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Forbes/Lea Scholar Leaves Rodeo to Pursue Academics

Kyle Tidwell has always felt at home in the outdoors. Growing up in the small town of Gaston, OR, he spent his free time riding horses, hunting, fishing, and participating in rodeo sports. His talent for calf roping earned him a rodeo scholarship to Montana State University.  After earning a 2nd place National College Rodeo title, Tidwell left it all behind to pursue his first love ­­­­­­­— veterinary medicine.


Now, Tidwell is a PhD

student in Biology at Portland State University and a Forbes/Lea Scholarship Recipient. It was during an internship at the Oregon Zoo when Tidwell discovered a strong interest in herpetology, the study of amphibians and reptiles. That interest, and specifically research involving the endangered Oregon Spotted Frog, motivated Tidwell to pursue hands-on graduate work at PSU:


“I chose PSU because the faculty here encourage you to grow and do your own research. I wouldn’t have had this opportunity anywhere else.” 


Today, Tidwell, a self-described “herpephile,” is happy spending his days outdoors in the marshland waters around Oregon and Washington catching frogs and collecting data.


“For me, a PhD from PSU is the best way to learn quality research and bring that background to the forefront of veterinary medicine.”