Voices of the Plains: Experiences as a BIPOC scientist & voices of refugee communities (2 parts)
A monthly series hosted by the Center for Great Plains Studies Graduate Fellows. This installment will highlight the ongoing work of groups involved in wildlife rescue and rehabilitation, pet rescue, and education. Part 1: Voices in Great Plains Conservation and International Ecosystems (45 minutes) In this part one, Jazmin Castillo will discuss the application of Great Plains habitat and natural resources conservation to international ecosystems, from the perspective of an early career BIPOC scientist. Castillo is a B.S. and M.S. graduate of the School of Natural Resources at UNL. She did her master's research on hyena population dynamics in Botswana through a multidisciplinary National Science Foundation fellowship focused on the ecological resilience of agroecosystems. She has recently translated her skills to a position working on the national trails system with the United States Forest Service based out of Washington, D.C. and is planning to continue her career with the Forest Service. Part 2: Voices of Heartland Immigrant and Refugee Communities (45 minutes) Given the rich history of the Great Plains as a site of significant immigrant and refugee resettlement, Part 2 is a discussion centering the intersections of immigrant experience, place-based education, and advocacy work across local communities. The guest speaker is Maysaa Khalaf, who is majoring in business administration with a concentration in international business and economy at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She was born in Sinjar, Nineveh, Iraq, and is part of the Yazidi community/religion. Upon moving to the U.S., Khalaf restarted high school and graduated in 3 years. She is a first generation student and earned a Buffett scholarship. Khalaf is currently interning with the Nebraska Department of Economic Development on the international business team. She is the president of the Collegiate Entrepreneurs' Organization (CEO) at UNO. Her current project is promoting communities within the state of Nebraska.
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