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Michael Rader

Year: Sophomore

Major: Earth and Environmental Science

Internship: Student Volunteer at Safari4UVet

What: Rader is volunteering at a veterinary organization in South Africa, helping with everything from big game conservation efforts to vaccination campaigns for stray dogs.

In just five weeks there, he has hugged a rehabilitated elephant (“I cried three times”), visited a cheetah sanctuary, been on a ride-along with a game capture unit in a tiny helicopter, pet a hyena, and traveled to local villages to treat stray dogs. It’s all part of his work with Safari4u Global Vet Experience, in the Eastern Cape of South Africa.

“My aspirations now are to work with wildlife as a veterinarian so I can help fix how humans have hurt and endangered or maltreated these animals,” Rader said.

The earth and environmental science major discovered the experience as part of U-M’s Pre-Vet Club; the funding came from the LSA Internship Scholarship through the LSA Opportunity Hub. (“Without it, there’s no possible way I would’ve been able to do this.”)