Pioneer Profile

John Wilcox '17

Major: Animal Behavior
Minor: Photography

What made you choose this major?

I’ve always had a love for animals. I decided I wanted to dedicate the rest of my life to improving animal welfare and protecting our ecosystem’s health. Animal behavior will help me conduct research to better animals' lives, as well as be able to observe their behaviors and spot if they are in good physical and mental condition.

How has what you’ve learned prepared you for your future?

I’ve learned how to conduct research and properly analyze it to improve an animal’s welfare. In addition, I learned how to read behaviors of animals and why they behave that way in the wild. In my last two internships with big cats, I was very prepared to work with them, understand if they were stressed or needed attention, and make sure they could be cared for appropriately.

What opportunities have you had to work closely with a faculty member and what impact has that had on your education?

The small class size is perfect and allows me to get to know the professors and have a better learning experience. There are many faculty who have had an impact on me, but the two that come to mind are Dr. Matthew Scheel and Dr. Susan Lewis. They helped me on my research projects and pushed me to better myself and do more than I probably realized I could.

What’s one of the most unique experiences you’ve had relating to the coursework for your major?

The most unique experience I had was in a lab, when we got to work hand-in-hand with the Milwaukee County Zoo doing research for Biology 417. We were determining if nocturnal animals exhibit more behaviors in red light than they do in blue light. We concluded red lighting is better, and now all exhibit lights for nocturnal animals are red.

How has Carroll enriched your growth as a person outside of the skills you’re learning in the classroom?

I’m a photography minor and a swimmer. I’ve had time to do both and still have a social life.

Why did you choose to attend Carroll University?

I’m happy with my pick of Carroll because of the small class sizes and how close it is to home. The animal behavior major is relatively new and the field is still developing, but I see a bright future for it and I’m happy I picked that major.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Carroll is a small school, but this allows you to get to know a lot of the students and make effective study groups, homework partners and friends.

Learn more about the Animal Behavior program

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