Redefining the Classroom

Fisheries and Wildlife Club sets up scholarship in memory of charter member

Posted: March 11th, 2013

FISHERIES AND WILDLIFE LEGACY - Officers with Lake Superior State University 's Fisheries and Wildlife Club join their faculty advisor and University officials in creating the Wendy J. Sak Memorial Fisheries and Wildlife Award. An annual award of at least $500 - more as the fund grows - will be made each fall to a member in good standing of the club who is at least a full-time sophomore pursuing any area of study at LSSU. Seated and signing chartering papers are LSSU president Tony McLain, left, and Fisheries and Wildlife Club president Tyler Jackson; standing, Nick O'Neil (club secretary), LSSU Foundation executive director Tom Coates, LSSU biology professor Geoff Steinhart, and club treasurer Matt Elya. (LSSU/John Shibley)

A print-resolution photo that runs with the caption above can be found by clicking here.

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. -An award-winning club at Lake Superior State University has established a scholarship in memory of one of its founding officers. The Wendy J. Sak Memorial Fisheries and Wildlife Award will help LSSU Fisheries and Wildlife Club student members of any discipline afford their education through a cash grant given each year.

An initial $2,000 check from the LSSU club set up the award fund. Fundraisers and donations from LSSU grads and past club members hope to grow the fund's principal to the minimum endowment level of $25,000.

The LSSU Fisheries and Wildlife Club, the creation of which is one of Sak's lasting legacies to her alma mater, recently garnered most active subunit award from the North Central Division of the American Fisheries Society for the 6th consecutive year. The division stretches from the Rockies to the Appalachians, and from the Arctic Circle to the Mason-Dixon line. It includes six provinces and 12 states. There are 21 student subunits that compete for the award, and all but two of them have graduate programs.

The scholarship honors Ms. Sak, who was killed at age 35 in an auto accident in May, 2012. She grew up in Burton, Mich., and was co-valedictorian of her Atherton High School graduating class of 1994. In 1998, she graduated from LSSU cum laude, earning a Bachelor's of Science degree in fisheries and wildlife management with a minor in law enforcement.

While earning her degree at LSSU, Sak played an integral role in forming the LSSU Fisheries & Wildlife Club. She served as a club officer and was very active in club events. Almost 20 years later, the club is now a multiple award-winning student organization with its own residence house, Laker Hall, on LSSU's historic Officers Row.

Sak was an avid outdoorswoman who loved hunting and fishing with family and friends. She had a great sense of humor and was known for her dynamic and outgoing personality. According to everyone who knew her, Sak had a love for life, for her family and friends, and for her university.

At the time of her death, she was a major account executive for Charter Business, a consultancy for business start-ups. She was extremely proud of working with her Charter A-Team and won many awards for excellence in sales.

Sak was also instrumental in reorganizing and revitalizing the Grand Traverse Area Sport Fishing Association. With her active involvement, the organization grew from 100 to 500 members and greatly expanded the number of events it hosts to promote sustainability of the natural resources within the Grand Traverse community area.

A scholarship award of at least $500 - more as the fund grows - will be made each fall to a member in good standing of the LSSU Fisheries and Wildlife Club who is at least a full-time sophomore pursuing any area of study at LSSU. Applicants must have a GPA of at least 2.5. The scholarship is non-renewable, however past recipients may be considered. Financial need is also a consideration.

Students are invited to click here to apply for this and other biology-related scholarships before the fall deadline of March 15. Click here if you'd like to make a contribution to the Wendy J. Sak Memorial Fisheries and Wildlife Award; type in her name under the "other gift designation" category.

For more information about this or any one of the more than 100 scholarships and awards available at LSSU, call the LSSU Foundation Office at 906-635-2665 or run a search for "LSSU foundation scholarships" on the Web.


CONTACTS: John Shibley, e-mail, 906-635-2314; Tom Pink, e-mail, 635-2315; Sharon Dorrity, LSSU Foundation Office, e-mail, 635-2665.