Callie Whitfield is an ambassador in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. She is a biochemistry major in the Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology and Plant Pathology. "I chose biochemistry because it seemed at the time to be the perfect major for an aspiring physician. After being here two years, I can say this is a great major for pre-medicine students," she said. Callie hopes to change the world as a physician and her next big step is applying to medical school. "While this process is overwhelming and daunting, it is also an exciting time for me! I cannot wait to see where MSU will lead me as I continue to pursue my career in medicine," she said. She said a defining moment occurred early in her college career. "When my mother and I came to State for orientation, we were both fearful and nervous while also excited. During those two days, though, we both grew confident that I had made the right college decision." Callie encourages potential students up for an exciting, fun challenge to explore the major.
Chrysta Beck is an ambassador in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. She is a poultry science major. "I hope to impact the world by carrying out research that will improve the poultry industry in some way. I want to help feed the world and make food less expensive and more accessible to everyone." she said. Upon graduation, she hopes to attend veterinary or graduate school. "I'm excited about the knowledge I will gain, the new experiences I will have, and the new friends I will make along the way," Chrysta said. Her favorite part of the poultry department is the size. "It feels like a family when you walk into the building, and the class sizes are small enough to ensure a hands-on experience with birds. Also, internships are easily attainable which allows for you to gain experience in the industry before beginning your career," she said. Chrysta chose to attend MSU when she was a senior in high school. "After visiting campus, talking with students, and visiting the poultry department, I knew this is where I wanted to be," she said. She tells potential students that even though MSU is a large university, it doesn't always feel that way. "Students, staff, and faculty here are friendly and welcoming. Since I'm from Ohio, it feels good to call MSU a second home. It is a university full of great people and plenty of opportunities for every student's future," she said.
Nesbit senior Naomi Taylor participated in a study abroad in Malawi that provided the experience of a lifetime.
The daughter of William and Jeannie Taylor, she traveled to the southeastern African nation to work with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. An environmental economics and management major in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, she helped the FAO assess the outcomes of irrigation techniques that had been introduced to small farmers in the wake of a 2005 drought.
"I knew I was making a difference by not only helping FAO, but the farmers in Malawi and all those who use their products," Taylor said.
The hands-on learning opportunity was made possible through MSU's International Institute and its Office of Study Abroad, with special assistance from study abroad coordinators Kristen Bloom and Anika Campbell, who are both passionate about seeing MSU students have global experiences.
While Malawian culture was different from anything she ever had seen, Taylor said it also was her favorite part of trip. During visits to various villages in the surrounding area, she was greeted with singers and dancers thanking her for the work she was doing.
"Living in a third-world country for three months was not a walk in the park," Taylor said. "However, the experiences I had there were indescribable."
She said a desire to be part of change that impacts the world helped set a long-term goal to become involved with environmental policy, beginning in the United States and expanding beyond its borders. After admitting that she doesn't "know what the future holds," Taylor added, "However, I do know that Malawi is not the only place that needs help."
At the conclusion of her internship, Taylor presented a 46-page report to NAO offices in the city of Kasunga and the Malawian capital of Lilongwe. Her research and analysis of food, security and nutrition of farms both with and without irrigation also was made available to her MSU faculty advisers.
"Mississippi State helped me help others around the world, and for that I will always be grateful, "Taylor said. "Without Dr. Randy Little and other professors at MSU, I never would have applied to be a candidate for FAO and given this wonderful opportunity."
Little is a professor agricultural economics.
Because the international experiences had been were more than she ever dreamed, Taylor said returning to the United States and MSU left her feeling "bittersweet." Nevertheless, she expressed excitement in seeing what her sophomore year has in store.
"When I was a senior in high school, I knew I had to come to Mississippi State," Taylor said. "Now, I cannot imagine what my life would be like without this amazing university filled with endless opportunities, like sending me to Africa."
Being a first-generation college student is challenging, but junior Shelbie Dalton couldn't be happier to be at Mississippi State University.
