It’s not uncommon to find a Buffalonian who dreams of traveling someplace warmer for the winter, or perhaps wanting to escape the cold permanently. However, when it came time for sophomore Will Vega to decide on a college two years ago, he chose to embark on a path that’s rather contradictory to the mindsets of most snowbirds: leaving his hometown of Austin, Texas to begin anew in Buffalo, New York.
After taking his great-uncle’s advice to pursue a Jesuit education and learning about the plentiful benefits of one for himself, Vega left the heat of Texas to study Animal Behavior Ecology and Conservation (ABEC) at Canisius College.
“I came up here mostly to get out of Texas and get a new change of pace,” Vega said. “The ABEC Program here is what initially got my attention, but after learning a little bit more about a Jesuit education and the fundamental beliefs, I was pretty sold on it.”
In addition to fulfilling his passion in the realm of animal behavior at Canisius, Vega found himself becoming a part of The Griffin family last Oct. He began writing pieces for Opinion and Features — including a column for the anniversary of historical events that still stands today, “Today in History” — and eventually landed his current position as Copy Editor.
“I wasn’t originally planning to do it,” Vega said. “But by the time applications were all over, they didn’t have one so I was pretty happy to fill the role. The kind of work I do as a copy editor is pretty much what I’ve always enjoyed about writing. The parts of the standardized tests that are like, ‘find out what’s wrong with this sentence and circle what it should be.’ I really enjoyed those and have always had a thing for grammar and spelling.”
Animal behavior and copy editing may seemingly have little in common, though Vega navigates each world with the same stamina and precision that has ultimately resulted in overlays between the two to occur.
“I think communication skills are pretty important in both fields, but what I take away from the paper frequently is understanding how masses react to things,” Vega said. “Things like zoos are under fire. Not everybody agrees with them. I believe they’re very important for conservation and education, so I think utilizing communication skills aids in promoting the idea of zookeeping.”
Vega hopes to eventually become a senior zookeeper or curator in the future, and will certainly be able to employ the skills he’s developed throughout his time with The Griffin thus far in each of his endeavors.
As far as Vega’s advice for those looking to improve upon their writing skills and become more involved with Canisius’ writing scene, he believes, “The more you do it, the better you get at it. There are a lot of great people that will help you improve your craft and you’ll find yourself wanting to do it for both the writing aspect and because of the good company. That’s certainly why I stuck around.”
Perhaps that’s the factor that draws people to Buffalo and allows for it to creep directly into their hearts — the good company. For Vega, numerous opportunities to explore his talents and potentials mixed with a great group of people has shown itself to be a recipe for success.