The College of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences proudly introduces the 2022 Forest, Environment and Wildlife Leadership (FEWL) Academy:

Payton Brewer

Payton Brewer is a junior in Wildlife Ecology and Management. She is from Birmingham, Alabama, and enjoys playing guitar, hiking, and fishing with friends. Brewer has varying interests in the outdoor world and is currently a volunteer bird bander and working as an undergraduate research assistant in the Forest and Fire Ecology Lab. Upon graduation, she hopes to pursue a master’s degree and believes that the FEWL Academy will aid her in her growth as a leader and a professional. 

Angel Cagle

Angel Cagle is a junior studying Forestry from Haleyville, Alabama. Cagle enjoys hiking and reading. She loves the outdoors and found a desire to pursue forestry after meeting foresters while fighting wildfires as a member of the Lynn Volunteer Fire Department. After graduation, Cagle plans to become a successful and responsible land manager. She believes the FEWL Academy will provide a different perspective of the forestry industry and allow her to hone her leadership skills. 

Avanelle Elmore

Avanelle (Avy) Elmore is a junior studying Natural Resources Management at Auburn. She is from Decatur, Alabama, where she grew up hiking and trail running with her family. These activities sparked a love for being in and caring for nature. Elmore is interested in the conservation and sustainability foundations of recreation and is earning a minor in Nature-Based Recreation. Upon completing her degree, Elmore plans to become an environmental educator, working to help people understand the science of nature and create lasting connections with their environment. As president of the Society for Natural Resources, Elmore applied to the FEWL Academy to improve her skills and service to others as a leader. She is excited to connect with her peers within the academy and hopes to gain a broader understanding of her field through networking with industry professionals.  

Ariana Hansen

Ariana Hansen is a senior studying Wildlife Ecology and Management at Auburn. She is from Moore, Oklahoma, loves to draw and listen to music, and grew up playing and watching college softball. Hansen is a Student Ambassador for the College of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences and a service committee chair. She is excited to join the FEWL Academy to heighten her leadership skills and connect with others. Hansen hopes to build connections and take part in lasting friendships with her fellow cohorts.  

Nathan Kurtz

Nathan Kurtz is a junior in Geospatial and Environmental Informatics at Auburn. He is from Tampa, Florida, and enjoys outdoor activities such as backpacking and hunting. Kurtz is currently an officer in the university’s Outdoor Adventure Club in which he leads outdoor recreation trips for students. He is particularly interested in landscape management, field data collection, and GIS (Geographic Information Systems) analysis. Kurtz applied for the FEWL Academy to learn essential leadership, professional, and team-building skills. He is excited to work with his peers within the academy and meet with policymakers and professionals in forestry and wildlife sciences to broaden his knowledge of the natural resources field.  

Josh Mullins

Josh Mullins is a junior in Forestry at Auburn. Mullins is from Clanton, Alabama, and became interested in forestry after his family had timber cut on their cattle farm. He enjoys outdoor hobbies and work including hunting, working on the family farm, and being in the woods. In addition to his degree in forestry, Mullins will graduate with a business minor. Upon graduation, Mullins hopes to have a successful career in forestry through utilizing skills learned from the FEWL Academy and throughout his time at Auburn.  

Caroline Silva

Caroline Silva is a junior at Auburn studying Wildlife Ecology and Management. She is from Daphne, Alabama and enjoys being outdoors, playing with her cat, Lumen, and spending time with friends and family. Silva is interested in the research side of wildlife ecology and has field work experience trapping small mammals through undergraduate research studies in the Biological Sciences Department at Auburn. After earning her bachelor’s degree, she plans to attend graduate school to receive her master’s degree with the hopes of a federal conservation job in the future. Silva applied to the FEWL Academy in hopes of strengthening her leadership and communication skills to aid in her future career. She believes this opportunity will create lasting connections with professionals in her field, as well as form lifelong relationships with fellow students in the FEWL Academy. 

Jessica Staggs

Jessica Staggs is a junior in Wildlife Ecology and Management at Auburn. She is from Cordova, Alabama, and enjoys painting, crochet, and hiking. Staggs plans to gain experience through internships after graduating, and later return to school for her master’s degree. She applied for FEWL because she wants to build her public speaking and interpersonal skills, as well as meet important people within her industry. Staggs hopes that by putting herself into new and challenging situations, she can become a better leader. 

Megan Starling

Megan Starling is a sophomore studying Wildlife Sciences: Pre-Veterinary Medicine. She hopes to continue pursuing her veterinary degree here at Auburn University. Starling’s involvement on campus includes her memberships in the Student Government Association, Honors Congress, Pre-Veterinary Medical Association, the Alpha Gamma Delta sorority, and the Lambda Sigma honor society. It is within these involvements that Starling hopes to utilize the lessons she learns during her time at the FEWL Academy. She hopes to not only experience growth in a leadership capacity, but also in communication skills, compassion, and friendships. 

Sydney Spurlock

Sydney Spurlock is a junior majoring in Wildlife Sciences with a concentration in Pre-Veterinary Medicine. She is from Mobile, Alabama, and enjoys listening to music, playing video games, and spending time with her family, friends, and pets. Spurlock applied to the FEWL Academy to improve her leadership, communication, and problem-solving skills. She hopes this experience will help her become more confident in articulating her thoughts and ideas as a student and in her future career as a veterinarian. Spurlock believes that FEWL will provide her with the opportunity to learn more about the policies related to wildlife and the environment and inspire ways in which she can make a difference in the face of growing issues involving the natural world.  

Casey Whitt

Casey Whitt is a junior studying Sustainable Biomaterials and Packaging, or SBIOP, at Auburn. He is from Montgomery, Alabama and enjoys the outdoors, movies, and board games. Whitt is a College of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences Student Ambassador and a dedicated member of the SBIOP Society. He was motivated to join the academy to learn valuable leadership and networking skills. 

Casey Whitt

Casey Whitt is a junior studying Sustainable Biomaterials and Packaging, or SBIOP, at Auburn. He is from Montgomery, Alabama and enjoys the outdoors, movies, and board games. Whitt is a College of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences Student Ambassador and a dedicated member of the SBIOP Society. He was motivated to join the academy to learn valuable leadership and networking skills. 

Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson is a second-year doctoral student in the Conservation Governance Lab in the College of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences. He received a bachelor’s degree and a Master of Public Administration from Indiana University and is a 13-year U.S. Army veteran. Johnson enjoys spending time with his two-year-old daughter and wife and watching Indiana University basketball. He decided to pursue his doctorate to research natural resource management policy and apply what he has learned to a future career with the federal government or an environmental non-governmental organization. Johnson is excited to join the FEWL Academy to build upon the leadership skills he gained in the Army and make himself a more well-rounded leader.