For Connor Lee, a junior wildlife biology major at Texas Tech University, college life did not start off on the right foot.
However, it did lead him to where he could be successful in his true passion.
Lee grew up playing football in Flower Mound, Texas, and earned first team all-state honors as a senior linebacker. He was originally recruited by Utah State University as a preferred walk-on, but a hip surgery derailed his freshman season.
Lee said it was a culture shock for him, and he transferred to Texas Tech after one semester in Utah. Lee then focused on his real passion in wildlife habitat restoration and conservation.
“Growing up, I always loved animals,” Lee said. “As a kid, I wanted to be a wildlife photographer, but I found out I hated taking photos. I realized the wildlife part of it was what I enjoyed.”
After conducting a job search, Lee discovered that becoming a wildlife biologist would be his goal. Lee said he only considered a college if they offered wildlife biology as a major. After transferring to Texas Tech, he was surprised by how friendly and helpful the staff were his first year.
“Going from the department at Utah State, the program here is smaller, but the professors and the people [in the natural resources management department] are great,” Lee said.
“They have given me a lot of opportunities, and I appreciate how they have given time to help me.”
Wildlife conservation and traveling are two of his biggest passions, and he wants to pursue both after he completes his degree. Lee said traveling was one of the biggest reasons why he chose wildlife biology.
“I love to travel,” Lee said. “I love Texas, but I want to help in other countries. I really want to be active in wildlife habitat restoration on an international level.”
Lee said he hopes after obtaining his master’s degree he can help restore habitats and wildlife across the world, but does not care where he ends up.
“I just want to be around good people throughout the world,” Lee said. “Just put me anywhere in the world, and I will do my best to succeed.”