College of Agriculture faculty and staff welcome a new crop of incoming students each fall, and as we have come to expect, this one is distinctive in its origins, talents and achievements.
For the 2011-12 academic year, 479 new students in Agriculture come from 25 states and 11 nations. Nearly four-fifths—379—are Indiana residents from more than 80 counties, and many have parents and other relatives who studied at Purdue. Among departments and pre-professional programs, animal sciences claims the largest number of new students (159), followed by agricultural economics (64), and forestry and natural resources (46).
"The beginning of a new academic year offers a fresh start, a new beginning, for all of our students," says Marcos Fernandez, director of academic programs and associate dean of Purdue Agriculture, "But this is especially true for our new first-semester students. For them, fall semester represents the first phase of their educational journey here at Purdue, one that will result in exciting and fulfilling career and professional choices."
Meet a few of the students ready to open new chapters in already impressive academic careers.
Morgan Dawson, Underwood, Ind.
Despite growing up in a rural area, Dawson knew little about agriculture until she took an elective class her freshman year called "Fundamentals of Agriculture." The class sparked her interest in FFA activities for community service and leadership.
Dawson just completed a year traveling throughout Indiana as state FFA president. "FFA led me to completely change my career path," says the one-time aspiring pharmacist. "Our annual state convention was at Purdue, and I just could tell that's where I was meant to be."
Based on dual-credit courses in high school and her FFA position, Dawson entered Purdue as a sophomore and is participating in the College of Agriculture's Leadership Development Certificate Program. She intends to complement her major in agricultural sales and marketing with a minor in international studies in agriculture to prepare for a career in global agribusiness. She is especially interested in study abroad and completed a two-week program in Costa Rica last summer.