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Allison HargettAllison Hargett, class of 2004

Passion at the zoo

Taking courses like vertebrate anatomy, vertebrate zoology, and animal behavior at Birmingham-Southern have proven to be extremely beneficial for animal lover Allison Hargett in her new career as a zookeeper at the Knoxville (Tenn.) Zoological Gardens.

Since 2007, Hargett has spent her work days preparing food for the animals at the zoo as well as keeping the animal's cages and environment free from potentially dangerous compounds, items or debris. She also gives guided tours, among her varied duties.

“Thanks to the BSC Biology Department, I can provide zoo visitors with information on animal life history, taxonomy, and behavior,” says Hargett, a native of Russellville, Ala. “I'm also able to assist with ongoing research projects at the zoo and can make well-informed recommendations to my superiors regarding animal care.”

During her undergraduate career, Hargett earned membership in several honoraries at BSC, including the Beta Beta Beta Biology Honor Society. Afterward, she attended the University of Nevada in Reno where she received a master's degree in biology with a specialty in animal behavior. As a grad student, Hargett acquired valuable experience as a biology teaching assistant.

“I know that what I gained from the Biology Department at BSC helped prepare me for graduate school and will continue to serve me throughout my career,” she says. “To all the biology faculty and staff at Birmingham-Southern: Thank you!"