to Anderson, MCCC proved to be a great starting point for
her career. "Mercer gave me more than a good education;
it really broadened my perspectives socially. I'm glad things
went the way they did," she said.
Anderson attended high school at Linden Hall, a boarding school
in Lititz, PA. She notes that the environment there was homogenous
and isolated. But all that changed after she began college.
"I learned to not be afraid of people who are different
from me," she said, adding that her best friend at Mercer
was African American.
She has fond memories of her MCCC professors, recalling the
husband and wife team of science professors, Dr. Herbert Donahue
and Eileen Donahue. "They were awesome; they exposed
us to a lot," she said. Co-founders of the college's
Environmental Club, the Donahues took Anderson's class on
camping trips so students could learn about ecology first-hand.
They also ensured that their students were involved in the
school's first Earth Day celebration. She recalls two other
favorites - Professor Edith Silver, who still teaches mathematics
at the college, and Professor Dominic Misciascio, a physics
teacher who recently retired after 46 years.
one of those teachers was willing to give us extra time if
we needed it," Anderson said, adding that she believes
she got much more attention at Mercer than she would have
had at a larger university.
Anderson notes that all of her credits from Mercer transferred
to her four-year school of choice, the University of Maine,
Orono, where she earned her bachelor's degree in wildlife
management. She was one of only four women in the program
at the time.
Originally planning to become a veterinarian, Anderson first
decided to study wildlife after meeting a fellow student at
Mercer who was going into the field. "I always loved
animals and the outdoors, but this was the first I'd ever
heard of this major," she said, adding that her classmate
later went on to become a conservation officer in New Jersey.
Being one of few women to study wildlife management in the
1970s, Anderson worked hard to overcome stereotypes. "As
a woman you always had to prove you were worthy," she
said. (When Anderson was hired at the Lee Metcalf NWR, she
was its first female manager.)
her husband, Larry, at the wildlife refuge in Maine. Together
they had three sons: twins Russell and Joshua (28) and Zachary
(25). Two of her sons are nurses, and the third is applying
to a master's program in speech therapy. "I come from
a long line of doctors and nurses," she said, adding
that she is proud of her sons for going into nursing, once
a very gender-specific profession, just like her own.
She noted that one of her children went to a community college.
"I think that community colleges provide a firm, inexpensive
foundation for your education."
Anderson enriched her Mercer experience by making the most
of every opportunity that was available to her. "When
you enroll in school, it's about what you take from the experience.
Work hard, get involved, and take all your classes seriously.
You get out of it what you put into it."
While technically retired, Anderson plans to stay active in
her field as a volunteer for her former employer, Agassiz
NWR. She has also applied to volunteer for three months in
2013 at Midway Atoll NWR, located on a remote Hawaiian island
in the Pacific.
Anderson maintains that wildlife always has, and hopefully
will continue to be, an important part of our world. She encourages
students to consider entering the field of wildlife management
if they have a passion for preserving the world's natural
"As this country continues to develop, our nation's wildlife
are confined to smaller and smaller areas of habitat. Every
part of the country has beauty and every native creature and
habitat is important to strengthening the fabric of life that
we humans depend upon."