Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) and Wilson College have formed a partnership that will provide academic opportunities for Wilson students and help develop future generations of conservation professionals. SCBI and Wilson officials recently signed a memorandum of understanding outlining the intent of a five-year partnership made possible by a gift from Wilson alumna Susan Breakefield Fulton, a longtime supporter of both organizations.
The partnership between Wilson and SCBI will draw on mutual strengths and interests of both institutions, allowing Wilson students to be exposed in their first year of college to the work being done at SCBI, just 90 miles from Chambersburg. A planned component for the program provides Wilson students the opportunity to study in residence for a semester in Front Royal at the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation Biology. Jointly operated by SCBI and George Mason University in Washington, D.C., the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation Biology is the onsite undergraduate and graduate education center at SCBI.
“We are thrilled to have this opportunity to partner with Wilson College,” said Ricardo Stanoss, academic program manager for the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation. “We look forward to expanding our horizons to the benefit of both institutions.”
Students in the program would be mentored by SCBI scientists and faculty at its education center, as well as have an opportunity to use the institute’s laboratories and other facilities. At the end of four years, the students enrolled at Wilson would fulfill the requirements for their biology degree, focusing on conservation biology, and will the experience of working with top-notch research scientists from the Smithsonian.
The partnership would also benefit Wilson faculty members, providing an opportunity for faculty exchanges in which Wilson professors might teach classes at SCBI’s education center. Likewise, faculty from SCBI could teach an occasional course at Wilson.
About the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation
The Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation offers a range of compelling residential, hands-on, interdisciplinary programs in conservation biology for undergraduate and graduate students and professionals at the facility on the grounds of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia. Highly qualified world experts, including Smithsonian scientists, Mason faculty, and colleagues from other U.S. and international conservation organizations, provide students with direct connections to the most current teaching, research techniques, and work in the field.
About Wilson College
Founded in 1869, Wilson College is a private, coeducational liberal arts college offering bachelor’s degrees in 34 majors and master’s degrees in education, the humanities, accountancy, management, nursing, fine arts and healthcare management for sustainability. Wilson is committed to providing an affordable education that offers value to its students beyond graduation. Located in Chambersburg, Pa., the college has a fall 2016 enrollment of 1,098, which includes students from 18 states and 16 countries.