Posted: March 28, 2016 12:00 AM
How did you first come to UGA CAES?
I earned my AS in Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics at ABAC and transferring to UGA was the single most important decision of my life. I never considered coming here up until the moment I submitted my application because I did not want to attend a large university, just to get lost in the system, but the opportunities for growth, experiences in and out of the classroom, and the faculty and staff here made me realize just how impactful CAES can be.
What are some of your favorite experiences in CAES?
I came in as a junior, who wanted to major in Agribusiness, and within my first year at UGA, I was able to take nine courses that were related to my interests and even traveled abroad for the first time ever! I was always a homebody growing up so being able to go to Uruguay for spring break to study beef and grain production was invigorating!
My passion for agricultural economics emerged from this nine day trip and so did my interest in international agricultural development. I decided to change my major and career path within the next month and I also received an incredible job opportunity with the CAES Office of Academic Affairs! Being able to take classes and get hands on experience in this college grounded me even more in my career decision to become an Agricultural Extension Specialist.
My senior year consisted of networking, upper level major courses, graduate school applications, and my second study abroad. Yes, I decided to hit the air again. This time I traveled to Costa Rica to learn about coffee production, and I have been hooked ever since. At least a cup a day! The courses I was enrolled in opened my eyes to real life agricultural application and I do not think I would get that connection and understanding anywhere else. The people around CAES were so supportive of my decisions too, and I relied on their encouragement for everything I did.
Chasity working in the 2nd floor classroom in Four Towers
Chasity with her "I Told My CAES Story" T-shirt
Who are some of your favorite faculty members?
Dr. Dorfman and Dr. Kriesel were two of the most influential professors I had during my undergraduate career and I cannot thank them enough for their expertise and education. I decided to apply for graduate school while taking their courses, but I decided that I needed to branch out and learn more about agricultural and environmental education from a different standpoint if I wanted to be successful in my career. I had open space during this year and decided to take ALDR 4000: Teaching with Animals with Dr. Fuhrman, who convinced me to apply to the Master of Agricultural and Environmental Education program. I knew that I would not be able to afford a graduate degree without funding, so he talked me through the process and helped me write my letter of intent for an assistantship. I honestly never thought I would be qualified for any of this, but on March 6, 2015, I received an email saying that I had been accepted with a full assistantship through the State 4-H Office. I was a strong FFA member in high school and was the first person at my school to earn an American Degree, so this was going to be a huge transition, but I could not have been more blessed! I was on my way to get coffee when I read my email and broke down crying on Orbit. I still tear up when I think about it.
What was undergraduate graduation from CAES like?
That May, with support from my family, friends, and the faculty and staff at CAES, I graduated with a BSA in Agricultural and Applied Economics, but I was not able to walk, because I was on a plane for a third study abroad! I traveled to Toulouse, France for Maymester and learned so much about the agricultural and environmental systems world-wide. I did not stop there though. I just traveled to Scotland for spring break for a service learning study abroad to help alleviate food insecurity. Between HOPE and the multiple scholarships from CAES, I can proudly say I will graduate with no student loans. I could not be where I am today with CAES and I will forever cherish the memories and friends I made here.
You can do anything your heart desires as long as you strive to accomplish it.