Alyssa Iampietro is set to graduate from Appalachian State University in December of 2022 with a B.S. in Biology with a concentration in Ecology, Evolutionary, and Environmental Biology as well with minors in Animal Studies and Recreation Management. She was awarded a Sally A. Callegari Memorial Scholarship for Gender Diversity in Animal Studies in 2022-23 from the College of Arts & Sciences. Launched in 2019-20, the Callegari Scholarship has helped four majors complete their studies at Appalachian and has included a diverse array of majors housed in the departments of Anthropology, Biology, Interdisciplinary Studies, and Psychology. Alyssa is the fourth recipient of the scholarship and she has recorded a short video to describe the impact which the Callegari Scholarship has had on her studies. Her long-term career goal is to work with wildlife, either in conservation or rehabilitation.
The Callegari Scholarship was established in memory of Sally A. Callegari, a life-long supporter of animal rights, care, and health. The purpose of the Sally A. Callegari Memorial Scholarship for Gender Diversity in Animal Studies is to recognize outstanding scholarship in the humanistic or scientific study of animals that is couched in healthcare and/or advocacy and to provide incentive for students with demonstrated personal or research experiences of sexism, or who demonstrate an interest in the advancement of women in the sciences through their own work/activism, and who demonstrate a commitment to ending gender-based discrimination to enter into a profession that includes an interest in the well-being of animals (i.e. veterinary medicine, biology, animal welfare, primatology, etc.). It awards $2,000 on an annual basis to a student majoring in a degree offered by the College of Arts & Sciences.
With regards to how the Callegari Scholarship has benefitted her, Alyssa replied:
"This scholarship has benefited me in more ways than one. It definitely helped relieve the financial burden of education. Over the summer, I had the amazing opportunity to work at a black bear sanctuary, and even though I loved the position, I cannot deny that internships come with a certain level of financial strain. Receiving this scholarship eased that aspect of it, allowing me to focus on the true takeaways of my experience, which is that I love working with animals."
When asked about how gendered barriers continue to exist in her field, Alyssa remarked:
"All too often, people face gender discrimination in the sense that certain identities need to work twice as hard to recieve equal considerations. This scholarship removed one barrier preventing me from success in the field as a woman, which has benefitted me mentally and has allowed me to feel confident in my identity. The best word to describe it is empowering."
When asked about what advice she would give to students who are preparing for a career working with animals, Alyssa finished by offering the following:
"Always stand up for yourself, and your peers. You deserve a place at the table despite anything you’ve been through or what anyone says, and never let anyone tell you otherwise. Gender is the last thing that should impact your opportunity to work in the animal industry, and if you feel that you are being discriminated against, do not stand to the side and let it happen. The only way to end that experience is to establish that those behaviors are not acceptable. Do your part to make a more inclusive environment for people of all gender identities."
To learn more about the Callegari Scholarship, including how to apply, and how you can help support more amazing students like Alyssa, please visit https://anthro.appstate.edu/Callegari-Memorial-Scholarship.
About the Department of Biology
The Department of Biology is a community of teacher-scholars, with faculty representing the full breadth of biological specializations — from molecular genetics to landscape/ecosystem ecology. The department seeks to produce graduates with sound scientific knowledge, the skills to create new knowledge, and the excitement and appreciation of scientific discovery. Learn more at https://biology.appstate.edu.
About the College of Arts and Sciences
The College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) at Appalachian State University is home to 17 academic departments, two centers and one residential college. These units span the humanities and the social, mathematical and natural sciences. CAS aims to develop a distinctive identity built upon our university's strengths, traditions and unique location. The college’s values lie not only in service to the university and local community, but through inspiring, training, educating and sustaining the development of its students as global citizens. More than 6,400 student majors are enrolled in the college. As the college is also largely responsible for implementing App State’s general education curriculum, it is heavily involved in the education of all students at the university, including those pursuing majors in other colleges. Learn more at https://cas.appstate.edu.
About the Department of Recreation Management and Physical Education
The Department of Recreation Management and Physical Education in Appalachian State University’s Beaver College of Health Sciences is an innovative, diverse and forward-thinking academic unit consisting of two undergraduate programs. The recreation management program prepares students for careers as professionals in three concentrations: commercial recreation and tourism management, outdoor experiential education, and recreation and park management. The health and physical education program prepares students for careers as K-12 health and physical educators, school-based activity directors and coaches. Learn more at https://rmpe.appstate.edu.
About the Beaver College of Health Sciences
Appalachian State University’s Beaver College of Health Sciences (BCHS), opened in 2010, is transforming the health and quality of life for the communities it serves through interprofessional collaboration and innovation in teaching, scholarship, service and clinical outreach. BCHS offers nine undergraduate degree programs and seven graduate degree programs, which are organized into six departments: Nursing, Nutrition and Health Care Management, Public Health and Exercise Science, Recreation Management and Physical Education, Rehabilitation Sciences, and Social Work. The college’s academic programs are located in the Holmes Convocation Center on App State’s main campus and the Leon Levine Hall of Health Sciences, a state-of-the-art, 203,000-square-foot facility that is the cornerstone of the Wellness District. In addition, the college supports the Blue Cross NC Institute for Health and Human Services and has collaborative partnerships with the Wake Forest School of Medicine’s Physician Assistant Program, the Appalachian Regional Health System and numerous other health agencies. Learn more at https://healthsciences.appstate.edu.
About Appalachian State University
As the premier public undergraduate institution in the Southeast, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The Appalachian Experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls nearly 21,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.