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Name: Katie Becker, ‘07
Major: Agricultural Education
Minor: Agriculture Science and Technology Education
Hometown: Sebeka, MN
High School: Sebeka High School
Interview summer 2006 by Communications Assistant Debra Altepeter, ’07, communication major
1. List three adjectives that describe you.
Katie described herself as organized, motivated, and punctual.
2. Give a brief summary of your life before attending the University of Minnesota, Crookston.
Before attending UMC, Becker worked on her family’s cattle ranch, and at a nursing home as a dietary aid. She was also involved and served as an officer in regional FFA. In school, she was involved in speech, drama, choir and sports.
3. How was your transition from high school to college? Did you face any particular problems?
Katie said the transition from high school to college went smoothly. She had friends going to school in Crookston; she met people at registration, and knew FFA members who were coming to UMC for college. She explained that every time you move, there are going to be challenges. Becker enrolled in 19 credits first semester.
She stated that the difference between moving from a big farm then transitioning to a resident hall is a challenge.
4. What were your initial expectations of UMC before attending? Were these expectations met? Exceeded?
Katie’s older brother said college is so much harder than high school, it’s going to be tough, and you won’t know anyone. She found that when she got to UMC that she already knew her advisor, someone she had known since she was a junior in high school. Becker believes that she has gotten what she expected, which was a great agriculture learning environment, a balanced education and hands-on learning experiences.
5. What aspects helped you to decide to pursue UMC as the university to attend to continue your education?
Katie was encouraged by her agriculture teacher in high school, Charles Funk. He encouraged her to pursue a degree in an agriculture related field at the University of Minnesota, Crookston. The Crookston campus sponsored Ag Activities Day exposed Katie to the college. She liked the small campus, the atmosphere, the scholarship opportunities through her participation in Ag Activities Day and the courtesy she receive during the application process from UMC employees.
6. Did you have a clear goal in mind when you enrolled at UMC? Did you enter with the intentions of earning a degree in agricultural education? Did you try or consider any other options that are offered here at UMC?
Katie chose her intended college degree path as a junior in high school and never changed it. She looked at a few other campuses, including the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, where she intended to go with her aunt who is getting her master’s degree. She decided to attend the University of Minnesota, Crookston because she had the opportunity to earn more scholarships, it is closer to home and the staff was courteous and friendly.
7. Did you find the UMC instructors to be equally engaging and approachable? Helpful and caring to student needs?
Becker said that her advisor was very helpful in steering her in the right direction. General course professors genuinely care and want to help and were willing even to help her outside of class on her path to success with recommendations and project assistance.
8. What aspects of your time at the university did you find most difficult? How did you work to resolve them?
Katie found her first semester to be difficult. She was away from home and in a new environment. To resolve the problems, she was determined and just plugged on through. She was intent on working towards her degree and knew what had to be done to get it.
9. What groups, clubs, and organizations have you been involved with at UMC? What rolls did you play and positions did you hold within each?
Katie has been involved on campus with Agarama, Collegiate FFA, was a Resident Advisor and was a member of the Minnesota Association of Agricultural Educators group
10. UMC requires that all students complete and internship. What internship did you choose to complete and what does it involve? What other “hands on” and job experience did you gain during your years at UMC?
Becker plans to do her internship with student teaching her final semester in spring 2007. She intends to work in a high school setting. She previously also worked with Bayer Crop Science, monitoring and recording data from test plots and chemical distribution at different rates. Katie worked in summer 2006 at Mount St. Benedict, Crookston, Minn., in the Community Supported Agriculture gardens and on an individual potato project.
11. How has UMC’s advanced technology improved your education and learning environment?
While attending the University of Minnesota, Crookston, Katie has become a much faster typist, has learned a lot using programs more efficiently and believes this will give her that extra edge for finding a job later on in her life after college.
12. Where do you hope to be in your career in 1 year? 5 years? 10 years? What are your lifetime career goals?
Katie is currently engaged and will be married to another University of Minnesota, Crookston student, Brian Shaw. She intends to find a job right away out of college and continue working. Katie does not like to sit idle. She wants her job to be agriculture related and preferably in teaching. Her life plans in five years include having a family and working, and her plans beyond that are to work and raise a family with her husband.
13. What has been your most rewarding accomplishment?
Katie found that her most rewarding accomplishment was coming to college. Even though she has earned several awards and recognitions, the final decision to attend college is the biggest step she has made for herself.
14. Do you have any ideas of how to make improvements at the university?
Becker suggested that the University should work on creating more awareness for and making it mandatory for students to attend internship fairs. She stated that there are so many opportunities available that the fair should be more prominent and more companies should be invited. UMC is small college but we have a lot to offer.
15. What advice would you give to present, future, and potential students?
Becker said that she would encourage students to, “Go for it!” The University of Minnesota, Crookston is a small school with a great atmosphere. Students are able get into the classes they need and UMC offers many scholarship opportunities.
16. Whom or what is your biggest inspiration to succeed, and why?
Her biggest inspiration is her father, who started a cattle ranch right after graduating from high school. She wants to make him proud. She also added that she has four relatives with teaching degrees and that inspired her to go into agricultural education.
17. Have you worked on any special projects or been involved on any boards?
Currently Katie is working on an experimental potato project and she took notes for Dr. Ron Del Vecchio for Program Improvement Audit Committee (PIAC) meetings.
18. What are your plans for the future? Have you considered continuing on with your education?
Katie has considered it and would like to continue with her education, but she has decided to work for a while first and see where that takes her. She needs to use her degree to make some money before she goes back to school.
19. If you could make one final comment about UMC and your time here what would it be?
Katie said it has been a great experience! She encourages everyone to go to college even if just taking one course to get experience.