A Sophomore Zoology Major’s Journey to Becoming Just Like Jane Goodall

Jami Greb, a Kent State University Honors College student joined the team at Raptor Hallow Sanctuary in Alliance, Ohio as an enrichment intern, working with a variety of animals.

Jami Greb, a sophomore Kent State University Honors College student majoring in zoology, knew she was destined to work with animals while sitting in her high school biology class learning about the famed Jane Goodall, whose work with chimpanzees has had an everlasting impact on the field of animal sciences. 

“When I learned about her in my little freshman biology class, I was like– I want to be her. I want to be just like her,” she says, of her first biology course in high school.

Jami Greb standing outside surrounded by woods at Raptor Hallow a Barred Owl named Aurora with a glove.

Jami continued to pursue her passion for animal sciences despite her original path of attending a performing arts high school. She decided to continue her journey to becoming just like Jane by taking advantage of all the opportunities Kent State has to offer. She has now come a long way in making her career goals come to fruition, as she began her role as an enrichment intern at Raptor Hallow Sanctuary in Alliance, Ohio, during the fall semester of 2023. The sanctuary’s goal is to not only protect and care for the birds within their facility but also educate the public about the animals. 

“I like seeing I'm working with a place that has a mission of educating other people... they believe it's such an inspiration to have to see a wild animal up close with your own eyes and flying right over your head… they use that to inspire people to think about conservation efforts, respecting wildlife and just conservation in general,” she says. 

Jami was able to work hands-on with the animals at the sanctuary six days a week for four months and watched as the animals grew and developed. All while she was growing alongside them, absorbing all of the skills and knowledge that the experience had to offer her.

Jami’s day-to-day roles at the sanctuary allowed her to provide enriching activities to the animals, aiding them to gain skills that mimic what they would be exposed to and learn in the wild. She did everything from basic husbandry and preparing diets to being a leader amongst volunteer groups. Ultimately, Jami would like to break into the field of animal research and she says her internship allowed her to use the scientific method while working hands-on and observing the animals. 

“I felt like I could bring my scientific goals into this internship, which I didn't expect that I would be able to do. So I enjoyed that… watching the animals and seeing how they behave, I can use that in my research,” she says.

Jami is pursuing her research-focused career goal by participating in the OMICS research lab, run by Sangeet Lamichhaney, PhD at Kent State. She will be working under graduate student Trixie Taucher in the spring semester of 2024. The research will be focused on how local Ohio birds change through the seasons; Jami will be doing research on passerine birds and their diet changes through the year by collecting fecal samples and examining the diet's impact on the bird’s overall health. She will be able to use the previous knowledge that she gained during her internship, working extensively with birds. These immersive experiences will provide her with the knowledge and skills that will help her to succeed in her future career. 

“I feel really happy that I did because now I have the experience and that can get me so much further,” she says. 

Jami also had the opportunity to travel and study abroad in the Galápagos Islands, a volcanic archipelago and province of Ecuador, as a part of Kent State’s study abroad program. While there, she spent two weeks learning about the rich biodiversity of these islands in the Pacific Ocean, while widening her education to an international perspective. She was incredibly inspired by the conservation efforts and breeding center for tortoises. The sophomore Honors College student plans to study abroad again this summer with Kent State’s Biological Science program in Australia. 

Jami Greb’s headshot

Jami says that the Honors College has helped her to grow as an individual and build up her confidence. She is grateful for the encouragement from her honors advisor, Theresa Yogi, saying that she has helped her to get out and apply for things to challenge herself academically, while also preparing Jami for her future. 

Jami enjoys spending time outside enjoying nature, but most importantly, she loves spending time with her cats, chickens, lizards and all of her pets back at home in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 

For more information about Kent State's Honors College, please visit the Honors College website







PHOTO CAPTION 1: Jami Greb kneeling behind a giant tortoise photographed in the Galápagos Islands during her study abroad experience.

PHOTO CAPTION 2: Jami Greb standing outside surrounded by woods at Raptor Hallow a Barred Owl named Aurora with a glove.

PHOTO CAPTION 3: Jami Greb smiles for a headshot.

Media Contact: Stephanie Moskal, smoskal@kent.edu, 330-672-2312

POSTED: Monday, February 5, 2024 01:54 PM
Updated: Monday, February 5, 2024 03:20 PM
Honors College Writing Intern Annie Gleydura