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Undergraduate Student

Michaela Wenger

Natural Resources Conservation

Expected Graduation Date: May 2017

  • Minors: Forestry and American Indian Studies

Growing up in suburban Connecticut didn’t leave me with many opportunities for grand outdoor adventures, but I certainly made do with what I had. My sisters and I would spend hours every day exploring the woods behind my house and playing at the park down the road. When I wasn’t running around getting dirty, I parked myself in front of the television and watched Animal Planet and the Discovery Channel. Of course not every elementary schooler shared the same taste in hobbies, so I was labeled early on as a future veterinarian or environmental activist.

My family has been a great influence on me and my love of nature — my father taught me to appreciate it, and my grandmother taught me to respect it. My great grandfather was born on a Chippewa reservation in Michigan, and my grandmother often told stories of how Native Americans interact with the environment and how the attitude towards nature prevalent among our population is far removed from the ideals of Native Americans. Her stories sparked my fascination with Native Americans as stakeholders in natural resource conflicts and led me to add a minor in American Indian studies.

Prior to my freshman year, I participated in the Virginia Tech Summer Academy, a transitional program for incoming students. The following summer I was a peer mentor for the program, and this past summer I was one of two selected to be a head peer mentor. From this experience, I was able to develop many leadership and communication skills in addition to learning a lot about myself. My hope is that the Leadership Institute will help me develop a unique leadership style based on my strengths and weaknesses. I also look forward to the networking opportunities and learning about potential career paths.

Honors and Awards

  • Golden Key International Honour Society
  • The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi
  • Champion International Corporation Scholarship
  • Donaldson Brown Scholarship
  • Evelyn Thomas Scholarship
  • Timberland Management and Investment Scholarship
  • Dean’s List, fall 2013, fall 2014, spring 2015

25th Anniversary

Celebrating 25 Years

    1992 through 2017, 25 years

Join us Sept. 15-16 to visit campus and reconnect with alumni, faculty, staff, and friends.

Celebrate with Us

Read the Summer Newsmagazine

    CNRE Newsmagazine Spring 2017

Select a Major

We have 11 majors for you to choose from with over 10 options to specialize in. Select yours now and join us in bringing the future to nature.