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Profile: Sami Winkler '09

Posted: November 2, 2011

Wilson graduate Sami Winkler '09 recently earned a Master of Research degree in primate biology, behavior and conservation from the University of Roehampton in London. She plans to use her degree to educate the public about the importance of conservation.

"Conservation of primates is important because many are endangered, soon to be endangered or soon to be extinct,” said Sami, who hopes to work at a zoo one day.

While she looks for a job in her field, Sami — who completed her master’s degree in September but will return to London for graduation in March — is currently working in her hometown of Chambersburg. She volunteers at East Coast Exotic Animal Rescue in Fairfield and recently applied for a job as a primate keeper at the Smithsonian Institute’s National Zoological Park in Washington, D.C.

Sami has loved animals since she was a child. As a teen, her role model was British anthropologist Jane Goodall. When she learned she could have a career studying primates, Sami set her sights on it. And while studying in London, Sami actually got to meet Goodall at a school lecture.

Sami graduated from Wilson College in 2009 with a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology. "Ultimately, I wanted to work with animals, specifically non-human primates such as monkeys and apes," she said. "I was most interested in their behavior."

Sami credits Wilson College for giving her the confidence to succeed in graduate school and beyond. "Wilson made me a more independent thinker," she said. "The experience pushes you to stand out in the crowd and voice your opinion. Professors push you to your limit. The experience set me up for studying in another country and having the confidence to succeed.”

Last Updated: November 2, 2011