Western Washington University Alumni Association

Rachael Bowers

Major - Biology
Hometown - Aberdeen, WA

“With this education, I plan to research threathened animals to broaden the knowledge of their diversity and to protect their environment.”

As a child and young adult, I was surrounded by the beauty of nature and gained a deep appreciation for wildlife and the environment. During my freshman year at Western Washington University, I realized that, as long as I could remember, I have had a keen interest in learning about animals and the environment. I decided that majoring in Biology with an emphasis in Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology would provide me with the best knowledge base to study wildlife and their habitat. I have also always been interested in learning about other peoples and cultures, which lead me to minor in Anthropology. I believe that knowledge of differing cultures and beliefs will help me assess how to effectively solve environmental problems.

My family is considered “middle class” and as a result, I receive very little assistance from WWU Financial Aid to fund my education. But my parents' annual earnings do not cover the expenses of supporting my sister, brother, and I. Every month my parents make close to $500 payments towards the student loans I have accrued from my time thus far at Western. My parents are also currently making payments toward my sister's student loans. In addition, my parents are helping to support my brother who is an Air Force Veteran who has had a difficult time readjusting to civilian life. My mother works two jobs to help support my family and my father works overtime whenever he is able to. I work seven hours a week at the WWU Writing Center which helps pay my monthly grocery and transportation bills, but little else. This scholarship will help to fund my education and prevent overwhelming student debt so that I can attend graduate school.

I enjoy reading, traveling, spending time outdoors, and visiting with friends and family.

In December 2011, I studied abroad in Vietnam to reassure myself that I should continue my education in the biological field. There, I studied the Vietnamese endangered species trade. The main message I gained from my time in Vietnam was that local culture must be considered when creating a solution to protect an endangered species and their environment. Without understanding the beliefs and values of a group, a well thought out solution to an environmental problem may have little to no effect. As a result of my experiences, studying and protecting endangered species is no longer just an interest, but is now my greatest passion. I hope to use my education from WWU as a foundation on which I will build a career centered on conserving and researching endangered species in wildlife conservation.

 

Ways to Stay Informed!