Meet Our FNR Ambassadors
FNR Ambassadors are student volunteers who share their passion for the department and Purdue with visitors to campus. Whether the visit is from a prospective student, alumnus, tour group, or one of the department’s many stakeholders, ambassadors assist in providing visitors with useful information, answering questions about the department’s programs, and showcasing the caring and inclusive atmosphere that is a hallmark of FNR.
Majors: Aquatic Sciences-Marine & Freshwater Biology
Hometown: Detroit, Michigan
Ask Me About: Greek life, out-of-state student, Purdue Equestrian Team, student clubs, pursuing a minor
I am a junior. Even though I just recently joined FNR, I love it and switching majors proved to be a fantastic decision. In addition to my FNR major, I’m also double minoring in political science and environmental policy. I am currently on the executive board of the Purdue Equestrian Team, I love Greek life and live in the Sigma Kappa sorority house, and I’m involved with undergraduate research on aquaponics and hydroponics. My favorite experience so far has been learning about dozens of fishes, amphibians, and reptiles through my FNR lab classes.
Name: Russell Duke
Majors: Forestry and Wildlife
Hometown: Evansville, Indiana
Ask Me About: Purdue All-American Marching Band, The Wildlife Society (TWS) club, undergrad research, changing majors, double majoring
I am a senior. I play the trumpet in the Purdue All-American Marching Band and serve as the reptiles and amphibians working group leader in The Wildlife Society. I currently work in a lab that researches the effects of manmade chemicals on aquatic food chains, in particular aquatic invertebrates and amphibians. A past research experience focused on the role of fire in oak regeneration and the effects of fire on amphibian populations. I hope to go to graduate school and conduct my own research in the future.
Hometown: Westfield, Indiana
Ask Me About: working in zoos, Purdue sports/campus life, exotic animals, environmental education, study tips, “The Nature of Wild Things” learning community, Summer Practicum
I am a senior who has loved everything FNR and Purdue has to offer. Summer Practicum in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan probably constitutes the best 5 weeks of my life. After I graduate this May, I will continue pursuing a career in zoo work. While the Wildlife major does not have a zoo focus, it provides lots of applicable information that can be applied to a variety of animal careers. Asking your professors, alumni, or upper-class students for advice or career opportunities is an excellent way to learn more about where the degree can take you. You can go many amazing places with this degree!
Name: Amanda Heltzel
Hometown: Akron, Indiana
Ask Me About: The Wildlife Society (TWS) club, study abroad, cooperative housing, undergrad research, pursuing a minor, career experience with federal agencies
I am a senior and currently serve as the president of the Purdue Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society. While at Purdue, I have been involved in cooperative life, Purdue concert bands, and undergraduate research. After my sophomore year, I studied abroad in Sweden for a month as a part of the Purdue FNR International Natural Resources program with the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and North Carolina State University. In addition, I have spent 2 summers working in the Hoosier National Forest (Bloomington, IN) and the Mark Twain National Forest (Van Buren, MO) as an avian field technician collecting data for various research projects and to inform reintroduction efforts for brown-headed nuthatches in Missouri.
Hometown: Terre Haute, Indiana
Ask Me About: The Wildlife Society (TWS) club, undergrad research, changing majors, pursuing a minor, serving as a teaching assistant, research technician, field research
I am a 5th year senior and have always been interested in anything nature: outer space, biology, ecology, etc. I have been through two major changes, initially beginning my college career in the College of Science pursuing Planetary Science, then switching to Biological Sciences, and finally coming to rest in Wildlife. Upon joining FNR, I began my love of birds, made some great friends, and have been given many employment and research opportunities, such as conducting breeding bird surveys and co-leading Purdue's Northern Saw-whet Owl Banding project. I plan to stay involved in research after graduation. One of my biggest lessons learned during my time at Purdue is that you must follow your heart and pursue what keeps you curious; it is okay to change your mind.
Name: Tabitha W. Olsen
Majors: Forestry and Wildlife
Hometown: Baltimore, Maryland
Ask Me About: undergrad research, double major, out-of-state student, avian ecology, “The Nature of Wild Things” learning community, career experience in consulting forestry
While I am from out of state, the tight-knit Forestry and Natural Resources Department always makes me feel at home. I’ve always been an avid bird watcher, so when I got the chance to co-lead our campus’ Northern Saw-whet Owl Banding Station I took advantage of this. Now, undergraduate research remains a big part of my Purdue experience and I even intend to pursue graduate school after I graduate in May. A word of advice: If you want something, do NOT be afraid to ask. Reach out to other students, staff, and faculty see what opportunities they have available. Get comfortable with putting yourself out there and taking advantage of every opportunity that comes your way!
