Graduating student had ‘wild’ time at Georgia Southern
Carson Moore never wanted to go to college.
Moore, a graduating senior with a keen interest in animals, will receive a BS in biology from Georgia Southern at Paulson Stadium on Dec. 13.
Growing up, Moore worked in a horse barn for twelve years and volunteered for a mini-zoo in her hometown of Macon, Georgia. She did not want to leave her work with animals behind to go to college.
“But my mom asked me ‘why don’t you just tour Georgia Southern?’” said Moore. “So when I came to look, I fell in love with the campus and then I found out there was a Wildlife Center, and I was like, oh yeah, this is it.”
That “it” moment pointed her in the direction of a career path that includes her passion for animals.
“When I came on the Georgia Southern tour, I showed up at the Wildlife Center and met Steve Hein [executive director] and asked if he could give me a job. And he said ‘I don’t know, maybe.’ So I just kept emailing everybody at the Center constantly and eventually, to my luck, I was able to start at the Wildlife Center the very first week of my college career.”
In addition to her heavy course load as a biology major, Moore continued as a student worker at the Center for Wildlife Education and the Lamar Q Ball Jr. Raptor Center. She’s done it all, from educational programs, to feeding the wild animals, to the messy job of cleaning up after them.
“I think being a STEM major is difficult. But any time I had questions with anything, my advisors, my professors, everyone was always so helpful and guiding. You know, I really didn’t want to go to college, but having all these people encourage me to keep going was just very, very impactful.”
Moore works with the public nearly every day at the Wildlife Center. Frequently, elementary, middle and high schools come on field trips for the educational programming at the Center.
“Working with the animals, presenting programs to the public and doing off-sites where we take animals and educate people are my favorite things”, explained Moore. “I have been everywhere and met lots of different people, that’s super fun. And then also I’ve met all of my best friends through the Wildlife Center. I fit right in and I have really enjoyed it.”
Moore likes to specialize in the birds of prey, although she works with all the animals at the Wildlife Center.
“I think my favorite animals to work with are definitely the birds of prey, but probably the eagles just because they’re very impressive,” said Moore. “In fact, I got to have Freedom [the Georgia Southern live mascot] in my graduation photos on Sweetheart Circle.”
Moore has been a student worker at the Center for Wildlife Education for the duration of her college career and has loved every minute of it. After graduation, her work with animals is about to continue.
“I am in the process of applying for a full-time position at the Wildlife Center as the education assistant. So that’s very exciting. I’ll just be continuing what I love to do.”
Georgia Southern and the Wildlife Center have had a huge impact on Moore’s life.
“I wouldn’t be in the place that I am right now without Georgia Southern. To have a wildlife center that is connected to the University is just a huge benefit and it’s something that’s really unique. A lot of universities don’t have all the opportunities that Georgia Southern has along with its beautiful campus.”
Now that Moore is graduating, how does her mom feel about her future at the Wildlife Center?
“Oh, she’s absolutely over the moon about it. She’s always encouraged me to follow my passions and she knows I love animals. So if I’m happy, she’s definitely happy.”