Discover what “playtime” means for two very different and successful professionals during upcoming University of Findlay Fridays at Findlay presentations. Featuring Atlanta Braves pitcher Jerry Blevins on Nov. 22, and ZooTampa at Lowry Park Animal Behavior and Enrichment Manager Sue Young ’07 on Dec. 6, each talk will focus on fascinating aspects of their respective Major League Baseball and zookeeping leadership endeavors and encounters.
Sponsored by First Federal Bank, the Fridays at Findlay breakfast lecture series is designed to encourage educational opportunities for members of the community, the campus, and alumni regarding best leadership practices. Admission, which includes a hot breakfast, is $10 per person and $5 for students. To register and for more information, visit the Fridays at Findlay webpage or call University Advancement at 419-434-5334.
Blevins will speak about the different types of leaders he has come across throughout his career, and how they have impacted his life. He has found that leadership plays a key role in life, whether you’re playing baseball or raising a family.
Blevins recently finished his 13th MLB season pitching for the Braves; he previously pitched for the Oakland Athletics, the Washington Nationals, and the New York Mets. He graduated from Arcadia High School in 2001, where he played baseball, football, and basketball. He attended the University of Dayton on an academic scholarship and earned a spot on the Flyers’ team. From there, he was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in 2004 and played in the minors before hitting it big in 2007 with his start for Oakland.
His love of baseball began when he was a child watching the Oakland Athletics in the 1990 World Series. Blevins, who still resides in Findlay with his family, looked up to other players like Ricky Henderson, Jose Canseco, and Ken Griffey, Jr.
Young has been involved in the animal training community for 12 years, and has been part of some unforgettable experiences. After working with marine mammals at the Miami Seaquarium, she took her work to Clearwater Marine Aquarium where she worked with rehabilitated marine life, including Winter from the hit movie, “Dolphin Tale”; many might remember Winter as the dolphin with the prosthetic tail.
Additionally, Young and the animals she trains at ZooTampa will be featured in National Geographic’s “Secrets of the Zoo,” which is set to air this winter.
Young now applies her training knowledge to an even wider array of animal species, ranging from birds and meerkats to tigers and elephants. Her goal is to teach her staff about operant conditioning, to improve animal welfare through training and enrichment, and to contribute to conservation efforts.
She earned a Bachelor of Science in biology from the University of Findlay.