College of agriculture student earns UW student achievement internationalization award

International awareness and conservation drive graduate student Megan Wilson, winner of the 2014 University of Wyoming International Board of Advisors’ Excellence in Student Achievement in Internationalization Award.

Wilson will be recognized Saturday, April 5, at the Hilton Garden Inn in Laramie.

After receiving her master’s in entomology, Wilson is pursuing a Ph.D. in ecology emphasizing insect ecology. Her research focuses on international conservation biology and ecology in the high-elevation tropical cloud forest.

She has served the past two summers as a graduate teaching assistant for UW’s Cloud Forest Ecology in Ecuador class taught by Professor Scott Shaw and Professor Greg Brown.

“For the Ecuador classes, Ms. Wilson’s role goes well beyond mere academic instruction,” explains Brown. “While there, she serves as a friend, colleague, travel agent, trip planner, camp counselor, and ‘den mother’ for all the students.”

Wilson also guides Wyoming K-12 students through UW’s Insect Museum and helps maintain the living insect zoo. Through this she has met hundreds of students from across Wyoming and always promotes international scientific study.

She shares her passion for global research and travel as a teaching assistant for Biology as Culture, an introductory zoology course; as vice president of the Wyoming Entomology Club; as a member of Gamma Sigma Delta, the Agricultural Honor Society; and Beta Beta Beta, the Biological Honor Society. She encourages students to have at least one international travel experience in their UW careers.

One nominator described the attributes qualifying Wilson for this honor: “Ms. Wilson is an exceptionally smart, adventuresome, enthusiastic, and pleasant graduate student, deeply involved in international activities, who exemplifies all the criteria for this award.”