Everything You Need to Know: For Student Chapters

ROOM: HCCC, Room 26A
In past years, the Student Development Working Group has had the opportunity to host the Student Leaders Lunch which gives students the chance to voice their opinions and concerns, as well as to share their ideas. Unfortunately, we have only been able to scratch the surface of the issues during the brief time we are allotted during the Student Leaders Lunch, and many students go away with their concerns unanswered. This symposium gives us a chance to answer those issues that have persisted through the past several years. During this symposium students will have a chance to learn more about how they fit into The Wildlife Society, what it takes to be a great officer, and how to build a Student Chapter from the ground up.

12:50PM Introduction to the Wildlife Society
  Colleen Hartel; Kristi Confortin; Laken Ganoe
Uncertainty and lack of knowledge about the greater structure of The Wildlife Society is one of the main factors students cite as inhibiting greater participation within TWS as a whole. This talk will provide an overview of the structure, function, and mission of TWS with a focus on how student chapters fit in. This talk will cover information on how TWS is governed, different types of units (e.g., state chapters, working groups) within TWS, and the major activities TWS is engaged in, such as publications and policy. This presentation will also outline how students can become and stay involved with TWS beyond student chapters both during and after the conclusion of his or hers educational experience. Finally, this session will describe some of the most commonly identified barriers to participation within TWS drawn from the Student Development Working Group’s 2018 survey and offer recommendations on how student chapters can combat them to foster greater participation within TWS as a whole.
1:10PM Forming a Student Chapter of the Wildlife Society and Developing Bylaws
  Mariah Simmons
The Wildlife Society’s 140 student chapters are composed of student members of the Society. Based at college campuses across North America, these student chapters establish their own locally-focused objectives and have their own bylaws, officers, committees, and dues structure. Petitioning The Wildlife Society to form a new student chapter is a very exciting and worthwhile endeavor which leads to many new opportunities. The Wildlife Society’s Unit Services Coordinator will explain the steps involved in forming a student chapter and the importance of understanding the student chapter bylaws. Bylaws outline the governance and expectations of a student chapter and should be referred to and updated regularly in order to ensure the student chapter is operating in an appropriate, efficient, and effective manner.
1:30PM Retention, Participation, and Fundraising -2018 Student Chapter Advisor of the Year, Dr. Carol Bocetti
  Laken Ganoe
In this session, the 2018 Student Chapter Advisor of the Year – Dr. Carol Bocetti – will highlight various aspects of being involved with a Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society. She will draw from her many years of experience as the advisor to the California University of Pennsylvania Student Chapter. Gain new ideas for wildlife events, fundraisers, and other activities that have proven to be successful from Dr. Bocetti’s experience. Dr. Bocetti will also provide some advice for advisors and students on how to maintain a positive environment within your Student Chapter, as well as suggestions to help resolve some typical issues that may arise within your Student Chapter.
1:50PM Officer Training – President and Vice President
  Laken Ganoe
What all do Student Chapter Presidents do? What kind of a time commitment is it? How do I balance an officer position, school, and my personal time? All these questions and more will be answered! This session will show you the ropes of being a successful President and Vice President of your Student Chapter while keeping the balance between work and play. Whether you are a current officer, just got elected into the President of Vice President role, or you would like to be in one of these positions in the future, this session will prepare you for the general duties as President and VP.
2:10PM Officer Training – Secretary and Treasurer
  Tammy Colt
What are the responsibilities of a TWS subunit treasurer or secretary? What is the time commitment? What if I never took Accounting 101? Learn the answers to these questions and more from Tammy Colt, TWS Northeast Section Treasurer and PA Chapter Past President. Tammy will share her insights from many years of leadership experience on multiple nonprofit boards, with specific information on treasurer and secretary responsibilities and serving on a TWS subunit board. There will be plenty of tips for first-time Student Chapter officers to help them transition into new officer positions.
2:30PM Refreshment Break
3:20PM Officer Training – Web Coordinator and Public Relations
  Kristi Confortin
How does your Student Chapter manage event planning and social media outreach? Learn the tips and tricks to having a Web Coordinator and a Public Relations officer for your Student Chapter. These positions can help improve how other officers manage their time and do more for your Student Chapter. This session will teach you the details of the responsibilities and main roles of these positions. The Web Coordinator and the Public Relations position will work closely together to find the best practices to master marketing implements to inform other members and the public about your Student Chapter. All questions about having these positions in your Student Chapter will be answered.
3:40PM Using Available Resources
  Don Yasuda; Mariah Simmons
Maintaining a vibrant Student Chapter with regular activities, including outside professional speakers, well-planned field trips, and field activities, can be a challenge with the constant turnover in Chapter leadership. Another challenge, also because of leadership turnover, is being aware of and taking advantage of existing resources designed specifically to help students and Student Chapters. One way to build capacity is by developing relationships with local resource agencies or organizations that can provide professionals to advise and mentor students, or possibly provide a study site or even jobs. The first part of this session will describe how Student Chapters can build and maintain relationships with local professionals and resource agencies or organizations. Examples of Student Chapter and professional partnerships will be discussed. Tips will be provided on making the initial contact as well as how to maintain existing relationships by strategic planning to bridge the turnover gap. Additional tips will cover the importance of demonstrating commitment and finding mutual benefits. Another way to build capacity is to help students connect with the many resources TWS offers that can help students and Student Chapters, such as, the Give Back program; Certification and assistance with the application process; the job board; joining and using Working Groups; joining the Conservation Affairs Network; access to journals; and effectively using policy briefs. TWS also has resources to help build and maintain professional networks and find mentors through the TWS Network Online Directory and a network of retirees interested in supporting students. Some TWS Chapters and Sections provide travel grants and some offer research grants to students. The second part of this session will describe these and other resources that can help a Student Chapter become a valuable resource to students pursuing a wildlife career.
4:00PM Student Chapter of the Year Presentation – (Texas A&M Kingsville- Student Chapter of the Year 2018)
  Kelley Wood; Austin Killam
Join us as we congratulate the 2018 Student Chapter of the Year, Texas A&M University – Kingsville! Hear from the members of the winning Student Chapter as they recap their award winning year in a presentation. From activities to fundraisers, fieldtrips to conferences, see what it takes to be selected as the Student Chapter of the Year!
4:20PM Bringing It All Together, a Panel Discussion
  Phillip L. Stephenson
Make sure you stick around to ask our previous speakers questions that you would like advice or insight on. These experienced professionals and students will help students navigate the ins and outs of what it means to be a Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society and how to improve your current chapter and members experiences. This will be a great opportunity to hear the previous speakers discuss topics that were mentioned earlier in the day and to also talk about other ideas that will help you develop your chapter. Please feel free to ask questions that were not discussed earlier in the symposium.

Organizers: Laken Ganoe, The Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA; Kristi Confortin, Ball State University, Muncie, IN
Supported by: TWS Student Development Working Group

Location: Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland Date: October 10, 2018 Time: 12:50 pm - 5:00 pm