Wildlife Major Wins Hearst Award - Humboldt State Now

Wildlife Major Wins Hearst Award

Arcata - Humboldt State University undergraduate Rani Ram will receive a $3,000 scholarship as one of 23 winners statewide of the 2008-2009 William Randolph Hearst/California State University (CSU) Trustees Award for Outstanding Achievement.

Rani Ram received the 2008 William Randolph Hearst/California State University (CSU) Trustees Award for Outstanding Achievement.

Ms. Ram now will compete with her 22 CSU counterparts for an additional scholarship of either $10,000 or $6,000, contingent on scores made by an official selection committee.

The initial $3,000 scholarship assists financially distressed students who demonstrate superior academic performance with a minimum 3.0 GPA average and outstanding volunteer community service. The award also recognizes those who have achieved success in spite of severe personal hardship.

Ms. Ram’s academic field is wildlife conservation and anthropology. She is a campus volunteer with HSU’s Global Connections Club and a community volunteer at Sequoia Park Zoo in Eureka, where she provides environmental education and animal care. She won the 2007 Morris K. Udall Scholarship for environmental achievement.

A native of Los Angeles, Ms. Ram traveled to South Africa and Kruger National Park to earn her certification from the Field Guild Association, dealing with poaching and wildlife population management.

She plans a career in world conservation, serving as a liaison between wildlife and human indigenous and urban populations.

“I aspire to bridge the gap between science and the humanities, to research how human encroachment affects wildlife behavior and populations,” Ms. Ram says. “By combining field techniques in wildlife management such as population counts, radio collaring and habitat management with an academic background in sustainable resource alternatives and cultural understanding, I will have the full spectrum of tools necessary to engage in a future career in international conservation.”

Ms. Ram is a recent transfer student to HSU and performed community service in Los Angeles, where she worked at Wildlife Waystation and the Agoura Hills Animal Shelter.

Of her experiences at Sequoia Park Zoo, she says they are rewarding not only because of her proximity to the animals but also because “in such a small zoo, my contribution has a greater impact on the welfare of the animals and the engagement of the surrounding community, on a scale one could not hope to dent in Los Angeles.”

Ms. Ram is the first-generation daughter of an unemployed immigrant, a minority female in the sciences and a survivor of serious medical problems. “I understand all too well the challenges that face low-income minority students,” she says.