In the July 2015 issue of American Hunter, we wrote about how the National Rifle Association supports wildlife conservation through the Women’s Wildlife Management/Conservation Scholarship (WWMCS). The scholarship is the 2006 brainchild of the Women’s Policies Committee of the NRA and is intended to help preserve national resources for future generations through educational subsidies. We thought it would be interesting to follow the career track of one who put the scholarship to good use, the 2009 WWMCS recipient, Samantha Pedder.
From 2011 to 2015, Samantha was the Hunter Outreach Coordinator for the Game Commission in her home state of Pennsylvania, where she oversaw the agency’s efforts to recruit, retain and reactivate Pennsylvania’s hunters and shooters. In April 2015, she took on national-level responsibilities as the manager of diversity and outreach for the National Shooting Sports Foundation. American Hunter was not surprised to learn that Samantha continued with her commitments to wildlife management as the director of business development for the Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports. In this capacity, she works with state fish and wildlife agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and industry members to develop national strategies to recruit, retain and reactivate hunters and recreational shooters.
“To some, hunting and target shooting is a lifestyle; to others, a profession. Fortunately for me, it is both. Each day I am thankful to work in this field, and I recognize that it took the support of many people, including my family, mentors and colleagues, and programs such as the WWMCS, to get me to this point. Now, I have spent the early years of my career addressing the challenges that others face when they attempt to learn to hunt or target shoot. The outdoor world provided me with so many opportunities, and I view it as my role to make sure others, especially other women, are as fortunate as I to experience these.”
In her free time, Samantha enjoys hunting, target shooting and spending time with her family outdoors.
Samantha holds a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife and Fisheries Management from Penn State University and a Master of Science in Natural Resources from Utah State University, and is currently pursuing a Master of Business Administration from Georgia Southern University.
To support the Women’s Wildlife Management/Conservation Scholarship, please send contributions to The NRA Foundation, c/o Ruthann Sprague, 11250 Waples Mill Road, Fairfax, VA 22030. Contributions to The NRA Foundation Inc. are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by federal law. Your contributions provide a renewable, one-year $1,000 scholarship. Applicants must complete the online forms no later than November 1 each year.