By Julianne Bohley
CCC Journalism Program

BLACKWOOD – Camden County College’s Civic Hall opened its doors to the public on April 21 to celebrate and inform people about Earth Day. For one person, though, the Earth Day event was made even more special. Julie Feinstein, a CCC graduate, made her return to the school so she could conduct a lecture and promote her book, “A Field Guide to Urban Wildlife.”

Julie Feinstein performs an experiment using liquid nitrogen in front of the audience at Civic Hall. By Julianne Bohley, CCC Journalism Program

Feinstein, a field biologist who works at the American Museum of National History, went to CCC around 30 years ago. She was excited for the opportunity to return to her former school and speak.

“It feels really good to be back,” said Feinstein. “I have met some professors who were here 30 years ago when I was here, so it’s really exciting.”

Feinstein’s lecture began at 9 in the morning and was presented to a fairly large crowd. She spoke of her experiences over the past decades, which included her stories of traveling the world for her work. Feinstein has been to many places, including Taiwan and Denmark.

Lisa Davis, a Camden County College biology major, was one student who was very affected by Feinstein’s lecture.

“It was really interesting,” said Davis. “It’s interesting to know what kind of wildlife lives in cities and in the world. She also didn’t isolate anyone who wasn’t a biology major, which I thought was good.”

Although the lecture was primarily about her experiences, Feinstein took some time to talk about someone else. Her former biology teacher at CCC, Dr. Philip Winkie, was in attendance and Feinstein brought him up to the podium to thank him for all he had done for her more than 30 years ago. Feinstein even dedicated her book to her former professor.

“Dr. Winkie, in addition to all of the factual material that he taught me, gave me this really great gift of finding interesting, fun, exciting pieces of information.”

Feinstein also found her former professor was happy to see her.

“He’s beaming with pride because one of his children came home,” Feinstein said, “so it’s definitely a happy, celebratory feeling.”

Winkie was a major inspiration to Feinstein and her career, although Feinstein may have been doing some inspiring herself.

“It’s exciting to see someone like her come out of CCC,” said Davis. “It makes me feel really hopeful, as both a student here and a biology major.”

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