Alissa Boissiere Nemmers, who is studying wildlife and fisheries science at Eastern New Mexico University, describes herself as a "nature lover." She has "always been most fulfilled when I get to be submerged in the wilderness, so attaining a degree that will award opportunities to work in the field was important to me."
She feels a responsibility to become educated in a field that will allow her to work to preserve and protect wilderness and wildlife.
During her time spent away from campus, the junior works as a veterinary assistant. She has worked at her current animal hospital for the past three years and has been a veterinary assistant for five years. She is very passionate about animals, which is another reason she chose her major.
Alissa was born in Alabama but moved a lot due to her parents being in the military. She was raised mostly along the east coast. She has one younger sister that has earned a Doctorate of Pharmacy from the University of South Carolina.
She chose to attend Eastern because "ENMU is a great opportunity for military spouses to achieve academic goals while stationed at Cannon Air Force Base. Tuition is more affordable than other universities, and the opportunity to achieve a degree in a field that is meaningful to me is an invaluable opportunity."
She has received both the Dr. Antonio Gennaro Endowed Scholarship and the Gennaro and Salb Scholarship for 2017-2018. She was named to the Dean's List for the spring and fall of 2017.
Alissa's favorite class has been "Ichthyology" with Dr. Jesse Filbrun, an assistant professor of aquatic ecology. "I enjoy river fishing, so learning more about the native species and the science was very interesting," she explained. "The field trips were a great opportunity to get out and experience field techniques such as population counts and electric fishing. I definitely gained a lot of knowledge and new experiences from that class."
Dr. Ivana Mali, an assistant professor of wildlife biology, has mentored Alissa since the student's first semester at ENMU. "She has given me numerous opportunities to get in the field and experience hands-on research," said Alissa. "She is quick to help me with anything and is a truly spectacular professor and resource."
Her favorite place to get work done on campus is at the study lounge in the University Computer Center because it is "comfortable and quiet."
The best part about being a Greyhound to Alissa is "the sense of pride and accomplishment, that I am making a positive change in my life that will provide me with greater opportunities in the future."
Her hobbies naturally include outdoor activities, including backpacking, sport climbing, mountain biking, kayaking and fishing.
Alissa shares why students should consider pursuing a degree in wildlife and fisheries science: "If you love nature and wildlife, and are concerned about their futures, wildlife and fisheries is a great path to follow. You will learn amazing things about the natural world, and most major-specific courses will offer you hands-on learning experiences. Of course, a lot of hard work, dedication and sacrifice are necessary to excel."