"I know that my parents are really proud of me," the agricultural information science/agricultural leadership major says.
Dalton says a discussion with human sciences assistant professor Gaea Hock at a Future Farmers of America-sponsored camp gave her very good guidance as she was planning her major and career path.
"Dr. Hock told me about AIS and said that it would be a perfect major for me," she recalls. "When I got involved with FFA and saw the opportunities with that, I decided I wanted to do something I love."
As a Mississippi FFA state sentinel, the Byhalia native and 74 other FFA officers from around the country traveled to South Africa in January as part of the organization's 2015 International Leadership Seminar for State Officers. The group spent two weeks experiencing local culture and developed a better understanding of international agriculture and the global marketplace.
Dalton says she felt well-prepared embarking on her first international trip, thanks to knowledge gained from MSU classes in agricultural issues and international agriculture. She also credits an FFA cultural diversity course she took.
"When I talk to someone or meet someone new, I try to put myself in their shoes and understand their problems and differences rather than point them out," she emphasizes. "The children there (in South Africa) were like our best friends, and they didn't even know who we were. They just wanted to see someone who cared for them and wanted to play with them."
Observing animals at a private game reserve and on local farms, enjoying a traditional 14-course meal and visiting former South African president Nelson Mandela's jail cell on Robben Island were among Dalton's favorite trip highlights.
"During the meal, a tribal leader taught us how to play the drums and, while we were eating, people there danced for us and painted our faces," she says. "We also had the opportunity to visit a carrot farm and pick carrots with the ladies who were there. They were so excited to have us working right alongside them."
"It was really cool to be a part of their culture," Dalton adds, with a smile.
Grateful for the mental and spiritual benefits the South African experience afforded her, Dalton says she came away with an even greater appreciation for food, water, and relationships. She also hopes to organize similar international agriculture mission trips for other students in FFA or agriculture-related fields.
Being involved in FFA and a student at MSU has "made me really want to be an advocate for agriculture and youth leadership," says Dalton, adding, "I'm excited to see where it takes me."
Caroline Kelsoe, a senior majoring in Environmental Economics and Management, is from Moody, Alabama. She says the people are what set CALS apart. “When I first visited campus as a prospective student, Dr. Little, the agricultural economics undergraduate coordinator and Dr. Turner, the agricultural economics department head said, ‘Welcome to the Bulldog Family!’ I was a little skeptical at first; after all, how could professors and students I only knew in class become a family? What I didn’t realize at the time is that there is so much more to CALS and the Department of Agricultural Economics than the time we spend in class. The people in CALS really have become family, and I’m so grateful for the time that has been invested in relationships both inside and outside of class.” Her most memorable experience in the college was an ice cream social held at the end of the spring semester in 2015. “Seeing all of the professors and students laughing together brought me so much joy!” She says she chose environmental economics and management because it blended key interests including public policy, economics and environmental science into a cohesive course of study that will prepare her for a wide range of careers. She plans to pursue a master’s degree in agricultural economics. In her free time, she loves to cook and try new recipes.
Turner Sanderson chose nutrition because he wants a career in fitness, health, or sports. Turner had the opportunity to shadow a local dietitian. Since then, he has since pursued a nutrition degree. He hopes to become a registered dietitian. Turner also has a personal connection to the major. At an early age, he struggled with obesity and was able to learn the importance of a healthy diet and exercise. For Turner, his favorite part of the major is the focus on food. "The students are great. The teachers are kind and helpful. We learn all about nutrients and the whole thing revolves around food," he said. He looks forward to the dietetic internship upon graduation. One of his most defining moments at MSU was the opportunity to work with the Sports Dietitian on campus as a student worker.
