From the Desk of Dan Ashe

AZA Announces 2019 Scholarship Recipients

To continue to grow the zoo and aquarium profession, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums must equip our members' staffs with the tools and resources necessary to advance their careers. After all, the talented, dedicated individuals within the AZA community are our strongest asset. AZA's Professional Development Program offers high-quality training opportunities and resources to meet the evolving needs of the zoo and aquarium community.

AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums are on the cutting edge of every aspect of the zoological profession and lead groundbreaking work in conservation, science, animal management, and more.  They not only utilize the latest techniques, information, and tools available, but they also develop them.

One of AZA’s strategic promises is to empower zoo and aquarium professionals to be leaders in their field. To achieve this goal, AZA has invested in a robust, comprehensive professional development program offering high-quality training opportunities and resources to meet the evolving needs of the zoo and aquarium community.

AZA's Professional Development Courses form the foundation of the Professional Development Program and are overseen and administered by the Professional Development and Public Engagement Department staff and the AZA Professional Development Committee. These week-long, intensive courses are team-taught by experts from within the zoo and aquarium community to provide thorough and balanced coverage of the subject matter. Students learn the latest techniques, information, and tools available through discussion, group projects, and hands-on work to create an unequaled opportunity to network with the current and future leaders.

AZA currently offers its members 16 week-long courses across the nation, with the first course beginning in September. During the academic year, AZA course instructors educate between 400 and 450 students in classes ranging from population management to exhibit design, allowing them to forge their career path.

Each year, AZA offers scholarship opportunities to outstanding applicants that seek to further their career through AZA’s professional development courses. I am proud to announce the following scholarship recipients for 2019-2020:

Robert O. Wagner Scholarship: This merit-based scholarship is sponsored and managed by AZA to provide opportunities to individuals who demonstrate extensive involvement in AZA programs or other relevant conservation activities.
Recipient: Kerrie Kovaleski, Maryland Zoo in Baltimore

Gary Clarke & Clayton Freiheit Scholarship: This scholarship provides opportunities to individuals who demonstrate potential rising leadership within the zoo and aquarium industry.
Recipient: Jenifer Joseph, Dallas Zoo

Jeff Swanagan Memorial Scholarship: This scholarship is sponsored by the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and promotes Jeff Swanagan’s philosophy that you must “touch the heart to teach the mind.”
Recipient: Andrea (Andie) Anderson, The Florida Aquarium

Margaret A. Dankworth Management Scholarship: This scholarship providing leadership opportunities may be applied towards either Managing for Success: Career Development or Managing for Success: Organizational Development.
Recipient: Rachel Stein, Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk

Disney’s Animal Kingdom© Diversity Advancement Scholarship: As part of the AZA’s larger commitment to diversity, this scholarship is sponsored by Disney’s Animal Kingdom to provide support for the professional training for members of an underrepresented group within the zoo and aquarium movement.
Recipient: Lisa Lauderdale, Chicago Zoological Society - Brookfield Zoo

Emerging Aquarium Professional Tuition Scholarship: Current employees who have worked in an aquarium or related facility as a full-time, paid employee for less than five years may apply for this merit-based scholarship covering tuition for any non-management related AZA course.
Recipient: Dani Trussell, OdySea Aquarium

Emerging Zoo Professional Tuition Scholarship: Current employees who have worked in a zoo or related facility as a full-time, paid employee for less than five years may apply for this merit-based scholarship covering tuition for any non-management related AZA course.
Recipient: Michael Vanderwall, Zoo Miami

Professionals working at AZA-accredited facilities can apply for our scholarships beginning in mid-May, with all submissions due by mid-July. For more information on AZA’s Scholarship Program, please visit our scholarship page here: https://www.aza.org/scholarships.

AZA is committed to its strategic promise of empowering zoo and aquarium professionals to be leaders in their field. We will continue to look for ways to continue to help our members and, thus, the animals in their care, thrive. I encourage all members to take advantage of the professional opportunities offered through AZA, and thank those who have used their expertise to help our community learn and grow.

Posted by Ashley Jones at 9:00 AM

I Accept

This site uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience. If you continue using our website, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on this website and you agree to our Privacy Policy.

Find a Zoo or Aquarium Donate to AZA Contact Us Member Login Search the site