Haywood Community College


Contacts: Debra M. Davis, Diana S. Conard

185 Freedlander Drive

Clyde, NC 28721

828-627-4521 Fax: 828-627-4513

Date: 4-11-06

For immediate release.


Haywood Community College Fish and Wildlife Management Technology student Shane Billings was recently awarded the Ken Wilson Memorial Award by the North Carolina Wildlife Society, as well as winning first place in the 2006 Southeastern Wildlife Conclave essay contest. As a result, the essay will be published nationally in The Wildlife Society Bulletin. Billings also received first, second, and third place in the painting category at the conclave.

Billings is president of the HCC student chapter of The Wildlife Society. Originally from Wilkes County, he moved to Waynesville to attend HCC.

"HCC has an exemplary crew of instructors," Billings said. "Their hearts and minds are in their jobs. They know the business inside and out, from every angle and aspect."

The Ken Wilson Memorial Award is based on academic performance, contributions to research, work projects that contribute to state wildlife conservation efforts, and other accomplishments.

Billings was nominated for the award by HCC fish and wildlife instructor Dave Dudek. "Shane has consistently exhibited a strong work ethic," Dudek explains. "He is a well-respected, energetic organizer who inspires active involvement. He leads by example."

The topic of the essay for the conclave was "Trade Off: Should Conservation Dollars be Spent on Habitat Acquisition or Enhancement?"

"I was extremely surprised when I found out I won," Billings said. "I was pleased and honored."

Billings is married and works full-time while attending school full-time. He came back to school to study something he feels passionate about. Since enrolling at HCC, he has been on the Dean's List each semester and maintains a 4.0 grade point average.

Billings volunteers with the Take a Kid Fishing program and stream clean up efforts. He has workshop certifications in Project Wild, Aquatic Wild, CATCH Program (Caring for Aquatics Through Conservation Habits), and ALL Taxa BioInventory. He is currently pursuing a North Carolina Environmental Education certificate and will be volunteering as an intern as a creel clerk for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Billings will finish HCC in May. "I have enjoyed how HCC is small," he said. "It doesn't have the hustle and bustle of a big campus. It feels like home."

(Photo by Debra M. Davis) attached:

Cutline: Shane Billings, HCC Fish and Wildlife Technology student, is shown with one of several awards he has received recently in his field of study.