Jane Spivey Mortimer
Jane Spivey Mortimer has been in love with fashion since she was six years old. The fashion design and merchandising major says the fashion industry is ever changing and always exciting. She looks forward to being part of such a prestigious field. Her favorite part of the college is the diversity. "I have friends in human development and family studies, agronomy, agricultural information, pre-vet, and so much more that share the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences with me." Her defining moment at MSU is the day she finished her first design. "I created the pattern, dyed the fabric, and altered the garment to fit perfectly and it made my dreams a reality," she said. To students considering this major at MSU, Jane advised them to get out of their comfort zone and meet the wonderful people in their major. "They are so different and you can learn so much from your friends in this major. The human sciences major at MSU has prepared me above and beyond my expectations for my future."
Hunter Brown chose biochemistry as a major because she hopes to attend medical school one day. "I hope to change the world with my future research in the medical field. I hope to find better treatment options for people struggling with medical complications." That passion for research is one of her favorite things about the major. "There have been various opportunities to learn outside of the classroom, like lab research. The CALS staff is also incredibly helpful." Hunter said being a CALS Ambassador is an exciting opportunity that goes beyond academics. "I came to MSU to better myself as a person and influence the lives of others in different settings." She encourages future biochemistry majors to take that next step. "For the students considering this major at MSU, I would say go for it even if you aren't 100 percent sure. At one point I was also in the same position and I have no regrets about my decision. This major has plenty of opportunities. While it takes a lot of hard work and effort, the results are worth it. I believe this major offers many chances to advance your skills no matter what path you choose."
Janiece Pigg chose Animal and Dairy Sciences because she grew up around dairy cattle. Her neighbors owned and management a dairy farm and she spent a great deal of time at their farm. She joined 4-H because of that interest. In 4-H, she participated in Dairy Bowl, judging, showing, and National Congress. "4-H expanded my knowledge of agriculture and more specifically the dairy industry," she said. Janiece is an agricultural ambassador, hoping to teach consumers about how food gets from farm to table. Her favorite part of the major is the hands-on aspect of the curricula. "Students don't just sit in the classroom and memorize facts. We are in the lab and at the farm learning how the industry will be once we leave MSU," she said. Janiece is excited about the future. She tells potential students to be prepared for the hardest, yet most fun and rewarding ride of their lives. "There are so many chances to get involved within the Department of Animal Dairy Sciences. There are so many paths you can take with this major. You can go as far you want in ADS. The faculty and staff will give you everything you need to succeed. It will be up to you to make something that is already good into something ten times better." After graduation, Janiece plans to work in dairy production management. She would also like to own and manage her own farm one day.
Kate Parsons majored in Animal and Dairy Sciences to prepare for veterinary school. She also saw it as a chance to step outside of her comfort zone. Kate had no previous experience working on a farm with livestock. Now, MSU's H.H. Leveck Animal Research Center feels like home. After veterinary school, Kate would like to work in developing countries and share her passion for knowledge of animals. During her undergraduate years, she hopes to volunteer and intern at vet clinics, animal shelters, or zoos. Her favorite part of the major is the hands-on experience through clubs and labs. Her most defining moment during her college career was the Little International Livestock Show hosted by Block and Bridle. "I had never even gone to a livestock show, and now I was in one! It was a great experience where I met my best friends." Kate encourages potential students to go for it. "The faculty is amazing, the classes are interesting, and the students work hard. Animal and Dairy Sciences has so much more to offer than just an avenue for veterinary school. MSU offers many opportunities for students to succeed in this major, college, and university," Kate said.
Human Sciences major Beth Baugh enjoys all the opportunities the major offers. "There are so many clubs and volunteer opportunities open to students. It gives everyone a chance to find where they feel most at home," Beth said. She is most excited to apply to occupational therapy school after graduation. "The major covers such a broad spectrum of topics and fields. It gave me the space to figure out what I really wanted to do with my life." She was previously in a major that wasn't a fit. When she shifted to human sciences, she began enjoying classes. She also got involved with various organizations. For prospective students, Beth says that there is a sense of being at home at MSU. "I would recommend MSU to anyone considering a career in the field of Human Sciences," Beth said.
