The only knowledge I ever hear of is poverty. One of the most inspiring pictures in my life has came from Africa of a starving child. I need to see where I can help make change, as I was offered a solid foundation at life. Therefore, I would like to give the same for every child in this World. By recognizing some challenges on this trip my future profession could help provide viable solutions to this area and other areas alike.   What are you most looking forward to?  I am looking forward to being out of my comfort zone and working to invoke a real change. This is an entirely new place I will have the pleasure of experiencing. I am excited to be encompassed in the culture and learn everything I can from those I will be surrounded by on this trip and I hope I can teach them a thing or two as well. All you touch and all you see, is all your life will ever be.

Wes Wright

Food Security Activist

Wes Wright, Marine Corps Veteran, and food security activist with a marketing degree. Seeking a second degree in Sustainability at Colorado State University (CSU). Senior undergraduate student and current president of the SALUTE Veterans National Honor Society at CSU. Charismatic, goal-driven and self disciplined individual who puts the needs of others before himself. Paving a path for a future generation behavioral change to want to live more sustainably.

Who is your personal hero? No question, my mom is my hero. Growing up in humble conditions, her hard work and dedication to ensuring my three sisters and I had food to eat, shelter and water gave us a foundation for a successful journey through this life. She has inspired and raised me to be the person I am today. I will continue to make her proud everyday.

Why South Africa? This is a place I have no real knowledge of. The only knowledge I ever hear of is poverty. One of the most inspiring pictures in my life has came from Africa of a starving child. I need to see where I can help make change, as I was offered a solid foundation at life. Therefore, I would like to give the same for every child in this World. By recognizing some challenges on this trip my future profession could help provide viable solutions to this area and other areas alike.

What are you most looking forward to? I am looking forward to being out of my comfort zone and working to invoke a real change. This is an entirely new place I will have the pleasure of experiencing. I am excited to be encompassed in the culture and learn everything I can from those I will be surrounded by on this trip and I hope I can teach them a thing or two as well. All you touch and all you see, is all your life will ever be.

Ellie Oravecz   World-Traveler | Animal Advocate| Experience Seeker   Who is your personal hero?  My personal hero is my previous employer, Dr. Don Woodman, who is a small animal veterinarian and an exotic wildlife specialist. He spends most of his free time travelling to schools educating children about the importance of animal conservation. I admire him because he wants to make a difference in the world and he accomplishes this by teaching students about endangered animals, habitat loss and how they can contribute towards improving the environment.   Why South Africa?  I have always wanted to travel to a region within Africa, where I could view exotic wildlife in their natural surroundings and interact with local communities. Through this study abroad, I am able to experience these opportunities, while also participating in research and hopefully, making a positive impact during and after the trip.   What are you most looking forward to?  Living overseas in Hungary, Malaysia and China has exposed me to various lifestyles and I am extremely excited to experience the new cultures and wildlife in South Africa. Furthermore, as an advocate for animals, I am thrilled to be meeting and working with the Black Mambas, as I admire their mission to terminate poaching. Lastly, I am excited to see whether this experience may potentially influence my decision in which field of expertise I will undertake at veterinary school.   What do you hope to accomplish?  I hope to learn more in depth about the lifestyles and conservation efforts within South Africa, while also making a positive impact during and after this study abroad.

Ellie Oravecz

World-Traveler | Animal Advocate| Experience Seeker

Who is your personal hero? My personal hero is my previous employer, Dr. Don Woodman, who is a small animal veterinarian and an exotic wildlife specialist. He spends most of his free time travelling to schools educating children about the importance of animal conservation. I admire him because he wants to make a difference in the world and he accomplishes this by teaching students about endangered animals, habitat loss and how they can contribute towards improving the environment.

Why South Africa? I have always wanted to travel to a region within Africa, where I could view exotic wildlife in their natural surroundings and interact with local communities. Through this study abroad, I am able to experience these opportunities, while also participating in research and hopefully, making a positive impact during and after the trip.

What are you most looking forward to? Living overseas in Hungary, Malaysia and China has exposed me to various lifestyles and I am extremely excited to experience the new cultures and wildlife in South Africa. Furthermore, as an advocate for animals, I am thrilled to be meeting and working with the Black Mambas, as I admire their mission to terminate poaching. Lastly, I am excited to see whether this experience may potentially influence my decision in which field of expertise I will undertake at veterinary school.

What do you hope to accomplish? I hope to learn more in depth about the lifestyles and conservation efforts within South Africa, while also making a positive impact during and after this study abroad.