Hometown: Brownsburg, Indiana
Ask Me About: Purdue Honors College, undergrad research, Christian community, dorm life, study tips, academic resources
I am a senior in Wildlife! My long-term goal is to work for a National Wildlife Refuge in the U.S. I love FNR because it is a close-knit community of people passionate about the same things. I have done undergraduate research and presented my work multiple times, which I never expected to do when I came to college! I am very involved in Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship and have loved growing in my faith while at college. I also work at the Academic Success Center and can speak to the many opportunities there are to receive academic support.
Name: Phoebe J. Soldi
Majors: Aquatic Sciences and Wildlife
Hometown: Peru, Indiana
Ask Me About: double majoring, Purdue All-American Marching Band, Greek life, changing majors
Upon getting to Purdue University, I was still unsure of what I wanted to do and decided to major in Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology in the College of Science. When I took a class titled Wildlife in America, I knew that my future was in the FNR department in the College of Agriculture. I am now a sophomore and have never reconsidered my decision of switching majors (except to add another one, of course!). Outside of the department, I play the tuba in the Purdue All-American Marching Band and am acting as a current sister of Tau Beta Sigma, the band service sorority. Within FNR and the tuba section, I was able to find like-minded people with similar interests to mine, and they are some of the closest friends I have made since arriving to campus! The most important advice that I think someone should know before coming to college is this: any experience is good experience. If you are offered the chance to try something unfamiliar to you, always say “Yes.” In my experience, the most rewarding opportunities are the ones I never saw coming.
Hometown: Valparaiso, Indiana
Ask Me About: Purdue Honors College, Greek Life, environmental education, undergrad research, on-campus jobs
Purdue is a very large campus but being in FNR has always made me feel more at home and like I have a community at this huge school. The faculty and my fellow students in FNR are some of my favorite people on campus and have all been amazing resources throughout my time here. I have always loved the outdoors and am so grateful for all the experiences I’ve had through my major, to learn so much about wildlife as well as the skills I’ve gained to teach others.
Name: Alexis Trumbower
Majors: Wildlife and Animal Sciences: Pre-Veterinary Medicine
Hometown: Fort Wayne, Indiana
Ask Me About: Greek life, pre-veterinary medicine, undergrad research, career change, Purdue Christian Campus House
I am a 5th year student who discovered Forestry and Natural Resources (FNR) late in my college career. I added a second major in Wildlife at the start of my senior year and I was so grateful to discover a career path that I was so passionate about. During my years at Purdue, I have been a part of Greek life, as a member of Alpha Omicron Pi, and attended Purdue Christian Campus House. I am involved in undergraduate research in FNR as a part of the Purdue Integrated Deer Management Project. My advice for students is to not be afraid of a career change later in college. It will be worth it because you may discover something new about yourself and find new opportunities in careers you didn’t know existed.
Majors: Aquatic Sciences-Marine & Freshwater Biology
Hometown: Island Lake, Illinois
Ask Me About: Asian American and Asian Resource and Cultural Center, Purdue Filipino Association, undergrad research outside of Purdue, out-of-state student, dorm life, “The Nature of Wild Things” learning community, conservation district work, study abroad, Purdue Honors College
I am a junior in the department. After I graduate, I plan to attend law school to study environmental law and work for a federal government agency or non-for-profit organization. I have really enjoyed getting hands-on experience in the field and learning aquatic sampling and identification techniques in my various classes, labs, and fall practicum. One of my favorite memories of being in FNR was from my first semester of freshman year when I joined the learning community and met many of my closest friends.
Name: Jordan Wolfred
Majors: Aquatic Sciences-Marine & Freshwater Biology
Hometown: Noblesville, Indiana
Ask Me About: Marine Biology Practicum, undergrad research, Purdue University Dance Marathon, changing majors, Student Chapter of Environmental Education (SCEE) club
My goal is to work in marine science conservation and education after I graduate. I have participated in some student clubs, including the Student Chapter of Environmental Education, the Purdue Student Chapter of the American Fisheries Society, and Purdue University Dance Marathon, that have really helped make great and long-lasting connections with other students in and outside of my major. For the past three years I have been working in an aquatic ecology lab, identifying aquatic insects. Because of this experience, I have thought about helping with research projects wherever I go after graduation.
