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Pictured is Point Park biology student and National Aviary intern Maria Fusco.

Meet Maria Fusco

Major: Biological Sciences
Show staff intern at the National Aviary in Pittsburgh
Hometown: Altoona, Pa.
Expected Graduation:
Spring 2012
On-Campus Activities: Community dance classes and student leader of The Body Christian Fellowship group

Why did you decide to major in biological sciences?

I originally came to Point Park as a dance major. However, after an injury I began to look at what other options were out there for me. In high school, I took an honors chemistry class and liked it. However, I realized I should have given biology more of a chance. This prompted my decision to major in biological sciences and I have enjoyed it ever since.

Why did you choose Point Park?

Point Park was very similar in size to my high school. I loved the idea of small classes and having professors who know your name and that you can go to with questions. Even with changing majors, my classes have worked out perfect. My college education has been everything I've wanted.

How did you land an internship at the National Aviary?

I took a zoology class here at Point Park and loved it so when I saw a posting on the science floor for an internship opportunity at the National Aviary it really sparked my interest. After being interviewed, I was offered the position. This internship has allowed me to come to a better understanding of the inner workings and operations of a zoo and how proper training of birds is implemented.

What are your key responsibilities there?

As a show staff intern, I work specifically with the birds that are trained for the shows. I also do husbandry, help prepare diets for the birds and have regular contact with visitors to the National Aviary. It has been a wonderful learning experience working with people who know so much about birds.

How would you describe professors in the biological sciences program?

I feel blessed to have professors who are both very intelligent and concerned about their students. That combination can sometimes be difficult to find. I also enjoy my classmates. It's been great to have class with people who are eager to learn.

What have been some of your favorite experiences at Point Park so far?

I've really enjoyed getting to know the city. I love the unique environment of Point Park. The University offers students with fantastic opportunities on a college student's budget including free tickets to shows at the Pittsburgh Playhouse.

What are your future career goals?

I'd like to take the year after graduation to work at a place like the National Aviary, Pittsburgh Zoo or for a private practice veterinarian's office. After that, I plan to apply to veterinary school. I also still have a place in my heart for dance so I'd like to stay involved in the arts as well. Point Park has helped me nurture both of my passions.