Gianna Ciotoli has a passion for agriculture and animals. That's why she chose the animal and dairy sciences major, pre-veterinary concentration. She hopes to one day become a large animal veterinarian. "Agriculture is our wisest pursuit and it will always be needed for survival," she said. Gianna wants to contribute to improved animal welfare in animal production. She hopes to inspire future generations. "I would like to show how rewarding the agriculture industry can be," she said. Upon graduation, Gianna hopes to attend vet school. "Since I was three-years-old I have had a passion for animals. I have always wanted to be a veterinarian. It is a big step that I have worked for my whole life so far. I am excited to see where my future takes me," she said. Her favorite part of the college and major is the close-knit group that she calls family. "Everyone is friendly and approachable. The professors are incredible and genuinely care about their students," she said. She also appreciates the hands-on experience. "You work with all sorts of animals and you learn things that you will carry with you forever," Gianna said. As an out-of-state student from Tampa, Florida, Gianna had concerns about being so far from home. "A defining moment for me was finally feeling comfortable and like I belonged. My ADS major really helped me with that. Once I started taking ADS classes, I met amazing people that made me feel like I was at home. A sense of belonging is crucial to a student in college and I thank my major for that feeling," she said. Gianna also provides prospective students with good advice. "I would tell students that it was the best decision I have ever made. If you want a future in agriculture, it will be your best decision, too. My major has amazing professors, personable class sizes, and offers hands-on experiences. The clubs and organizations within the department are rewarding. There are countless opportunities to get involved. If you are looking for a family inside your major, this is definitely the program for you," she said.
Hannah Berny always loved agriculture. That's why she chose to major in agricultural economics. "I was active in 4-H growing up. Because of 4-H, agriculture will always have a special place in my heart," Hannah said. She chose this major because of the wide range of options available upon graduation. Hannah is concentrating in policy and law which provides many opportunities. She plans to attend law school upon graduation. She says the chance to learn from some of the most amazing professors and staff is the best part of the major. "I can't express just how much my professors and advisors have made an impact on my undergraduate career, and even more so on what my future holds. Each one of them has been an integral part of my success as an undergrad. They are all cheering me on to achieve greatness in every aspect of my life. I am so blessed to have each one of them," Hannah said. Hannah’s most defining moment at MSU was when the bulldogs beat Auburn in 2014. The game resulted in the football team holding on to their undefeated record. "There was a collective feeling of absolute joy in the air. Rain was pouring, but nobody cared anymore. And as the rain came down, we rang our cowbells and sang 'Don't Stop Believing' until we lost our voices. In that moment, I took a mental snapshot, because I knew I would never want to forget that feeling. It was an overwhelming feeling of family. Even though I was miles from my own family, I had a family right there in Davis Wade stadium. They loved what I loved and felt what I felt. In that moment I knew I was part of something special." For prospective students, Hannah offers this advice, "If you want to be a part of an amazing college, department, and major, made up of the most amazing leaders that MSU has to offer, do it. Agribusiness majors are not just farmers in training. While they can be farmers, they can also be future entrepreneurs, legislators, economists, local leaders, lawyers, leaders of large corporations, marketing specialists, advocates for change in world hunger, and even president of a university. (Yes, Dr. Keenum was an agribusiness policy and law major) and more! I just can't express how wonderful it is to be an agribusiness major!"
Celia Andreo chose to major in food science with a concentration in nutrition because she has a passion for healthy living. She plans on having a career that allows her to interact with and help others. For these reasons, nutrition is a perfect fit. "Hunger is too prevalent in our community and all over the world. I hope to work with the low-resource community in combatting poverty and food insecurity. I would love to see a day when food pantries are no longer necessary," Celia said. Upon graduation, Celia hopes to complete a dietetic internship, work towards a master's degree, and earn her Registered Dietician license. A defining moment for Celia was when she decided to major in nutrition. "We had a guest speaker from Gatorade who worked as a sports nutritionist. After 45 minutes, I was so captivated by his lecture that I changed my major to nutrition within the next week," Celia said. She also has a word of advice for potential students. "The major asks a lot of you, but the more you give, the better off you'll be. Get involved and get to know your teachers," she said.
