Fort Valley State University in Georgia is making history as it becomes the first historically Black university to join a groundbreaking national consortium aimed at advancing underrepresented students in conservation career fields. Fort Valley State University is joining forces with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services, New Mexico State University, and the University of Texas at San Antonio in an effort to increase diversity in the environmental sciences and natural resources industries.
The universities will take the lead in creating programs and initiatives to help underrepresented students excel in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The consortium is dedicated to creating a one-stop recruitment source for underrepresented students and preparing them for competitive careers within the agency. The universities will also establish peer-to-peer mentoring and experiential networks to support students, faculty, and early career professionals. The partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services will provide minority students with internship and permanent placement opportunities and open avenues for collaboration with other institutions.
Olufunke Fontenot, provost at Fort Valley State University, stated that “we are excited about this opportunity for our students to explore a career in wildlife and conservation, a profession in which minorities are underrepresented. This partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services will provide internship and permanent placement opportunities for FVSU students. The consortium will also open avenues for collaboration with other member institutions of the consortium.”