Executive Director – Michele Kittell


Michele Kittell

Michele received her M.S. in Zoology from Clemson University and her B.S. in Biology from Pennsylvania State University. Her diverse research background ranges from studying the ecological effect of an invasive plant species to fish behavior and genetics. She has participated in coral reef surveying in the Bahamas, fish health and husbandry research, and dolphin cognition projects. Michele enjoys teaching in formal and informal settings. Her experience includes teaching environmental science courses at community colleges, leading workshops for the general public on the indigenous flora and fauna of Oconee State Park in South Carolina, and introducing marine ecology to guests of Disney’s The Seas. Michele has published several scientific manuscripts and has presented her work nationally and internationally. She is an avid conservation biologist and enjoys working on community projects as well as hiking, birding, and photographing nature.  Michele has been with the Institute since 2009 working closely with the Wildlife Leadership Academy program.  She now serves as the Executive Director of the Institute.  For questions, comments or concerns regarding the Pennsylvania Institute for Conservation Education or the Wildlife Leadership Academy, feel free to contact her at




Wildlife Leadership Academy Program Assistant – Katie Cassidy


Katie Cassidy

Katie is a Penn State graduate, receiving her M.S. in Agricultural Extension Education, and her B.S. in Forest Biology, with a minor in Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management.  While at Penn State, Katie participated in a number of entomological research projects, including virus as a control for Gypsy Moth, monitoring Asian Longhorn Beetle populations, and exploring and rearing biological control agents of Hemlock Woolly Adelgid.  Katie has been involved with 4-H for a number of years, both as a member and leader, and has guided members through projects ranging from quilting to insect studies.  Having grown up in the mountains of Pennsylvania, Katie has long enjoyed being out of doors and sharing that love of nature and the importance of conservation with others.  She teaches conservation education to children through interactive learning, bringing insects to presentations in local classrooms.  Katie is currently assisting with the coordination and logistics of all aspects of the Wildlife Leadership Academy program.  Katie can be contacted at


Pennsylvania Brookies Program Coordinator – Justin DiRado

Justin DiRado

Justin DiRado

Justin graduated from Penn State University with a his B.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries Science. While at Penn State, Justin completed an internship at Millbrook Marsh Nature Center in State College, PA where he helped direct, lead, and assist with a variety of environmental education programs, presentations, and summer camps for individuals of all ages. Following graduation from Penn State, Justin worked as a research intern at Tin Mountain Conservation Center in the Mt. Washington valley of New Hampshire. His work focused on restoring native brook trout streams by enhancing stream physical structure, collecting stream and riparian habitat data, and analyzing all the information collected during the multi-year study. In addition to his work with the Pennsylvania Brookies field school, Justin now works as the Education and Outreach Coordinator with the Pennsylvania Council of Trout Unlimited (PATU). Among other responsibilities, his work with PATU will largely focus on encouraging youth to participate in Trout Unlimited activities and events. He will also work with Pennsylvania Trout Unlimited chapters in their efforts to educate youth about the importance of coldwater conservation, help to increase membership involvement, and work to help chapters become more active in Trout Unlimited activities. For questions, comments, or concerns regarding Pennsylvania Brookies, Justin can be reached at


Pennsylvania Bucktails Program Coordinator – Teddy Fisher

Teddy Fisher

Teddy Fisher

Teddy is a senior at Penn State University majoring in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences. His interests in outdoors come from his hunting and fishing experiences with his family as he was growing up in Red Lion, Pennsylvania. Since his freshman year, he has worked at the Penn State Deer Research Center which has a captive herd of whitetail deer used for a variety of research projects. During the summer of 2012, Teddy interned with a private whitetail deer ranch and breeding facility in LaGrangeville, New York where he helped to bottle feed around 15 fawns.  He has also been involved with Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center’s Outdoor School Program which is a weeklong field camp for sixth graders to learn about nature. He is currently an officer in Penn State’s Student Chapter of the Wildlife Society, a 2013 committee member for Penn State’s THON which raised $12.37 million for pediatric cancer, and a certified PA Hunter-Trapper Education Instructor. For questions about PA Bucktails, Teddy can be reached at



When you give to the Wildlife Leadership Academy, you invest in the next generation of conservation leaders. Our students are passionate, caring and want to make a difference!

Make your investment in Pennsylvania's youth today!


Michele Kittell, Executive Director
116 Market St.
Lewisburg, PA 17837

phone: 570.245.8518


A Cooperative Intiative

A Cooperative Intiative

The Wildlife Leadership Academy is a cooperative initiative of various state agencies and conservation organizations. It is coordinated and
administered by the Pennsylvania Institute for Conservation Education, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.