Ohio Bird Sanctuary Hires Former Interns
By Gail Laux
Photo of Amanda Hull
The Ohio Bird Sanctuary has greatly benefited from the Fran and Warren Rupp Fund’s Internship Program. We have had so many success stories that we couldn’t pick just one to share!
Over the past (number of) years, the Sanctuary has benefited from having student interns present at the Sanctuary assisting and learning how the Sanctuary operates as a successful organization. Our interns assist in providing care to injured birds brought into the Sanctuary as well as care for the resident birds that live here. Our interns also help lead programming both on and off-site, engage with the public by presenting "Keeper Talks," and provide information to daily visitors.
Many of our past interns have obtained jobs within the fields of animal care and education. They work for zoos, veterinary offices, parks, and research teams.
A few examples are Kaily Vitullo, Education Intern in 2015, is a Naturalist for the Crawford County Park District at Lowe Volk Nature Center.
Amanda Hull, Education Intern in 2021, now works as a Trainer for Natural Encounters Inc. at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
We are excited that they have been able to take the skills they learned here at the Sanctuary and use them in these various careers.
We have also had interns that we couldn’t let leave! In fact, four of our current staff members started as interns. Amanda Vanderford, Curator of Birds, returned to OBS in 2021 after continuing to build her expertise in the field through careers at Med Vet and the Columbus Zoo. She is a licensed veterinary technician and oversees the Bird Care and Visitor experiences here at the Sanctuary. Emily Tackett, Director of Operations, interned in the summer of 2016 and 2017. She was hired as one of our Education staff members after graduation, and she is now the Director of Operations and oversees the preserve, the Educational Team, and the Junior Naturalist Program. Abby Yates, our Program Development Coordinator, and Taylor McDonald, Bird Care Technician, also started as interns.
We are so grateful to the Richland County Foundation and Fran and Warren Rupp Fund for providing the opportunity for us to hire interns every year. This program has been an essential part of these students' success in pursuing careers in the field and building the talent at OBS!