Goodnight Spotlight: Lindsay Clontz

The good ol’ Southern gal of Monroe, Lindsay Clontz ’18, is on the right track to make some serious noise in the wildlife biology field.

Goodnight Scholars Program: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Lindsay Clontz: I am from Monroe, North Carolina where I graduated from Piedmont High School in 2014 I have one older sister, who is now attending NC State’s College of Veterinarian Medicine. I grew up practically living on my grandparents farm where I spent most of my time in a saddle. I have ridden horses and worked with animals all my life, which is why I chose to study zoology. After my freshman year, I began to learn more about the College of Natural Resources, and I decided to add a wildlife major in addition to my zoology major. The opportunities and connections offered through NC State are what sparked my interest in studying wildlife biology. Dr. Lara Pacifici, one of my advisors, sends out emails all the time with opportunities such as small mammal trapping experience at Prairie Ridge Ecostation, volunteer positions at the Nature Research Center, and much more.

Talk about some of your greatest accomplishments at NC State thus far.

While at NC State, I have participated in University Scholars Program, the Leopold Wildlife Club, and the Zoology Club. My freshman year, I traveled to Trinidad and Tobago with some of my fellow Goodnight Scholars on an Alternative Spring Break trip where we volunteered at the Asa Wright Nature Centre. My sophomore year, I was a Goodnight Mentor for two students in the Class of 2019, which was very rewarding. Also, I traveled to Nicaragua on a wildlife-based spring break study aboard trip. I am involved in undergraduate research in Dr. L. Scott Mills laboratory. The Mills Lab studies global phenology of coat color, hormone consistencies, and much more about snowshoe hares. Dr. Diana Lafferty, a post-doc in the Mills Lab, has been my mentor as I have worked with her on a study looking at fecal cortisol levels over time and temperature change with added precipitation. Also, I was very blessed to be offered a field technician position on the eighteenth crew of a twenty year-long study of snowshoe hare densities in Western Montana for the Summer of 2016 by Dr. Mills himself.

[The Goodnight Scholars] Program has allowed me to go after dreams that I thought were unattainable for financial reasons. It has offered me multiple experiences of a lifetime…

How would you describe your experience in the Goodnight Scholars Program?

My experience as a Goodnight Scholar thus far has been full of wonderful experiences. As a Goodnight Scholar, I was provided a mentor for the first six weeks of my freshman year of college, which was an amazing resource. I have had the opportunity to attend numerous professional, social, and service events hosted by the Goodnight Scholars Program, and I have also had the opportunity to apply for several enrichment grants that allowed me to travel to Trinidad and Tobago, Nicaragua, and Montana for service, education, and internship experience. This Program has allowed me to go after dreams that I thought were unattainable for financial reasons. It has offered me multiple experiences of a lifetime, and I still have two years in this wonderful Program.

What does being a Goodnight Scholar mean to you?

Being a Goodnight Scholar is a privilege. I am very fortunate to be a part of a group of individuals that are so driven and goal oriented. The opportunities provided by the Goodnight Scholars Program have shaped my future. I would have never been able to travel internationally twice and work in Montana for an entire summer without the aid of this Program. So, being a Goodnight inspires me to go big and give big. I love this Program, and I want to give back in return for what I’ve been given.

What will the next few years look like for you?

After I graduate from NC State, I would like to get some more field experience, and then get my Master’s and PhD in wildlife biology in hopes of becoming a research professor.

What advice would give to a new or prospective Goodnight Scholars about being involved at NC State and the Goodnight Scholars Program?

My advice to a new Goodnight Scholar is to not hold back. The Goodnight Scholars Program opens so many doors if you will let it. Explore, get involved and find your niche. Everyone acts as if we are all supposed to know what we want to do after we graduate before we even get to college, but for me, college has taught me more about myself in two years than I learned in my entire life before then. Also, connections are big! Most opportunities come from connections, which lead to more connections that eventually lead to more opportunities. So, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there because confidence and and good work ethic will demand attention, lead to important connections, and open doors to numerous opportunities.