For animal studies, biology, and psychology major Oliver Rogers ’23, the best part of his Muskingum University education is that “the professors care about both your academic and student life. They look out for you, help you find opportunities, and support you in your academic field, activities, and leadership.”
Oliver came to Muskingum from the American School in Japan, where his parents were teachers. “I knew I wanted to attend college in the United States, so I researched animal behavior programs and found Muskingum’s program, which is highly ranked [#6 of the Top 15 Most Affordable Animal Behavior Degree Programs by nonprofitcolleges.com]. I visited campus during winter break of my junior year in high school, and I met with Dr. Jim Dooley and Dr. Danny Ingold. That sealed the deal for me, meeting the professors, seeing the labs, and learning about the hands-on opportunities with The Wilds.”
After conducting summer 2021 grassland birds research with Dr. Dooley and Dr. Ingold, Oliver traveled to Kenya in mid-July to work as a volunteer at the Naboisho Conservancy for the “Big Cat Wildlife Research and Conservation Project” sponsored by African Impact. “Naboisho borders the Maasai Mara National Reserve, which is one of the most important wildlife conservation areas in Africa,” Oliver notes. “Our work focused on data collection, completing game counts and sightings of big cats, predators, and elephants. We also cleared invasive plant species, built roads to support ecotourism, and built erosion fences. It was a fantastic experience!”
Oliver is a campus leader, serving as the President of two student organizations: the Animal Connections Club and the Outdoor Initiative & Recreation Club. Animal Connections sponsors volunteer experiences to help animals and the humans who care for them – with organizations such the Zanesville Humane Society – as well as animal-based student activities such as horseback riding at The Wilds. Outdoor Initiative & Recreation provides students with outdoor activities including zip-lining, white-water rafting, skiing, hiking, and camping. Oliver also serves as a student supervisor for the Chess Center’s Campus Recreation intramural program.
Campus Recreation and the Outdoor Initiative & Recreation Club co-sponsored the recent Relay For Life on campus, along with Theta Phi Alpha and Kappa Sigma. More than 100 students participated on October 23, 2021, raising nearly $5000 for the American Cancer Society. The event included a 6-hour walk-a-thon on the campus track, as well as a ceremony of remembrance to honor survivors and those who have lost their battle with cancer. “We were very happy with the campus support we received, and we hope to make the Relay For Life an annual event,” Oliver said.