Hunter Craddock   Honest | Humble | Adventurous  I am a Navy Vet with a passion for environmental sustainability   Who is your personal hero?  I would have to say that Elon Musk is my hero because he is dedicated to creating a better world with advancements in technology that can help us become more sustainable without sacrificing convenience but instead showing the luxuries of the alternative lifestyle . He gives me hope that even one person can make a “huge” difference.   Why South Africa?  I didn’t seek out the program, instead the opportunity presented itself to me and i had to try because I’ve always wanted to see all parts of the world, and not just the tourist spots. I also have a passion for helping people and wildlife when I can, I would love to make a positive difference in the lives of the people and in the environment. I hope we can collaborate and come up with a great campaign that can do some long lasting good. Not just temporary fixes.   What are you most looking forward to?  I am excited to learn about the culture and way of life for the people in different parts of South Africa. I also can’t wait to see the diverse wildlife and learn the effects that the populations of people and animals have on the environment. Personally i hope i can learn a great deal about the agricultural practices of the communities.

Hunter Craddock

Honest | Humble | Adventurous

I am a Navy Vet with a passion for environmental sustainability

Who is your personal hero? I would have to say that Elon Musk is my hero because he is dedicated to creating a better world with advancements in technology that can help us become more sustainable without sacrificing convenience but instead showing the luxuries of the alternative lifestyle . He gives me hope that even one person can make a “huge” difference.

Why South Africa? I didn’t seek out the program, instead the opportunity presented itself to me and i had to try because I’ve always wanted to see all parts of the world, and not just the tourist spots. I also have a passion for helping people and wildlife when I can, I would love to make a positive difference in the lives of the people and in the environment. I hope we can collaborate and come up with a great campaign that can do
some long lasting good. Not just temporary fixes.

What are you most looking forward to? I am excited to learn about the culture and way of life for the people in different parts of South Africa. I also can’t wait to see the diverse wildlife and learn the effects that the populations of people and animals have on the
environment. Personally i hope i can learn a great deal about the agricultural practices of the communities.

Tess Scarborough   Curious | Open-Minded | Passionate   Who is your personal hero?  Jane Goodall is my personal hero at the moment. I remember seeing her speak here at Colorado State when I was roughly eight years old, thinking the work she was doing was so important for our wildlife and how I was just mesmerized by her gentle but fearless demeanor. As a woman, she broke out into a man’s field and changed the way people carried out experiments in primatology.   Why South Africa?  I always knew I would end up in Africa at some point in my life and I’ve always had the urge to help people. This Communities and Conservation Project encompasses all areas of my passions. For my future career, I am really interested in finding culturally viable solutions to environmental and conservation issues. I want to help people by helping the ecosystem in which they live, while at the same time preserving their culture and way of life.   What are you most looking forward to?  I am so looking forward to learning about and observing ecosystems like I’ve never seen before. All the different types of plants and animals are very exciting to learn about. I can’t wait to meet the fearless women of the Black Mambas and learn about conservation through them. I’m also looking forward to making genuine connections with other people through music, art, and nature.

Tess Scarborough

Curious | Open-Minded | Passionate

Who is your personal hero? Jane Goodall is my personal hero at the moment. I remember seeing her speak here at Colorado State when I was roughly eight years old, thinking the work she was doing was so important for our wildlife and how I was just mesmerized by her gentle but fearless demeanor. As a woman, she broke out into a man’s field and changed the way people carried out experiments in primatology.

Why South Africa? I always knew I would end up in Africa at some point in my life and I’ve always had the urge to help people. This Communities and Conservation Project encompasses all areas of my passions. For my future career, I am really interested in finding culturally viable solutions to environmental and conservation issues. I want to help people by helping the ecosystem in which they live, while at the same time preserving their culture and way of life.

What are you most looking forward to? I am so looking forward to learning about and observing ecosystems like I’ve never seen before. All the different types of plants and animals are very exciting to learn about. I can’t wait to meet the fearless women of the Black Mambas and learn about conservation through them. I’m also looking forward to making genuine connections with other people through music, art, and nature.

Kelsey Dawson   Curious | Adventurous | Motivated   Who is your personal hero?  My parents are my heroes. A hero should be someone who inspires you to be the best that you can be, and my parents have always done that. They have nurtured my love of animals and nature and have always supported my ambitions. Without them I wouldn’t be where I am today.   Why South Africa?  I have always wanted to travel to Africa. I am a wildlife enthusiast, so the diversity of life in South Africa has always drawn me toward it. The opportunities that this program will provide me perfectly fit my interests. As a zoology student, the biodiversity within South Africa excites me, and being able to learn about related conservation strategies is tailored to my interest in conservation biology.   What are you most looking forward to?  I am most excited to be able to see and learn about the wildlife in South Africa. I am also hoping to be able to take a lot of photographs, as I have discovered that I have a passion for wildlife photography. I want to be able to capture moments in time that can never be recreated, and be able to share those moments with others as well as my future self.

