Posted: February 22, 2016 12:00 AM
Christina Garner serves the University of Georgia Tifton Campus as a student ambassador. Christina is excited about being at the place she calls home and hopes to begin her career as a teacher after graduating with a degree in agricultural education.
Interview with Christina
Q&A with Christina
What made you choose to attend UGA?
I chose the UGA Tifton Campus because of the small campus atmosphere. I wanted to go to the University of Georgia, but I didn’t want the large class sizes, and I really wanted the one on one attention UGA Tifton has to offer, as well as the degree of agricultural education.
How many times have you changed your major? What made you settle on your current major?
Oh my goodness, more times than I could count. I originally started out as an animal science major, and then I went into nursing and physical therapy but decided neither were for me. Ultimately, I went the education track and decided I wanted a little more of the agriculture feel. So now I’m an agriculture education major,which really combines everything that I like to do. I feel like I have finally found my place and where I want to be.
What exposure did you have to agriculture before coming to CAES?
I actually had very minimal exposure before I came to UGA CAES. I grew up on a small farm with horses. It was really something I was passionate about but not a career choice I originally desired. Then in high school I became active in the FFA program and that’s really what brought out the agriculture interest for me.
What’s your favorite class and why?
My favorite class so far has probably been the edible landscape class with Dr. (Jason) Peake.
It was a really hands-on class and we got to plant vegetables outside out in the garden, and we got to plant the different landscapes. We also got to do some woodworking. As well, the final was just cooking a meal in the Future Farmstead, so it was a pretty great class.
Which CAES instructor do you value the most or has been the most influential?
There have been several thus far already. Dr. (Amber) Rice is definitely a very influential person in our degree program. She’s always there to answer any questions that we have. But, Dr. Peake is just as helpful. He’s an incredible professor inside and out of the classroom. He’s always there to answer questions. But I really would say that everyone on this campus is so helpful. Dr. (Rochelle) Sapp is also helpful. Her class was absolutely amazing and really opened up a lot of doors and opportunities for me, as well as answering questions about internships. So it seems like everyone kind of helps you out every step of the way.
What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned this year?
By far the most interesting thing I’ve learned this year was in aquaculture, the study of fish. Dr. (Gary) Burtle, he’s a very patient professor, I would say, for taking the time to make sure that we actually learned. But definitely just the study of fish, in general, I never imagined was as in depth as it is.
What’s one thing you’re always sure to take to class?
I’m always sure to take my planner and at least a piece of paper. If you show up with those things, most of the time they’ll let you slide by. But you better always have your planner close by because there’s always a date that you don’t want to miss.
What is the coolest thing that’s happened to you at UGA?
The coolest thing has been finally finding a place that I feel like I truly fit in. I love this campus. I feel like I can go to anyone on this campus for help, and I’ve actually found a career that I’m interested in, that I want to pursue, and that I always know I have help with. I have help within the professional atmosphere as well as just the learning aspects of everyday.
What’s your favorite thing to do outside of class?
My favorite thing by far is anything to do with horses. Right now I’m really into physical therapy with the horses, and just anything outdoors really, but horses are truly my passion and where I enjoy spending my time.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I hope to see myself in a high school classroom, but if that doesn’t work out, anything in a Cooperative Extension agency or a middle school classroom. I’ve kind of fallen in love with the middle school atmosphere, so who knows. Hopefully, I’m teaching somewhere to someone.
Best advice for incoming students?
Get involved! Get to know your professors. There’s really so much that this little campus hasto offer. It’s really a little campus with a huge heart, and I love every part about it. Your professors are there to help and truly are passionate about teaching.
What is one thing about yourself that sets you apart from other students?
I think one thing that might set me apart from other students, while everyone here is very active; I really want to be involved in everything here. I actually joined the Ag Business Club and became a student ambassador. Both of which are great programs. The (CAES) Ambassador program is really improving my leadership skills and just the ability to better myself and want more out of my education than just a degree.