Julia Putt is following in her mother's footsteps in floral management. Julia is a horticulture major with a concentration in floral management. She grew up around flowers. Her parents own a special events company, and her mother is an alumna of the program. Julia is spending this summer in Nashville working for Buds and Bunches. She uses design techniques that she learned at MSU to arrange flowers for the company. "I love Nashville and one of our family friends knew a guy that was a floral designer here. He is the only florist located downtown so it has been cool getting to help with designs for the big hotels in downtown Nashville." Julia's experience has shown her different aspects of how a business is run. The experience has been incredible for the budding florist. "It's not only the experience to grow in my design work but moving away from home into a big new city has made me grow up a good bit. If you ever get the opportunity to go out and intern… go. Don't be afraid to get out of your comfort zone, because you will learn a lot about yourself," Julia said.
Dorothy Cottonham is animal and dairy sciences major. Her friends call her DeeDee and she's always had a love for animals. She hopes to become a vet one day. This summer, she cares for sows and their growing piglets. "I took an academic course called swine science taught by Professor Shengfa Liao. This course taught me about pigs and their behavior." After that, she earned a paid internship at a swine breeding farm in West Point. "The experience is valuable even though I don't plan to pursue a career in the industry. I see several aspects of the industry and have the chance to work with some great people. The swine industry would not be as successful as it is without its dedicated employees."
Meagan Johnson enjoys working with all types of animals, including wildlife. The animal and dairy sciences major is interning in Florida this summer. She interns with the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge. Meagan splits her time between the refuge, located in Fort Walton Beach, and the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge Zoological Park in Crestview. She says her work at MSU has helped her succeed. "I've learned a few tips about professionalism while at MSU that have helped me be successful during this internship," Meagan said. Meagan plans to pursue a career as a veterinarian and says her internship and major will definitely help her advance. She chose the internship so that she could work with a variety of animals.
John-Taylor Corley chose landscape architecture as a major because it combined his two passions: nature and design. "Growing up on a farm, I stayed outdoors a fair amount. I feel that this made me appreciate the beauty of nature." He hopes to have a positive impact in the world through his design. "That might be as something as big as designing an environmental-friendly development, or something as small as improving someone's day by holding a door open." He said it is both scary and exciting to think about the next step he is taking in becoming a young professional. Right now, he says he's focused on building his skills as a landscape architect. He is preparing to apply to competitive internships across the country. "It's exciting for me to look ahead at the challenges that I face and be able to work on conquering them in a new and creative way," he says. John-Taylor's favorite part of the major is the creative freedom. "In the studio, we are assigned a project with criteria that must be met. We are allowed as much freedom on our projects as we want, as long as in the end we meet those criteria." His defining moment at MSU was the first day of class. He had transferred from Pearl River Community College. He moved 250 miles away from his family and didn't know anyone on campus. "That first day changed how I saw things. It allowed new friendships and a new level of confidence to emerge." He says MSU has shaped the person he is today. "Mississippi State has opened up so many great doors that led to amazing opportunities. Looking back two years later, I wouldn't change a thing about my decision to attend MSU."
Gracie Jackson is working this summer at AmericasMart in Atlanta, GA. The Fashion Design and Merchandising major has always been interested in fashion. It has been a source of inspiration and self-expression. She prefers the business side of the industry. That's why she is also majoring in business administration. She has enjoyed seeing how the different departments go into planning markets. "The final outcome seems so complex but the responsibilities are broken down to make it all possible," Gracie said. She credits teamwork and meeting deadlines as the skills learned at Mississippi State. She said these skills have been the most valuable in her internship. She has learned to be true to herself and her opinions during this time. Gracie has enjoyed interning for AmericasMart. "This is my first time moving to a big city on my own and experiencing a 9 am-5 pm job in a corporate workplace. It is fantastic," she said.