Kelsey Dawson

Curious | Adventurous | Motivated

Who is your personal hero? My parents are my heroes. A hero should be someone who inspires you to be the best that you can be, and my parents have always done that. They have nurtured my love of animals and nature and have always supported my ambitions. Without them I wouldn’t be where I am today.

Why South Africa? I have always wanted to travel to Africa. I am a wildlife enthusiast, so the diversity of life in South Africa has always drawn me toward it. The opportunities that this program will provide me perfectly fit my interests. As a zoology student, the biodiversity within South Africa excites me, and being able to learn about related conservation strategies is tailored to my interest in conservation biology.

What are you most looking forward to? I am most excited to be able to see and learn about the wildlife in South Africa. I am also hoping to be able to take a lot of photographs, as I have discovered that I have a passion for wildlife photography. I want to be able to capture moments in time that can never be recreated, and be able to share those moments with others as well as my future self.

Natalie McManus   Genuine | Passionate | Considerate   Who is your hero?  While I have multiple heroes, I would say the one that had the most impact on me is my mother. She was the one that introduced me to and cultivated my passion for the environment and animals. Growing up, she often read me and my sister books pertaining to current environmental news. She also showed me how hard work and dedication can pay off even if it may not seem like it in the beginning.   Why South Africa?  The main reason I decided on South Africa is due to how different it is than the United States. I knew that going here would give me completely new perspectives and open my mind to new experiences. Going to South Africa also seemed to perfectly combine the topics that I am interested in and studying.   What are you most looking forward to?  While I am more focused on the environmental side rather than the anthropogenic side, the thing I am really looking forward to is the homestay. I have not ever done a homestay, so I am very interested to see how simple to complex daily tasks vary. On a less specific side, I am excited to experience new cultures and languages and see how these cultures influence my behavior.  One of the most fulfilling thing to me is making human connections. While I am in South Africa, I hope to form connections with many different types of people. This will not only bring me joy, but also allow me to learn about individuals.

Natalie McManus

Genuine | Passionate | Considerate

Who is your hero? While I have multiple heroes, I would say the one that had the most impact on me is my mother. She was the one that introduced me to and cultivated my passion for the environment and animals. Growing up, she often read me and my sister books pertaining to current environmental news. She also showed me how hard work and dedication can pay off even if it may not seem like it in the beginning.

Why South Africa? The main reason I decided on South Africa is due to how different it is than the United States. I knew that going here would give me completely new perspectives and open my mind to new experiences. Going to South Africa also seemed to perfectly combine the topics that I am interested in and studying.

What are you most looking forward to? While I am more focused on the environmental side rather than the anthropogenic side, the thing I am really looking forward to is the homestay. I have not ever done a homestay, so I am very interested to see how simple to complex daily tasks vary. On a less specific side, I am excited to experience new cultures and languages and see how these cultures influence my behavior.

One of the most fulfilling thing to me is making human connections. While I am in South Africa, I hope to form connections with many different types of people. This will not only bring me joy, but also allow me to learn about individuals.

Lina Ware   Artistic | Friendly | Curious   Who is your personal hero?  An artist whom i follow on social media for numerous years has taught me that it is ok to be yourself and embrace your mistakes. Though this may not be quite what many define as a “hero”, she has given me hope and inspiration for a fiery passion that I thought would be better off being stomped out.   Why South Africa?  Other study abroad opportunities seem quite tame and though I am sure they would be marvelous to see, Africa seems like a better and more grand learning experience! Also professor Bunn is very good at persuading students to go on this trip   What are you most looking forward to?  WILDLIFE! I hope to see a variety of species (plant, animal, and invertebrate) while exploring Africa! My favorite animal is a bat (specifically the hoary bat) so i hope to see some megachiroptera while I’m there! I also am very excited to meet the local people and learn about their cultures and social atmospheres! I feel that i have been raised with a lot of misinformation (no malicious intent from my peers, they were raised with even more misinformation) about how these cultures really look, and would like to experience them myself!   What do you hope to accomplish?  I hope to come back to America with a broader perspective on people, wildlife, and culture. I hope that I can take what I’ve learned and apply it to my everyday life as well as my future career. I also hope to be able to help those who need help when I visit in some way to thank them for accepting me into their cultures.  (I’m the one in the middle being squished :))

Lina Ware

Artistic | Friendly | Curious

Who is your personal hero? An artist whom i follow on social media for numerous years has taught me that it is ok to be yourself and embrace your mistakes. Though this may not be quite what many define as a “hero”, she has given me hope and inspiration for a fiery passion that I thought would be better off being stomped out.

