The Haywood Community College Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2016 Dave Dudek Wildlife Award. HCC Fish and Wildlife Technology students Blake Ledbetter and Trevor Walker will both receive a $500 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. 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.

Ledbetter will continue his education at North Carolina State University after finishing HCC where he will study Wildlife Biology. He then plans to pursue a graduate degree.

“My goal in a wildlife management profession is to express a passion for wildlife and nature that transcends into others,” Ledbetter says. “I want to show people the importance of protecting and caring for the living world around us.”

Walker also plans to continue his education at North Carolina State University to take the Wildlife Program after finishing HCC. He would like to become a Wildlife Biologist.

“At my high school, the Future Farmers of America advisor and animal science teacher told me about Haywood Community College. I quickly applied here and was accepted.” Walker explains. “This was the best decision of my life! I have been exposed to so much hands-on work. This school has also allowed me to form multiple connections with potential employers across numerous states.”

For Ledbetter, finishing HCC will make him the first person in his family to graduate from college. “This is a legacy and standard I would love to leave behind in my family. Receiving this award will also help me with future opportunities in my life and push me that much closer to achieving what I thought I never could.”

Walker also recognizes the importance of winning the Dave Dudek Award. “Even though the thought of all I have to do is scary, this award gives me the courage to take it all on and come out on top.”

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

Photo by Aaron Mabry. Haywood Community College recently awarded two Fish and Wildlife Management students the 2016 Dave Dudek Wildlife Award. The award is named for retired Fish and Wildlife instructor and founding HCC student chapter of The Wildlife Society advisor, Dave Dudek. Pictured left to right are: HCC President Dr. Barbara Parker; Dave Dudek; Blake Ledbetter, HCC Fish and Wildlife Management student and 2016 Dave Dudek Award winner; Trevor Walker, HCC Fish and Wildlife Management student and 2016 Dave Dudek Award winner; and Shannon Rabby, HCC Fish and Wildlife Lead Instructor.