I am very honored to be the 2011-2012 Fenske Fellowship recipient. I have always loved fish and the outdoors and I feel very fortunate that I am able to pursue those passions as a lifelong career. Being able to follow in the footsteps of Jan’s legacy is both humbling and inspirational. She forever changed Michigan’s fisheries management system and opened the door for all women who dream of having an influential role in state natural resources management. I only hope that one day I may be able to make as great of a lasting and positive impact as Jan did on this field.
For my Fenske project I am reviewing different aquatic nuisance species risk assessment models to hopefully provide the Michigan DNR, and maybe even other Great Lakes states, with the tools necessary to accurately assess the impact of potential invasive species on the Great Lakes. Being a part of this Fellowship has given me the opportunity to network with professionals outside of just an academic setting. Attending various meetings and conferences has allowed me to see firsthand different management and policy making processes, which I would not have been able to participate in without this Fellowship. One of the great things about not just my research, but this program in general, is that you can work on any project you are interested in and it is very likely that it will result in some type of real-world implementation. If your goal is to make a difference, then this Fellowship is the perfect place to start. I have learned that being a part of Jan’s legacy is not just about research, it’s about building lifelong connections with people and creating a support group so that you have the strength to achieve any goal you can dream of. I feel very privileged to be associated with such a unique and special group of women and encourage anyone who is interested to apply for this Fellowship.