For Kaitlin Studer, one of her most memorable experiences as a McMaster Scholar was working with Ivan Gillett of the Programme for Belize to create and publish a children’s book on the plight of the endangered yellow-headed parrot. “Being able to publish a children’s book and hand Ivan a copy was so exciting!” she recalls. “It was a very humbling and proud moment for me.” Copies of the book were passed out in schools on the periphery of the Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area of Belize. “It was incredible to see all of the kids’ faces as they understood that this was their book, not only brand-new, but about a parrot they see flying in the wild every day.”
Kaitlin, who now works as a veterinary technician at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, believes her career path wouldn’t be what it is without her Defiance College experiences, particularly her trips to and work in Belize.
She was able to hone some specific skills through her McMaster and Honors program experiences, including “being able to roll with the punches and adapt to any situation.” Kaitlin learned to work as a member of a team. “I also learned when to be a leader, when to be a follower, and when to be a listener.”