Field of study: Horticulture
Hometown: Hastings, MI
Fun fact: I played tuba in the marching band and pep band for four years in undergrad.
Why did you choose the CALS MPS degree program?
I initially chose to pursue a CALS MPS degree because of the brevity of the program and resume impact that an upper level degree from a top tier institution like Cornell would garner. Little did I know that I’d fall in love with Ithaca and have a harder time leaving than expected.
What have been some of the most rewarding moments?
The most rewarding moment of the program came during the commencement celebration. When we began the march from the Arts Quad, the bells in the tower rang and the cohort of fellow graduates and I were showered with applause from the trustees. Then after taking a turn around the library, a tunnel of faculty from the entire university gathered to continue the applause. Looking over and seeing the director of my school, as well as my professors gave me a true sense of pride and a feeling of happiness because I had made it, and the faculty from my university wanted to show their appreciation of that. Beyond graduation, the classes I was a part of were rigorous and fascinating.
Describe your career path and how that led you to pursue a Cornell CALS MPS.
Early on in my undergraduate experience I decided to pursue a career in education. I found that when I was teaching, I was at my most happy and confident state of mind. Thus, I went into agricultural education and after a year of teaching, realized that I had found my calling, but needed more supplementary training in topics such as food science and wildlife management.
How has your MPS experience changed you, both professionally and personally?
The MPS experience changed me in a professional way by providing me with a real life immersion into building a plan and executing a project from scratch. I was able to reach out and contact everyone I needed for my research, and then compose a large amount of material as a result. Personally, I met a large new group of students who pushed me to be a better friend and colleague both in and out of the classroom.
What’s your favorite thing about living in Ithaca?
My favorite thing about living in Ithaca is the tremendous amount of activities available in the town and surrounding area. There is world class hiking in town and within a day trip from town, as well as a large lake that affords kayaking and sailing opportunities. Ithaca is just the right size to have a multitude of restaurants, but without the congestion of a larger city. That being said however, I enjoyed being just a short drive and train ride away from New York City. Living in Ithaca is having the best of both worlds.
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