Brittany Franks is working with tigers, lions, and cougars during the summer of 2016. The Animal and Dairy Sciences major landed a job at Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Florida. She said that classes like companion animal have helped her during her internship. Brittany has always loved animals. She chose animal and dairy sciences because she wants a career where she can take care of animals and nurse them back to health. She chose Big Cat Rescue to gain experience working with different types of animals.
Bradley Welch chose biochemistry because he considered it a well-rounded premed major. He hopes to change lives as a medical practitioner one day. "As a future physician, I hope to change the world by making an individual difference in each of my patients' lives through providing thorough and compassionate healthcare." As a junior at MSU, he looks forward to acceptance into medical school. He said he appreciates the flexibility and interdisciplinary nature the major has afforded him. "In addition to the major, I was able to pursue minors in psychology and French." He chose to attend MSU because of the Rural Medical Scholars Program. He participated in the program the summer before his senior year of high school. "MSU felt like home and like family, and that's when I knew I was meant to go to college at MSU." He encourages potential students to consider biochemistry at MSU. "The faculty and staff are always there to help. On many occasions, I have stopped by Dr. Willeford's office for advice or just to chat. He's always willing to offer support and encouragement."
Briana Burkes is interning at Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Florida. She is an animal and dairy sciences major at MSU. Her favorite part of the internship is getting to work up close and personal with tigers. She said she's learned how to keep her composure with the wild animals. "Working with larger animals is not so bad since I have experience working with cows at Mississippi State University. I have learned good hard work." Briana said the experience has been an eye-opener into the world of the sale of exotic animals. She chose her major because she enjoys working with animals. She chose the internship because she may one day want to work with exotic animals. She recommends the internship to future students. "There is so much to learn and it is just a great experience."
Zach Ishee is an ambassador in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. He is an agricultural economics major. "I chose this major because my father and grandfather. They both earned undergraduate degrees from the agricultural economics department," he said. He said the comradery is his favorite aspect of the major. "The agribusiness major here is really close-knit. You’ll make friends in and outside of class. The faculty and staff are helpful and caring. Students get the individual attention that they need." He said he felt he came into his own his sophomore year. "I realized some more specific life goals I have for myself, and also branched out into other areas too." He looks forward to all the opportunities ahead like internships and possibly graduate school.
Katie Kelly, fashion merchandising major, is interning at Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort in Destin, Florida. She works at the three retail stores onsite. Last summer, she worked as a seasonal retail sales associate at the resort. She loved it so much she came back this year to complete her internship. Her favorite part of the internship is the location. "I also love the brands we carry in our stores and the opportunities we have to work with each brand." She said her professors and instructors at MSU have prepared her for the internship. "Everything is going great and I'm still learning a lot. I can't wait to take everything I'm learning back to MSU in the fall and continue building my knowledge of fashion merchandising." She said the biggest lesson has been the amount of hard work that goes into keeping the stores running smoothly. "I have learned so far that running three stores is very hard work and working as a team with all of my coworkers is the only answer to all of the madness that goes on from open to close," she said. She chose her major because she's passionate about fashion merchandising. "I know that my future job will be something I love doing. The opportunities out in the world for my major are endless!" she said.
Michael Davis is an integrated pest management major in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences. This summer, he is interning under the direction of Darrin Dodds, associate research and extension professor and cotton specialist at MSU. During his internship, Michael travels with Dodd's team all over the state. They plant different cotton varieties and conduct research. "It is very interesting to look at how each variety grows in different areas," he said. He said his time at MSU has helped him prepare for his internship. "We spray the crop with different chemicals such as herbicides for grasses and pesticides for pest. The weed and chemical classes that I have taken at MSU has helped me tremendously in the field," he said. Michael chose his major and internship because he hopes to be a crop consultant one day. "Scouting crops for farmers has been something I have wanted to do for most of my life," he said.
