Sara Wilbur-Collins | Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies

Sara Wilbur-Collins

Sara Wilbur-Collins MCL, Master of Conservation Leadership at University of Guelph

 

Program

Conservation Leadership

Why Conservation Leadership at Guelph?

This is the first year that the Master of Conservation Leadership has been offered, and it is exactly the program I have been looking for. I have always wanted to pursue graduate work but needed to wait until the right time in my career. The flexibility the program offers, and the range of resources provided for students, make it a well fleshed-out program.

How did you get here?

I have a somewhat non-traditional background as it relates to this degree. My undergrad is in music and I have worked in the not-for-profit field for more than 25 years, with the most recent 20 in conservation at the Nature Conservancy of Canada and the Grand River Conservation Authority. My main work areas have been in board and volunteer management and fundraising - showing interested donors and community members the work that talented conservation professionals do. When this program became available I felt I owed it to them, and to myself, to become more formally educated in conservation.

A bit about the work you are doing here...

I have always been interested in the aspects of conservation that contribute to culture and the vitality of communities. The diversity of the courses is of great appeal to me. As a conservation professional, I was fortunate enough to assist with the development of the program by advising on what would be valuable to the sector. After viewing the overall course offering, I decided to apply!

How do you think what you are learning in Conservation Leadership can potentially improve life?

There is no question that climate change is affecting us all. This program is strengthening the sector's capacity to address this critically important issue, bringing new skills and ideas in the context of Ethical Space. Graduates of the program will become the next generation of leaders in our global responsibility to protect our planet.

Advice for a prospective grad student considering grad school...

This is a program that is very responsive to student needs, so if you have a question or want to pursue a line of discussion, be sure to ask! There is a considerable commitment to participants' career and personal growth, as well as to the more formal education elements. I appreciate that "all-around" approach.