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When you got older, did anyone inspire you?

The ruffed lemur is one of the many species of lemurs that lives in Madagascar.

I was majoring in language in college. To meet college requirements I went along with a friend to a physical anthropology class and had an unexpected experience that changed my life!

Nothing I'd experienced before in school had prepared me for the professor, Dr. Alison Richard. She was teaching about Madagascar and jumped up on stage to show us how a lemur goes through the forest—she acted out its movements and behavior. I was so mesmerized by this professor and her performance that I took as many classes as possible with her.

I eventually realized that this was what I wanted to do with my life: not study language but go to Madagascar and study lemurs. I feel lucky that I had such a smart teacher.