From full-time student to summer park ranger, Macy Conrad ’18


By spending her summer working as a park ranger at the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers at Deer Creek Lake in Sterling, Ohio, Macy Conrad, Class of 2018, discovered a better understanding of her geological interest.

Macy’s summer internship experience was funded through an APEX Fellowship.  During her internship, she led tours of the dam and conducted a water-safety info program for children.  She also helped a lot with park maintenance and stepped up when a coworker had surgery.  “I added more energy to our office staff/team by adding a dose of humor into the daily activities. My positivity was essential, and probably annoying at times, for keeping the happy ambiance amidst the office,” Macy explained.  Her maintenance experience helped to qualify her for a grounds maintenance job on campus.

Macy’s experience exceeded the typical duration as she served for 15 weeks.  “I loved every minute of it,” said Macy.  The Fellowship also enabled her to work along side her sister, the head ranger.

When Macy’s sister first notified her about the position, it was unpaid.  With the help of APEX advisors, she applied for funding through a Fellowship.  The Associate Director of Advising and Experiential Learning, Cathy McConnell, and her husband, Professor McConnell of Sociology and Anthropology, even supported her efforts by coming to visit the dam while she was working.  This gave Macy an opportunity to showcase what she had been working on all summer.  “Their visit, and their genuine interest in my job, made me feel so important and reaffirmed my love for the work I was doing,” said Macy.

Although the nature of Macy’s work was not directly geological, she did get the opportunity to shadow a geologist to see how a dam is inspected.  Macy believes this was a good experience; however, she now knows that she does not want to inspect dams for living.  By working as a ranger, she is now considering minoring in environmental studies and would like to study more about trees.  Macy’s APEX Fellowship experience was beneficial to her on both an academic and professional level.