Why South Africa? Other study abroad opportunities seem quite tame and though I am sure they would be marvelous to see, Africa seems like a better and more grand learning experience! Also professor Bunn is very good at persuading students to go on this trip

What are you most looking forward to? WILDLIFE! I hope to see a variety of species (plant, animal, and invertebrate) while exploring Africa! My favorite animal is a bat (specifically the hoary bat) so i hope to see some megachiroptera while I’m there! I also am very excited to meet the local people and learn about their cultures and social atmospheres! I feel that i have been raised with a lot of misinformation (no malicious intent from my peers, they were raised with even more misinformation) about how these cultures really look, and would like to experience them myself!

What do you hope to accomplish? I hope to come back to America with a broader perspective on people, wildlife, and culture. I hope that I can take what I’ve learned and apply it to my everyday life as well as my future career. I also hope to be able to help those who need help when I visit in some way to thank them for accepting me into their cultures.

(I’m the one in the middle being squished :))

Madison MacKenzie   Adventurous | Creative | Curious   Who is your personal hero?  I think one of the most incredible women is Penny Chenery. For those that don’t know, she was the owner of Secretariat, winner of the Triple Crown, and arguably the greatest racehorse that ever lived. I look up to her because she persevered through difficult times and accomplished things no one thought she could.   Why South Africa?  This story starts back in my sophomore year of college. At this point, I had been questioning whether I was in the right major for a long time and had met with many advisors to hopefully find where I should be. Nothing had jumped out at me and I went on to the study abroad fair to see if there were any unique opportunities. After collecting at least, a dozen brochures from various universities, I came across the table for the ‘Communities and Conservation in South Africa’ program. It was there that I discovered the major known as Ecosystem Science and Sustainability. After hearing what I would do and experience in South Africa, I knew I needed to go. In the coming weeks I found myself constantly looking at the ESS major and finally decided to change my major for the second time. I know I could not have made a better decision.   What are you most looking forward to?  I am looking forward to working with like-minded individuals to learn about the complex social-ecological systems in South Africa. I hope to be able to take knowledge I have learned in the classroom and apply it in the field. I am looking forward to expanding my worldview and discovering a culture unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.   What do you hope to accomplish?  I hope to bring back knowledge and experiences to use throughout my life. I am eager to gain as much knowledge as I can about conservation in South Africa. I also hope to discover something that may inspire my future career path.

Madison MacKenzie

Adventurous | Creative | Curious

Who is your personal hero? I think one of the most incredible women is Penny Chenery. For those that don’t know, she was the owner of Secretariat, winner of the Triple Crown, and arguably the greatest racehorse that ever lived. I look up to her because she persevered through difficult times and accomplished things no one thought she could.

Why South Africa? This story starts back in my sophomore year of college. At this point, I had been questioning whether I was in the right major for a long time and had met with many advisors to hopefully find where I should be. Nothing had jumped out at me and I went on to the study abroad fair to see if there were any unique opportunities. After collecting at least, a dozen brochures from various universities, I came across the table for the ‘Communities and Conservation in South Africa’ program. It was there that I discovered the major known as Ecosystem Science and Sustainability. After hearing what I would do and experience in South Africa, I knew I needed to go. In the coming weeks I found myself constantly looking at the ESS major and finally decided to change my major for the second time. I know I could not have made a better decision.

What are you most looking forward to? I am looking forward to working with like-minded individuals to learn about the complex social-ecological systems in South Africa. I hope to be able to take knowledge I have learned in the classroom and apply it in the field. I am looking forward to expanding my worldview and discovering a culture unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.

What do you hope to accomplish? I hope to bring back knowledge and experiences to use throughout my life. I am eager to gain as much knowledge as I can about conservation in South Africa. I also hope to discover something that may inspire my future career path.

