Featured student: Kayla Werbianskyj, Class of '12
Kayla Werbianskyj ’12 loves animals and wants them treated with respect. At Manchester College, she’s learning how to protect them and how to educate people about the ethical choices we make that impact wildlife and the environment.
The biology and environmental studies major from Elkhart, Ind., came to Manchester to play soccer. “I had no idea what I wanted to study when I first came to college,” says Kayla. Like many college students, she dabbled in a couple of academic majors before finding that her real passion is science. “My advisor, Jerry Sweeten, has had a major impact on my academics and research experience,” says Kayla, who spent two summer internships working alongside the 2009 Indiana Professor of the Year.
The research experience may help Kayla land a graduate research or teaching assistantship that will help refine her career direction. But after earning a master’s degree and possibly a Ph.D., Kayla’s ultimate dream is to have her own wildlife rehabilitation center where she can help sick and injured animals and return them to their natural habitats.
Kayla is a first-generation college student whose parents encouraged her “because they wanted me to have a better life than they did.” Manchester College’s track record of helping graduates find jobs attracted her and her family, as did the scholarships that, for Kayla, make a college education possible.
Kayla plans to use her education to help others make better moral and ethical decisions about their relationship with the planet. When we destroy wildlife habitats or pollute, she says, it doesn’t just speak to how we treat the environment: “It’s about how we treat each other.”
By Melinda Lantz ’81