Hometown: Marengo, Illinois
Ask Me About: FNR Student Council, out-of-state student, Student Chapter of Environmental Education (SCEE) club, LGBTQ+, on-campus jobs, serving as a teaching assistant
I started my journey here at Purdue as a Biology major in the College of Science, not sure of what I wanted to do after my undergrad. I ended up switching my major to Wildlife partway through my freshman year, after getting involved in SCEE and TWS within Forestry and Natural Resources. Taking steps to get involved and trying new things are a huge part of what made me realize Purdue FNR was the place for me. Throughout my time here in FNR, I have attended conferences, been a teaching assistant, learned hands-on skills, and practiced my outreach. I now realize that I want to go to graduate school for wildlife conservation, which I never would have discovered if I hadn’t gotten involved. Good luck, and don’t be afraid to try new things, you might accidentally find something you truly enjoy.
- Co-Advisor: Maria Leatherwood
- Co-Advisor: Robert Wagner
- President: Jada Laycock
- Vice President: Margo Taylor
- Secretary: Cole Wzientek
- Treasurer: Kirsten Adams
- Student Body Rep: Cody Moore
- Sophomore Rep: Emma Engel
- Advisor: Dr. Mitch Zischke
- President: Avery Matthews
- Vice President: Kirsten Adams
- Secretary: Chase Spaw
- Treasurer: Morgan Krell
- Ag Council Rep: TBD
- STUCO Rep: Brynna Buckmaster
- Outreach Officer: Jonah Switzer
- Grad Student Reps: Spencer Gardner,
Forest Products Society is a world leader in technical information transfer to further the socially beneficial use of wood and fiber resources. Society members represent a broad range of professional interests, including private and public research and development, industrial management and production, marketing, education, government, engineering, and consulting.
- Advisor: Dr. Rado Gazo
- President: Lauren Altum
- Vice President: Charles Warner
- Secretary: Claire Mizutani
- Treasurer: Laura Barrett
The purpose of the Purdue Student Society of Arboriculture is to advance the science, technology, education, and practice of urban forestry, arboriculture, and related fields and to use the knowledge and skill of the profession to benefit the members and society.
- Advisor: Lindsey Purcell
- President: Zach Nemeth
- Vice-President: Wesley Taner
- Secretary/StuCo Rep: Jonathan Shimizu
- Treasurer: Lina Bernabe
- Social Media Coordinator: Tabitha Wyant
The mission of Society of American Foresters is to advance the science, education, technology, and practice of forestry; to enhance the competency of its members; to establish professional excellence; and to use the knowledge, skills, and conservation ethic of the profession to ensure the continued health and use of forest ecosystems and the present and future availability of forest resources to benefit society.
Purdue University Forestry & Natural Resources continues to receive accreditation by the Society of American Foresters (SAF) Committee on Accreditation (COA), which determines if the degree program option meets SAF accreditation standards for mission, goals and objectives, program organization and administration, students, parent-institution support, curriculum, and faculty. FNR has also received the Society of American Foresters' accreditation of postsecondary degree-granting programs in forestry, urban forestry, natural resources and ecosystem management, and forest technology.
- Advisor: Dr. Mike Jenkins
- President: Madison Kresse
- Vice President: Andrew O’Connor
- Secretary: Daniel Hillman
- Treasurer: Eric McDonald
- Firewood Chair: Joseph Dreiman
The mission of the Student Chapter of Environmental Education is to provide Purdue University students with opportunities to educate Indiana citizens, including youth, landowners, and other stakeholder groups about natural resources.
- Advisor: Megan Gunn
- President: Madison Neher
- Vice President: Isabelle Staph
- Treasurer: Cole Wzientek
- Secretary: Gretchen Weliever
- StuCo Rep: Lilly Hannon
- New Chapter Liaison: Skyeler Sumrall
The mission of The Wildlife Society is to enhance the ability of wildlife professionals to conserve diversity, sustain productivity, and ensure responsible use of wildlife resources for the benefit of society. Student members have opportunities to practice using wildlife techniques, meet wildlife professionals, and participate in excursions to gain hands-on wildlife experience.
- Advisor: Dr. Liz Flaherty
- Graduate Student Advisor: Jonathan Brooks
- President: Russell Duke
- Vice President: Madison Kresse
- Treasurer: Ashlanna Murray
- Secretary: Alex Dudley
- FNR StuCo Rep: Lauren Wetterau
- Birds WG Leader: Keegan Abeson
- Mammals WG Leader: Charlotte Peterkin
- Herps WG Leader: Paul Chambon
- Huntging WG Leader: Kevin Kinser-McBee