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David Watts

Interview with David Q. Watts

BS in Zoology
Anticipated Graduation: May 2018

Meet David:
I’m a nontraditional student who left my career hoping to find something I could do to benefit the whole world and not just one country. Thinking medical school might be an option, I began taking science courses. After not getting into medical school after two rounds of applications, I had to find a new direction. Thanks to my advisor Ms. Dana Thomas, and Dr. Lisa Paciulli, I found my new home in the world of primates. Without NC State and these wonderful people, I would still be lost in life!
What is your proudest accomplishment as an NC State student?
I am proudest of being allowed to work with some of the greatest professors who support me, performing original research with primates at the Duke Lemur Center.

What do you love best about your department or major?
I really love the relaxed working environment of the biology department. As far as the major goes, I really like how the program is designed to encourage the student to think outside the box when addressing today’s conservation issues. The program fosters the students’ appreciation of the natural world and strives to provide each student with an opportunity to contribute to current conservation efforts.

What do you plan to do after graduating from NC State?
I hope to attend a Ph.D. program, and upon completion, return to academia to continue my research and hopefully inspire others to help make the world a better place!

Care to give a shout-out to a faculty or staff member that you would like to recognize?
I would like to thank Dr. Lisa Paciulli who continues to support my dream of becoming a primatologist, and I would also like to thank Dr. Jenny Campbell who has helped me better understand the concerns surrounding animal captivity in research and exhibition situations.

What advice would you give to students at the beginning of their degree program?
At the beginning of a degree program, the years ahead of you may seem to be numerous; however, they go by fast. If your major is your dream, work hard for the short time you are in school and make it happen. Be sure to have a couple of backup plans in your pocket… just in case!

Here are a few other particulars about David:
• Holds a degree in Accounting from the University of South Carolina.
• Was Assistant Finance Director for the City of Camden, SC.
• Tutored science subjects at Catawba Valley Community College.
• Has been awarded research grants and conducted, published and presented lemur research on numerous occasions.
• Enjoys hiking, scuba diving, and photography
• Volunteered with hospice and Science Olympiad.