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Otterbein Commencement Features First Zoo and Conservation Science Graduating Class

April 28, 2016
Otterbein University

WESTERVILLE, Ohio - Otterbein University Commencement marks the end of a Cardinal’s academic career, but the beginning of a bright, new future as well.

On Saturday, April 30, Otterbein welcomed 119 master's candidates and nine doctorate candidates into the alumni family. On Sunday, May 1, Otterbein welcomed 478 new bachelor's candidates, too. 

Donna James, managing director of Lardon & Associates, LLC, served as the undergraduate commencement speaker. Kerrie Adams, senior director of enterprise analytics at Lowe’s and 1998 graduate of Otterbein, was the graduate commencement speaker. 

Also at this year’s commencement, Otterbein University graduated its first class of Zoo and Conservation Science majors. There were 16 students in all receiving their degree this year and the program will have a full cohort of 24 at the 2017 commencement proceedings.

A hallmark of the Zoo and Conservation Science program is how students are hired immediately upon graduation by the best conservation organizations and zoos in the country, with more interviewing and receiving offers every day. Several students will be working and studying at elite institutions in the industry, including:

  • Macie Smith (Beavercreek, Ohio) - Walt Disney's Animal Kingdom
  • Meaghan Graver (Enon, Ohio) - San Diego Zoo
  • Rachel Dalton (Blacklick, Ohio) - The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Mollie Kemp (Clear Spring, Maryland) - Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

In addition to these graduating seniors, many rising stars in the class of 2017 have been hired to intern at the San Diego Zoo Conservation Biology Institute, White Oak Conservation Center and the Ohio Wildlife Center.

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