CentreTerm and the Louisville Zoo
RELEASED: Jan. 25, 2007
DANVILLE, KY—For all Centre College students, CentreTerm means personal, in-depth, engaged learning beyond the norm. For those students who choose to complete internships, the CentreTerm experience takes them outside the classroom and into work settings that are sometimes new and exotic. This January, Kim Burke '08, a psychology major from Fairdale, Ky., had just that experience.
Working as a zookeeper assistant at the Louisville Zoological Garden, Burke had the opportunity to work with gorillas, gibbons and pygmy hippos. During the four-week internship, she participated in feeding, cleaning and diet preparation. She also observed training sessions in which she was in close proximity to the animals at all times.
"The most rewarding part of my internship was the face-to-face time I got to spend with all of the animals I worked with," Burke says. "I enjoyed getting to work with them in such a close context and getting to learn more about their differing attitudes and behaviors from observing them and from the information the keepers could give me."
Centre has had a formal partnership with the Louisville Zoo since 1999. This special relationship allows students to engage in research and interact closely with the animals.
"We [Centre and the Zoo] have common interests in education, research and conservation," says Dr. Brent White, Matton Professor of Psychology and Burke's faculty sponsor. "During this academic year, the animal behavior, conservation biology and natural science II classes have each spent a day at the zoo learning about the husbandry and conservation programs for several animal species. The summer and CentreTerm internships allow individual students to explore careers in animal science.
"During her internship, Kim has worked with keepers who are highly skilled at training and monitoring endangered animals like orangutans and gorillas. The zoo is a valuable resource, providing internship opportunities in areas as diverse as animal husbandry, horticulture, institutional administration, exotic veterinary care and nonprofit development."
"After graduation, I'm not completely sure of what I want to do, but something along the lines of working with animals would be ideal," Burke says. "If the zoo-keeping route is what I decide to pursue, then this internship has given me necessary background information on what the job entails and how to get where I want to go, as well."Under The Centre Commitment, students who meet the College's academic and social expectations are guaranteed an internship, study abroad and graduation in four years. Internships provide the perfect opportunity to combine academic study and real life situations.
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