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2020 FEWL Academy

The School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences proudly introduces the 2020 Forest, Environment and Wildlife Leadership (FEWL) Academy:

Andrew Baumhauer

Andrew Baumhauer is a senior majoring in Geospatial and Environmental Informatics and is from Fairhope, Alabama.  Baumhauer began his academic studies at Marion Military Institute, where he earned an associates degree and was awarded the Dudley University Scholarship to Auburn University for his academic performance. He was selected to be a part of the FEWL Academy based on his academics and leadership, specifically within the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences where he serves as a student ambassador. Baumhauer plans to pursue a natural resources management career with a focus on GIS utilization, where he can exercise his leadership capabilities and knowledge to his utmost ability. He credits his time at Auburn for the development of his skills and values. As stated in the Auburn Creed, Andrew believes in work, hard work – and will continue living by that ethos in his professional career.

Sarah Cain

Sarah Cain is about to begin her third year at Auburn University where she is majoring in Wildlife Ecology and Management with a minor in Spanish. She is from Birmingham, Alabama, and enjoys nature photography, hiking, and conducting her undergraduate research at the Auburn University Deer Lab. Cain applied to the FEWL Academy to discover what it takes to be a successful leader, specifically in the field of wildlife ecology. In addition to learning new leadership skills, she is excited to meet with policy-makers in Montgomery and Washington D.C. to witness real-life examples of leaders and to observe how management decisions are enacted. In the future, Cain plans to pursue a master’s degree in wildlife sciences, and she plans to use the skills the FEWL Academy teaches her to be successful in her future academic and professional pursuits.

John Ellis

John Ellis is a junior majoring in Natural Resource Management at Auburn. He is from Birmingham, Alabama, and loves anything outdoors, including hunting, fishing, hiking, and camping. Ellis applied to the FEWL Academy because he believes that our environment and supply of natural resources have never been more fragile, and it will take leaders who truly care about our world to make a difference. Ellis has always considered himself to be a quiet leader.  Through this experience, he hopes to learn the skills necessary to lead other people in both his life and future career. Finally, Ellis is excited to meet and make connections with other students in the academy that share similar interests and goals.

Ryan Gilbert

A native of Hoover, Alabama, Ryan Gilbert is a junior majoring in Sustainable Biomaterials and Packaging at Auburn. He applied for the FEWL Academy to gain skills necessary to become a leader within his field of study, forest-based industries, or any type of real-world situation. Gilbert believes that being a member of this academy is a rare and unique opportunity to learn the first-hand skills needed to foster leadership abilities. The academy also provides ways of gaining critical problem-solving experience and provides ample opportunities to branch out within industry, make connections, and gain trust of industry organizations. Being in the academy has allowed him to meet many other like-minded students who are working towards a common goal of becoming effective future leaders.

Lizzie Hancock

Lizzie Hancock is a junior in Wildlife Ecology and Management at Auburn. She is from Abbeville, Alabama, and enjoys hiking, being outdoors, and spending time with friends and family. She applied for the FEWL Academy in order gain a well-rounded education full of new experiences and to continue building strong relationships with her peers, professors, and professionals in her field. As a first-generation college student, she enjoys facing these new challenges and is dedicated to making the most of every opportunity she is presented while at Auburn. Overall, Hancock is trying to become the most well-rounded leader she can be and is excited to see where the FEWL Academy will take her.

Marie Harris

Marie Harris is a junior studying Environmental Science with a certificate in Health Equity Science at Auburn University. From Birmingham, Alabama, Marie saw firsthand the need for environmental justice in her own community and hopes to be a change-maker in environmental policy that affects the health of her fellow man. Harris is excited to be a part of the FEWL Academy to learn the tools necessary for entering the field of environmental policy and to engage with motivated, like-minded peers in the program. A student in the College of Agriculture, she hopes to foster interdisciplinary collaborations with the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences to help innovate solutions to society’s pressing crises in resource health and conservation. Harris proudly calls herself a “Hunger Fighter” through her work with the Campus Kitchen at Auburn University, Manna House Hydroponic Garden, and the Auburn University Community Garden.

Jace McCauley

Jace McCauley is a forestry major at Auburn University and intends to graduate in the spring of 2021. He grew up in Jasper, Alabama, where, as a kid, he spent as much time as he possibly could in the outdoors, where he discovered his interest in forestry. McCauley has always been interested in learning more about becoming a leader and was fortunate to earn leadership experience during high school and at the church he attends in Jasper. Through the FEWL Academy, he hopes to understand more of the dynamics behind being a good leader and how to apply them to his leadership roles. McCauley believes that the leadership skills that he will develop through the academy will not only carry into future leadership roles but into many of the aspects of his career and life.

Kate Norrid

Kate Norrid is a Wildlife Ecology and Management student with minors in both Public Health and Asian Studies. She plans to pursue a career in disease ecology research upon completion of her education. She is from Bokchito, Oklahoma, and enjoys photography, painting, fishing and hiking. Norrid applied for the FEWL Academy in order to learn more about the necessary leadership skills needed in her future career. She believed this opportunity would allow her to develop leadership and communication skills as well as learn from and build relationships with professionals in the field. Norrid hopes that after this experience, the FEWL Academy will continue to influence her journey to becoming a leader in her daily life at Auburn University and in her future career setting.