Lindsay Cocotis   Outgoing |Optimistic|Conservationist.   Who is your personal hero?  My personal heroes are my parents because they both grew to be such strong and independent individuals with more love for people than anyone I’ve ever met. They encourage me to be the best version of myself today and stay true to myself and what I believe in. My parents have truly shaped me into the person I am proud to say I am today.   Why South Africa?  I chose South Africa because it’s been one of the top places I’ve wanted to travel to all growing up. I’m so fascinated with the ecosystems and the culture. Africa is one of those places you always here about but hardly anyone ever gets to travels there and I wanted to be one of the people lucky enough to see it with my own eyes. Not only to see up close and personal the gorgeous and exotic animals but also to meet and interact with the locals who live such a simple but fullfilling and refreshing life and I want to be able to learn from them myself.   What are you most looking forward to?  I’m looking forward to every single aspect of this trip but most importantly working on my life’s mission to really make a difference in our world today. I’m looking forward to getting the hands on experience to learn exactly what needs to be done to contribute to the restoration and preservation of these habitats as well as whatever we can do to help to improve the lives of these rural and genuine communities.   What do you hope to accomplish?  I hope to accomplish each of these personal goals not only throughout the trip but also also during the years after my return. I hope to get deeply involved with the new Non-Profit Pivotal Places and spend the rest of the academic and professional career combating this inequality and most importantly the issue of climate change.

Lindsay Cocotis

Outgoing |Optimistic|Conservationist.

Who is your personal hero? My personal heroes are my parents because they both grew to be such strong and independent individuals with more love for people than anyone I’ve ever met. They encourage me to be the best version of myself today and stay true to myself and what I believe in. My parents have truly shaped me into the person I am proud to say I am today.

Why South Africa? I chose South Africa because it’s been one of the top places I’ve wanted to travel to all growing up. I’m so fascinated with the ecosystems and the culture. Africa is one of those places you always here about but hardly anyone ever gets to travels there and I wanted to be one of the people lucky enough to see it with my own eyes. Not only to see up close and personal the gorgeous and exotic animals but also to meet and interact with the locals who live such a simple but fullfilling and refreshing life and I want to be able to learn from them myself.

What are you most looking forward to? I’m looking forward to every single aspect of this trip but most importantly working on my life’s mission to really make a difference in our world today. I’m looking forward to getting the hands on experience to learn exactly what needs to be done to contribute to the restoration and preservation of these habitats as well as whatever we can do to help to improve the lives of these rural and genuine communities.

What do you hope to accomplish? I hope to accomplish each of these personal goals not only throughout the trip but also also during the years after my return. I hope to get deeply involved with the new Non-Profit Pivotal Places and spend the rest of the academic and professional career combating this inequality and most importantly the issue of climate change.

Haiven Furbush   Curious |   Collaborative |   Open-Minded   Who is your personal hero?  My personal hero is my mother. She has endured many hardships in her lifetime and continues to be passionate about living life to the fullest. She makes the most of everyday and has taught me to appreciate all aspects of life no matter how small or how difficult it may be. My mother loving, caring, and giving, and I hope to one day make an impact on others as she has.   Why South Africa?  Honestly, this opportunity sort of fell in my lap and was a last minute (spontaneous) decision - like a lot of things in my life. However, I knew I had to go to South Africa because I have some family history there, and I want to be a part of that and formulate my own love and understanding of the country. I never thought I would actually be able to go, and I am so thankful Professor David Bunn came and presented in one of my classes.   What are you most looking forward to?  I am eager to learn, see, hear, and experience as much as I possibly can in order to broaden my understanding of the natural world - personally, culturally, and scientifically. While in South Africa, I know I will have this opportunity to fulfill my inquiries by increasing my knowledge on the field work involved in conservation and the impacts it has on the surrounding communities. I am also looking forward to form strong bonds with the others on this trip, in order to engage in strong collaborative efforts within the research, and most importantly gain a new outlook and appreciation of a culture very different from my own.

Haiven Furbush

Curious | Collaborative | Open-Minded

Who is your personal hero? My personal hero is my mother. She has endured many hardships in her lifetime and continues to be passionate about living life to the fullest. She makes the most of everyday and has taught me to appreciate all aspects of life no matter how small or how difficult it may be. My mother loving, caring, and giving, and I hope to one day make an impact on others as she has.

Why South Africa? Honestly, this opportunity sort of fell in my lap and was a last minute (spontaneous) decision - like a lot of things in my life. However, I knew I had to go to South Africa because I have some family history there, and I want to be a part of that and formulate my own love and understanding of the country. I never thought I would actually be able to go, and I am so thankful Professor David Bunn came and presented in one of my classes.

What are you most looking forward to? I am eager to learn, see, hear, and experience as much as I possibly can in order to broaden my understanding of the natural world - personally, culturally, and scientifically. While in South Africa, I know I will have this opportunity to fulfill my inquiries by increasing my knowledge on the field work involved in conservation and the impacts it has on the surrounding communities. I am also looking forward to form strong bonds with the others on this trip, in order to engage in strong collaborative efforts within the research, and most importantly gain a new outlook and appreciation of a culture very different from my own.