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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Born to be Wildcats


    Photo courtesy of Pixabay

    No matter what you majored in, what clubs or organizations you joined or how you spent your time at the UA, one thing remains the same for seniors graduating this weekend: We will be Wildcats for life.

    But we are not the only Wildcats out there. (And, no, that’s not a reference to the University of Kentucky.) There are various wildcat species around the world. The bobcat is one of the most common wildcats found living coast-to-coast and throughout North America, according to Jim Schnormeier, the general curator at Reid Park Zoo.

    “The reason for this is due to their ability to adapt,” Schnormeir said. “It is one of their greatest assets.”

    Ron Gonzalez, a chemistry senior with a minor in French, will walk with many other UA Wildcats this week.

    “Wildcats are known for their adaptability in a variety of environments,” Gonzalez said. “Similarly, UA graduates are skilled in applying their undergraduate experience to thrive in a wide range of career fields.”

    Next year, Gonzalez plans to research the synthesis of biodegradable, nontoxic surfactants as a research assistant in Dr. Jeanne Pemberton’s lab at the UA.

    For some, graduating is just one achievement of the many to be gained in the future. For several students graduating this week, it is only the start on a path toward success.

    Senior Chris Hartford will graduate with a degree in biology and focus in biomedical sciences. Hartford is also studying for the Medical College Admission Test, which he will take in September.

    “It takes a lot of perseverance to study for the MCAT,” Hartford said. “You definitely have to be focused. And, yeah, it’s my prey.”

    The hunting wildcat is persevering. The long-desired diplomas that, at times, seemed out of reach have finally been dominated by the UA’s walking Wildcats.

    Lucy Beck is graduating the UA with a degree in political science and a minor in economics.

    “I can’t wait to take on life after graduation with the fierceness of a wildcat,” Beck said.

    Thrown into the unknown of wild jungles, wildcats learn to adapt to their environments. This trait will be most powerful for graduating Wildcats going out into the world and to new coasts.

    Beck, for instance, aspires to move to the District of Columbia to pursue her career.

    “Watch out for the next queen of the jungle,” Beck said.

    Being wild, superior, independent, adaptive, intimidating and fierce. These are the Wildcat archetypes that transform UA students cheering in the ZonaZoo to monarchs of the wilderness, achieving their goals.

    Brandon Hecke will graduate with a degrees in marketing and entrepreneurship this week.

    “Being innovative and focused are important qualities to have,” Hecke said. “Seize, anticipate and always think one step ahead of your prey.”

    Hecke has accepted a full-time position at Goldman Sachs for the following year.

    Mark Twain once said, “Of all God’s creatures, there is only one that cannot be made slave of the lash. That one is the cat. If man could be crossed with the cat, it would improve man, but it would deteriorate the cat.”

    With the eye of the tiger, the agility of a cheetah, the roar of a lion and the flexibility of a bobcat, UA Wildcats possess the qualities to bear down the rest of the world.


    Follow Victoria Teplitz on Twitter.

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