Tell us about your involvement with experiential learning.

I participated in two Industry Tours through the College of Agricultural Sciences. One took us to the Southeast: North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. The other took us to the Midwest: Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. Both trips provided valuable learning experiences that have aided in my education and have helped me decide what career path to take. The most interesting part of these trips was learning about the different cultures throughout the United States. I also made some lifelong friendships and memories while traveling across the country!


Where do you see yourself in five years, and how is AgSci helping you get there?

In five years, I hope to either be a high school agriculture teacher or an Oregon State Extension Agent. I really enjoy educating the public on agriculture, and the College of Agricultural Sciences has given me many opportunities to do so. Through my involvement with Sigma Alpha and the Agricultural Executive Council, I’ve been given fantastic opportunities to present to schools about agriculture, our college, and all of the wonderful clubs that we have to offer. I hope to continue to do so in the future.

I didn’t let brain surgery stand in the way of my education, because I have a passion to learn.

Why did you choose to major in Animal Sciences?

I really wanted to be a veterinarian when I was in high school. After having surgery during my freshman year of college, I realized that wasn’t a realistic goal for me, and I started to explore different career paths that were better suited for me, but I still decided to keep my major as Animal Sciences because I have such a passion for animals. My studies could potentially impact society in the future by giving people another perspective of animals and how they are treated and raised, rather than what you mainly see posted by animal activist groups. I believe that everyone has a right to their own opinions, so I never degrade those types of groups because they are passionate about what they are saying, but I want to show society the other side of what is happening, the farmers’ side. I want the public to see how farmers care for their animals, in contrast to how they are often portrayed.


What kind of surgery did you have?

During my freshman year at Oregon State, I had major brain surgery. On February 18, 2015, I had to undergo a Chiari decompression surgery for a condition called Chiari 1 malformation. During the surgery, they removed a portion of my skull and my first two vertebrae to make room for my cerebellum so that the cerebellar spinal fluid would flow correctly. This was really tough for me, especially because it was my first year in college, and I was still taking classes at the time. It took me a while to recover from the surgery, and I still have some pretty bad days, but overall it helped tremendously. I didn’t let this major surgery stand in the way of my education, because I have a passion to learn.


What advice would you give to incoming students?

When I first came to Oregon State, I really had no clue what I was getting into. I didn’t know where anything was located, any activities that were going on, and I didn’t really want to make any friends either. I was here for school and school only. But, I soon realized that I needed a support system. My major advice to any incoming student is to make friends that you can spend time with. This will help you through any low points of your college career, and will help you make highlights as well. Another piece of advice I wish I would have taken as a freshman was to join clubs. I took this for granted and only joined one organization, Sigma Alpha. Don’t get me wrong, I am so happy that I decided to, because I have had so many opportunities and made friendships and memories that will last for the rest of my life, but I wish I would have joined other clubs within the College of Agricultural Sciences as well.