Wendy Paterson ’09, a former Outstanding Senior Award recipient, is currently pursuing a remarkable career in varying locales.
Wendy was an environmental educator at the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge in Maine before helping with animal recovery efforts in Alabama following the 2010 Gulf oil spill.
A graduate assistant teaching introductory biology labs at Central Michigan University, Wendy originally aspired to be a zookeeper.
“Then [at Oswego] I was introduced to the scientific process and looking at the ecosystem as a whole as opposed to just taking care of the animal,” said Wendy, who is researching mussels in the Great Lakes.
Michigan must-visit: I just visited Grand Haven, Mich. I am involved with mussel research in the Grand River and we stayed in Grand Haven for the night. It is a beautiful location with lots of festivals, restaurants and outdoor entertainment.
Oswego must-take course: My two favorite courses at Oswego were “Wetland Ecology” taught by Dr. Eric Hellquist and “Forensic Anthropology.”
Lake Ontario or Rice Creek? That is a hard choice. Rice Creek was my home but Lake Ontario is my inspiration.
On campus or off? I lived on campus during every fall and spring semester. I like the convenience. I really liked living in Moreland my last year because
it was peaceful and you had your own room.
Favorite zoo animal: I am a big fan of otter exhibits because they are such playful animals. There are some very nice ones in New York including the Wild Center, the Ross Park Zoo and the Rosamond Gifford Zoo. A close second would be butterfly gardens and leaf cutter ants, which are often found together.
No. 1 pet: My favorite pet would be a dog. Thousands of years of artificial selection lead to the perfect pet.
A teaching assistant’s No. 1 pet peeve: Students not paying attention and not reading the syllabus. There are only so many times I can go over the content in the syllabus before I become annoyed.
No. 1 reason to attend Oswego: My best answer is diversity. There is a little bit of everything. It was an endless buffet in courses, clubs and events. I couldn’t take all the courses or join all the clubs I wanted to in just four years.
Last place you look: The place I put it so I would not lose it.
Great book: My favorite series is Harry Potter by JK Rowling and my favorite nonfiction book is The Song of the Dodo by David Quammen.