Joseph Hreish is an ambassador for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. He is a biochemistry major in the Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology and Plant Pathology. "I hope to practice medicine in a way that truly benefits the people I am serving," he said. He’s excited about beginning the process of applying to medical school. "Being a physician is something I am passionate about and I cannot wait to see everything come together," he said. He appreciates the close-knit family feeling between faculty and students within the major. "Regardless of being in rather large classes at times, it's evident that we all have the same end goal in mind," Joseph said. He said this major is ideal for students looking for a new experience. "With this major there is a lot of diversity not only in the classes that you will be taking but also in the people you will be interacting with. If you want to meet new people and have new experiences, this is the major for you," he said.
Winn Kent is interning at the Country Club of Jackson this summer. He is studying turfgrass at Mississippi State. "The Country Club of Jackson is a great working environment. I have plenty of opportunities to learn and advance my knowledge," he said. Winn said MSU has provided a knowledge base that’s proved beneficial in his internship. "MSU has given me the resources and knowledge I need to work for a golf course like the Country Club of Jackson," he said. Winn chose the major because he loves working outdoors. "I take pride in making athletic fields and golf course beautiful for the athletes," he said. The best part of the major for Winn has been the amazing staff, professors, and students. "Everyone works well with each other and is very friendly."
Sydney Peek is an ambassador for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. She is an animal and dairy sciences major. "I chose this major because I have always had a passion for working with animals. I also have a lifelong interest in veterinary medicine," she said. Sydney's goal is to work with animal owners and teach them positive care habits. She is most excited about the hands-on experience the major offers. She also appreciates the faculty and staff in the department. "People are always willing to lend a helping hand and help me in my career path," she said. Her defining moment at MSU came early during Eminent Scholars Day in 2014. That's when she knew Mississippi State University would be her future home. "Mississippi State University offers extensive hands-on learning opportunities. The university engages with its students in a way that best ensures their success," she said.
Anne Larrah Johnson
Anne Larrah Johnson loves science and biochemistry sounded like an exciting combination of her two favorite subjects in high schools. She is majoring in the subject at MSU. She also serves an ambassador for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. "Biochemistry is awesome. I take multiple science courses each semester. It can be challenging but I wouldn't have it any other way," she said. She hopes to change the world as a dentist or physician one day. "I hope that I can lead by example and influence others by my actions," she said. Anne Larrah is excited to graduate from MSU. "The fact that I'm over halfway finished with this journey and about to start applying to professional school just blows my mind. To hold a degree from Mississippi State University will be an incredible feeling. I will be so proud to become an alumna of the school I love so much," she said. Anne Larrah described the biochemistry major as an experience where everything builds on itself. "Almost every science course I take relates to the next. I continue to use and apply the information I learned. Studying becomes easier when something in one course explains something in another. It's almost like you're playing connect the dots," she said. Anne Larrah describes a dental mission trip to Los Guido in Costa Rica as a defining moment in her college career. "I was with fellow MSU students and an MSU alumnus on a dental mission trip. I saw how much of an impact you can make in another person's life just by doing something as simple as a tooth extraction. It made me think about my future and how blessed I was to be where I am today. Eventually, I hope to be like Dr. Byrd (the dentist on the trip) and use my skill sets to reach out and help others both physically and spiritually," she said. Anne Larrah encourages potential students to take the next step. "If science is your thing and understanding what makes up the world around you excites you, then this major is for you. Whether you are pre-professional or research based, biochemistry and molecular biology will prepare you for an exciting and rewarding career. It's a difficult choice for sure, but I wouldn't have it any other way. It's been a fantastic adventure and really pushed me to achieve more than I thought I could."
Suzanne Schultz chose agricultural leadership as a concentration in agricultural information systems in the School of Human Sciences. She is an ambassador for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. "I grew up around agriculture but I didn't find my passion until I joined FFA in high school. I now see a vision of helping younger children develop a passion for agriculture sooner than I did. I want to show kids that agriculture is something that you can make your own. Whatever you see possible in this industry is something you can make happen," she said. Her favorite aspect of the major is the people. "Both faculty and my peers make every day at MSU an experience I will cherish through the years." She encourages anyone who wants to pursue a career in agriculture to explore the major. "Agricultural information systems as a major is so diverse. I hope new students will see the incredible opportunities this major affords."