Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives

Senior Stories

Kira McEntire

Kira McEntire had a truly interdisciplinary Southwestern Experience in every sense of the word. A double major in biology and environmental studies with a minor in studio art, Kira created an LED lights project with a grant from the King Creativity Fund, participated in numerous sustainability initiatives on campus, and volunteered at one of the local animal shelters.

What are you most proud of about your time at Southwestern?
I have become proficient enough at both science and art to consider myself a scientist and an artist. 

What advice do you have for an incoming first-year student?
Take advantage of opportunities on campus like collaborative research and King Creativity grants. These are some of the things unique to Southwestern and make it worth it.

Who is the person you’ll miss most and why?
I will really miss Dr. Laura Hobgood-Oster, professor of religion, because we have a relationship outside of class through dog rescue volunteer work, and because she always had puppies in her office—great for a pick-me-up whenever I needed one.

Was there a particular class or teacher that inspired you?
I loved my First Year Seminar—”Going to the Dogs.” We learned everything about dogs from their physiology to politics to their place in history. We also had to volunteer at the local animal shelter, which inspired me to continue volunteering there for the rest of my college career. I was also inspired to become an advocate for ‘bully breed’ dogs, which I have found to be among the sweetest dogs.

What would people be surprised to learn about you, your work, or your field/industry?
That the salamanders I have started to incorporate into my ceramics are shaped to resemble different types of real salamanders, which I studied with Dr. Ben Pierce, professor of biology.

What else?
I created a recycled materials mosaic mural that will stay on campus indefinitely in the Environmental Studies Lounge in Mood Bridwell Hall. 

After graduation, Kira worked as a research assistant for Dr. Pierce and attended a science conference—the Joint Meeting of Ichthyologist and Herpetologists. She has recently started her graduate studies in wildlife biology at the University of Georgia.