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Spring 2015: Ryan Wiersma

BGS Student Spotlight

Name: Ryan Wiersma

Classification: Senior

Hometown: (Military brat) San Antonio, TX

Nominated by: Amy Beck, Supervisor of Academic Advising: University College Advising Center

Why did you select General Studies as your major? 

I started as an ESS major and soon realized that I wanted to understand my soldiers more than just physically. I desired a degree that was tailored to Ryan, not a group of people, and General Studies would allow me to do just that. Having a BGS degree would also allow me to broaden my fields of study, which will help me be a better military officer.

What are your three minors?  Exercise and Sports Science, Psychology, and Military Science

How did you select your minors?

I chose ESS because we (military) are expected to be physically fit to train in all environments.  To provide physical training to my soldiers, I wanted to have first-hand experience for credibility as well as to be an effective trainer. I chose psychology to understand how to be an effective leader by knowing and comprehending what my soldiers are thinking and why they are thinking it. Lastly, I chose military science to study the history of our military. To be a good leader, you have to study the past good and bad leaders.

What advice do you have for students considering the General Studies major?

Do not be deterred by the word “general;" this degree is everything but that.  Do research on all the different minors that may interest you to make sure you choose the best three that are tailored to your needs.  

...and learn more about Ryan here

Nature and Heritage Tourism

If you’re interested in a career in "the most rapidly growing segment of the overall tourism industry" planning activities for entities like public parks and historic sights, consider a minor in Nature and Heritage Tourism. 


An example of courses that may be taken for this minor include:

NHT 4301: Planning and Development of Nature and Heritage Tourism. This course applies basic planning and development principles to the special issues of nature and heritage tourism. Particular emphasis is placed on locational analysis, site analysis, and planning for sustainable use. 

GEO 4326: Parks and Protected Places. This course serves as an in-depth introduction to the philosophy, establishment, and operation of Public Parks, Wildlife Refuges, Protected Areas, Non-Governmental Preserves and Historic Sites. Students will be introduced to the scientific and policy rationale for the creation of such areas as well as methods of classification and acquisition. 

NHT 4302: Internship in Nature and Heritage Tourism. Students will work in private or public sector settings to gain practical experience in the planning, development and management of nature and/or heritage tourism. Internships must be approved by the director of the Center for Nature and Heritage Tourism. Students will be expected to perform at high professional standards and will interpret the internship experience within the context of current literature.