Honors College Student Shares Summer Internship Experiences

Honors student completing internship at Nature's Nursery Wildlife Rehabilitation Center
The Honors College continues to provide programs, experiences and advice to ensure that honors students have everything they need to succeed upon graduation. This includes assisting honors students in securing internships within their chosen degree field of study and recognizing their efforts with Honors College credit hours. Internships provide students an opportunity to gain experience in their field of study (at least 150 hours) while receiving 3 internal Honors College credit hours. The goal of this project is to provide students with an enriched educational experience to prepare them for the outside world after graduation.

It is the hope of the Honors College that students will gain pertinent, real-world experience that will prove to be an invaluable asset when they enter the job market. Amber Palmer, a senior zoology student from Maumee, Ohio, was fortunate to obtain not one, but two summer internships in her field of study for the summer of 2021. Amber noted, “I decided to have two internships because I was offered both internships and I simply could not choose between the two of them. Both internships offered different and important experiences that would benefit my zoology career. “

Her first of two internships were completed with the Toledo Zoo, where Amber worked as a barnyard intern, completing many physically demanding tasks to care for the animals each day. Amber stated that animals have always been her passion and that she has always had a fascination with them; a zoology course she completed in high school solidified her thoughts of working with animals as a career. 

Work and experience as an intern at the Toledo Zoo were more difficult than Amber originally expected. She explained, “I worked as a Barnyard Intern where I worked with animals such as sheep, goats, pigs, alpacas, wild turkeys, chickens and a rabbit. My responsibilities were daily cleaning of animal stalls, preparing and serving diets to all animals, and assisting in training or enrichment.” Although Amber believes her experience at the Toledo Zoo was beneficial, she commented, “I did a lot of hard manual labor for 6 hours of the day and really didn't get to experience much animal enrichment and training.” 

Luckily, Amber’s second summer internship provided opportunities for exploration and growth. “Nature's Nursery Wildlife Rehabilitation Center was, on the other hand, a great experience… I was responsible for the daily care, maintenance, diet prep, enrichment, handling and training of ambassador animals including songbirds, raptors, waterfowl, small mammals, reptiles and amphibians,” she stated. Other responsibilities included performing live education programs and educating the public about wildlife rehabilitation, along with information about the ambassador animals that would not survive on their own and cannot be released back into the wild. 

When asked what her plans were after graduation, Palmer commented, “I have touched on the idea of going to grad school (unfortunately not at Kent State because they don’t offer a masters program in Zoology), however, I haven’t explored or decided on anything yet. If anything, I will try to find a job and see what happens. I might take a gap year and then go back to school, I am just not sure yet.” 

Whatever her choice, through the two summer internships, Palmer was able to experience the multiple responsibilities that are involved in her chosen field of zoology. From physical maintenance involved in animal care at the Toledo Zoo, to live education performances at the Nature's Nursery Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, Honors College senior Amber Palmer feels she has a better understanding of her chosen profession. 

The Honors College at Kent State has been enriching the lives of thousands of students since 1933. For more information, please visit




PHOTO CAPTION 1: Honors College senior zoology major Amber Palmer, holding an owl at Nature's Nursery Wildlife Rehabilitation Center.

MEDIA CONTACT: Stephanie Moskal, Honors College Marketing Coordinator,, 330-672-2312


POSTED: Monday, November 15, 2021 03:53 PM
Updated: Friday, December 9, 2022 04:30 PM
Keith Castillo, Honors College Writing Intern