IU Southeast Magazine - Spring 2014 - page 28

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Larison and Jonathan Horn, B.A. ‘09,
another Indiana University Southeast
alum turned Wildlife Inspector, have
added IU Southeast to the list of places
where wildlife, plants and other related
items seized by U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service are donated.
So far, donations to IU Southeast have
included shells, coral, a Nile Monitor
lizard, and two ball pythons.
“We have very limited funds and are
not set up to offer long-term care or
storage,” Larison said. “If we don’t
work with places like IU Southeast to
find new homes for what we seize,
the animals and items have to be
destroyed.”
Thanks to the growing network built by
inspectors like Larison, no live animals
seized at the Port of Louisville have
been destroyed so far, according to
Larison.
“We try to make good use of the
wonderful resources in our area,”
Larison said. “IU Southeast is right
across the river and it’s a great feeling
to have helped foster that relationship.”
“The university is happy to have
the donations,” said Professor
David Winship Taylor, Head of the
Department of Biology.
“In addition to the educational value
of being able to show students these
specimens rather than just talking
about them, it’s an educational lesson
that there are laws that govern the
biological world,” Professor Taylor said.
Faculty members have taken personal
interest in the donated animals. Taylor
cares for one of the ball pythons when
it’s not being showcased in classes and
Professor Omar Attum is caring for the
Nile Monitor.
“Giving back to IU Southeast is a big
priority,” Larison said, because she
wouldn’t be where she is without her IU
degree.
A Galena, Indiana native, Larison
joined the Marine Corps after
graduating from high school in 1991.
She returned to Indiana a few years
later.
“I was a single parent at that point and
just started working different jobs but
I knew I needed to go back to school,”
Larison said. “There was no question
that I wanted to study biology and
IU Southeast was an easy decision. I
looked at other schools in the area but
IU Southeast was such a good fit from
the beginning.”
She began studying at IU Southeast in
1999, and said she felt comfortable as a
non-traditional student.
“I never felt out of place,” she said. “The
faculty, staff, and other students didn’t
make me feel any different.”
She remembers her professors in the
biology department well.
“Dr. (Randy) Hunt, Dr. (David Winship)
Taylor, Dr. (Claude) Baker – and the
others, all of my science professors
were just absolutely incredible,”
Larison said.
Larison worked several different jobs
while working on her degree including
waiting tables at restaurants, coaching
Professor Taylor holds the ball python snake that was seized and donated to IU Southeast.
JonathanHorn–BA,‘09
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