Max Norton

Max Norton is a junior from Hackleburg, Alabama, majoring in Geospatial and Environmental Informatics. Max transferred to Auburn University from Northwest-Shoals Community College, where he served as a school ambassador and an ambassador captain. He is currently an ambassador in the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences at Auburn University. Eager to continue developing his leadership abilities, Norton joined the FEWL Academy to gain understanding of what it takes to be an effective and efficient leader not only in his chosen career field, but in any capacity that he may serve as a leader. Norton knows the tremendous impact that the FEWL Academy will have on his life after graduation, and he is excited to form connections with and learn from some of the top leaders in natural resource policy.

James Shell

James Shell is a junior from Montgomery, Alabama, majoring in Sustainable Biomaterials and Packaging. The opportunity and resilience that the timber industry offers is what drew Shell into the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences at Auburn, and his primary motivation to pursue a job in the sales and marketing sector of the industry. Prior to applying for the FEWL Academy, his involvement on campus was limited. He saw the academy as the perfect way to get his feet wet and interface with many young professionals like himself over issues and topics surrounding the forest industry. The focus on developing more refined and effective leadership skills was also an appealing aspect of the leadership academy for Shell; where he hopes to learn to use these skills to facilitate his future career to the best of his ability.

Robert Sitze

Robert Sitze was born and raised in Enterprise, Alabama, where he lived until he began his military career in 2006. He now lives in Pelham, Alabama, with his wife of eight years and their three-year-old daughter. He currently serves in the Alabama Army National Guard and has 14 years of military service. Sitze began attending Auburn University in the fall of 2018 in pursuit of a Bachelor of Science in Forestry and plans to graduate in May of 2021. His passion for forestry intensified in 2016 when he became a forestland owner in central Alabama. Sitze purchased the property with hopes to restoring it as a pine plantation as well as a family recreational property. As a forest landowner, Sitze has developed a true love of the land and managing our natural resources. Upon graduation from Auburn, he hopes to pursue a career as a land manager, and looks forward to the opportunity to manage forests and educate others on the importance and procedures to do so. With the aid of the FEWL academy, Sitze hopes to develop a new set of leadership skills that will aid in his advancement towards becoming a natural resource manager.

Victoria Stack

Victoria Stack is a sophomore in Geospatial and Environmental Informatics at Auburn. She is from Birmingham, Alabama, and enjoys being outdoors, whitewater kayaking, and computer science. She is also a School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences ambassador and a section leader in the Auburn University Marching Band. Victoria applied for the FEWL Academy to interact with experts in related fields and understand what it means to be a driven and responsible young leader in the geospatial community. She is particularly interested in learning from business leaders, as she is also completing a minor in Business Analytics. Victoria is looking forward to forming lasting friendships with other students in the FEWL Academy who are making strides to become leaders in their school, in Auburn, and beyond.

Amanda Wenzel

Amanda Wenzel is a student in the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences at Auburn University and is studying Natural Resources Management with a minor in Urban Environmental Sciences. She is originally from Waco, Texas, has a love for the outdoors, and hopes to have a career in conservation. Wenzel joined the FEWL Academy in order to gain valuable professional skills that she will use in her classes and her future workplace. She is excited to hear from the influential people in leadership positions who will speak to the academy and to become a part of the community that the FEWL Academy provides. Wenzel is currently the secretary of the Society for Natural Resources. She looks forward to applying the leadership skills that she gains to better serve her organization.

Olivia Wilkes

Olivia Wilkes is a junior in Wildlife Ecology and Management at Auburn. She grew up in the countryside outside Huntsville, Alabama, where her inquisitive nature and love of the outdoors developed. Whether she’s in Utah chasing radio-collared sage-grouse, or in north Alabama mist-netting bats, Wilkes loves all things fieldwork. She also enjoys writing and photography and wants to combine her interests in research and communications in a future career as a biologist. Wilkes joined the FEWL Academy because she knows that interacting with people is a major part of the conservation field. She hopes to gain leadership skills that will help her better educate, collaborate and communicate with people, whether she’s teaching a young person how to hunt or designing a management plan with a group of other biologists. She is excited to meet other like-minded students in the FEWL Academy and grow as a leader through the experience.

Heath Williamson

Heath Williamson is a junior in Forestry at Auburn University.  He is from Trussville, Alabama. He enjoys hunting, fishing and hiking.  Heath is very involved within the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences and is a member of the Forestry Club, Ambassadors and the Student Government Association. Williamson applied for the FEWL Academy to learn how to better apply himself in leadership roles and felt that the FEWL Academy would help to broaden his networking skills in the timber industry. Williamson is looking forward to developing personal and professional skills that will prove beneficial in future endeavors and hopes to apply the traits learned from the FEWL Academy to both career and community.

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