Words by Marissa Boitnott
Jessica Anliker is a senior at Bowling Green State University studying biology with a specialization in ecology and conservation biology. However, while most of her days may consist of studying wildlife, it is not devoid of beautifully crafted lyrics and notes that are strung together to create what we call music.
Jessica’s first musical experience was playing Rumpelstiltskin in her fourth-grade play in Columbus, Ohio. While performing on stage, her favorite part was singing to the audience. She continued to sing through her middle school years and was in the high school choir as an Alto 2. Her choir allowed her to compete at Ohio Music Education Association group competitions and several other events. While she enjoyed her time in choir, she continued to pursue her love for wildlife conservation. Eventually, she switched to focus more on STEM in high school to prepare her for her future love of conservation biology.
While completing her degree, she regularly goes out into the field and works in the Wood County region, which is the county Bowling Green State University is at. Her conservation takes her everywhere from studying birds, to the resources for the living creatures in the area, to the fish and aquatic animals in the ponds on Bowling Green Campus.
However, in Jessica’s free time, she stays connected to music at the local church in Bowling Green by leading worship for the youth group. Through her voice and guitar, she helps lead the praise band for the whole congregation. As well, she also helps plan the worship music at a church back in her hometown. Jessica uses the lyrics in the worship music to create a personal connection with God. This experience has deepened her dedication to God. Now, when she listens to worship music, Jessica sets her full focus on the music.
While Jessica’s two loves will never cross, she appreciates the separation that is created. Music allows a release of stress and anxiety in her eyes and is an excellent way for her to wind down and relax after spending the day working with the local wildlife.