Charlie is a student in the Master of Science in Fish and Wildlife program. His passion for studying wildlife was rooted growing up in El Paso, Texas. Living in the middle of the Chihuahuan desert. Charlie attended Beloit College, where he dove into wildlife biology and pursued a bachelor’s degree in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavioral Biology (EEB). Here, he also developed a passion for helping to advance underrepresented minorities in the STEM community. While participating in an undergraduate program that promoted minority participation (WiscAMP, Student Excellence and Leadership, and McNairScholars) he became interested in higher education and led him to double major in Education and Youth Studies and EEB.
In looking to gain more experience in field research and knowledge about herpetology, Charlie engaged in a Summer research internship funded by the Multicultural Academic Opportunities Program (MAOP) in 2019. Under the tutelage of Drs. Haas and Caruso in the Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation at Virginia Tech, Charlie sought to understand the effects of silviculture treatments on salamander abundance. Through this experience, Charlie’s interest in salamanders drove him to pursue a graduate degree and his research focuses on determining how environmental conditions at early life stages influence the growth of the southern two-lined salamanders and the eastern red-backed salamander.
As the Graduate Assistant for MAOP, Charlie continues to pursue his interest in higher education. Charlie assists Assistant Director Laila, by assisting the management of the Undergraduate and Graduate Scholars programs and the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program. He does this by assisting with the planning, implementing, and assessing programmatic efforts. Charlie also assists with the execution of beginning and end-of-semester MAOP meetings, monthly workshops, and special events throughout the year.