Haywood Community College Fish and Wildlife students recently gathered at a special ceremony to learn the recipients of the 2014 Dave Dudek Wildlife Award. Justin Hill and Lisa Marie Norvill will both receive a $250 scholarship and another honor to add to their resumes.  

The award is named for retired Fish and Wildlife instructor and the founding advisor of the HCC student chapter of The Wildlife Society, Dave Dudek.

According to Dudek, “It is a very deep honor for me to have my name associated with this award. HCC Natural Resources graduates are hired nationwide due to the dedication of the instructors and the willingness of the students to devote their time and energy to become professionals in this field.”

Over the last 10 years, the HCC student chapter of The Wildlife Society and the North Carolina Chapter of The Wildlife Society has raised $15,000 to create the Dave Dudek Wildlife Award, a scholarship fund to support the education of HCC Fish and Wildlife Management Technology students. The fund has now been endowed by the HCC Foundation.

The award is presented to two Fish and Wildlife students who are on track to graduate in the following spring. The award is designed to recognize outstanding leadership, scholarship, and dedication to the wildlife management profession.

Applicants are scored on their current grade point average; chapter involvement with events such as Big Sweep and Forest Festival Day; and professional development through volunteer experience at natural resource conservation agencies.

In addition to the cash award, student names will be engraved on a plaque that will be displayed in the Arts, Sciences, and Natural Resources Department.

Norvill plans to enter the field immediately after graduating from HCC. She would like to continue her education with the long-term goal of becoming a certified wildlife biologist.

Norvill is interested in international work with hopes of one day working with birds. “I am Hispanic and speak Spanish fluently which is why I hope to be an excellent candidate to do work in Latin America. I am a novice at bird banding and have assisted well over 100 birds within 80 hours of volunteer work. I have grown a passion for working with them.”

Hill plans to transfer to NC State University to pursue a Bachelor’s degree. He hopes to also obtain a Master’s degree.

“I have learned valuable skills since I have been at Haywood,” he explains. “Not only have I learned technical skills, but gained leadership skills and learned the importance of our communities.” 

For more information about HCC’s Fish and Wildlife program or the HCC student chapter of The Wildlife Society, please call 627-4592.