By Stephen Singleton, Environmental Management in Agriculture and Natural Resources Major
As I was completing my Associate of Arts (AA) degree at a Florida state college, I was torn between what I wanted to do after obtaining my AA degree. I knew I wanted to study agricultural policy, but I had no idea what degree path would combine that with my passion for production agriculture.
Discovering a Pathway, Achieving Educational Goals
I was contacted by the University of Florida’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) Dean’s Office (thanks Dr. E!) and was encouraged to meet with advisers of different departments in CALS to solidify my interests and what I wanted to study. This was my first contact with the academic side of the college. It was also my first time experiencing that CALS was like no other institution. The college felt like home.
Each adviser I met with took the time to listen to my interests and goals. They were honest if they felt like their major wouldn’t be the best fit for me. Upon meeting with Susan Curry, the academic adviser for the Environmental Management in Agriculture and Natural Resources major, she was able to create a tailored academic plan that combined my love for production agriculture and agricultural policy.
Making the Most of Two Years
After I transferred to UF, I was now faced with a new dilemma: How do I make the most of my two years here? I never second-guessed my decision to transfer, as my time earning my AA degree first allowed me to gain self-discipline in study habits while gaining hands-on experience in the Tri-county agricultural community. However, I did want to ensure that I was able to gain as much of the college experience as possible. To do, this I decided to become as involved as possible on campus to ensure that I was taking full advantage of all opportunities presented to me.
Through my involvement in organizations, such as Student Government, Alpha Gamma Rho, CALS Ambassadors, and Board of College Councils, I do not feel that I was robbed of any opportunities to make an impact on campus because of my shortened time at UF. If anything, as a transfer student, I feel that I am able to provide a unique perspective in many situations that differ from those of traditional students who enroll in the university as a freshman. I have been able to sit on committees that discuss ways in which we can make opportunities available to all Gators.
Advice to Future Transfer Students
- You need to make the decision that is best for you. Each person is different. Looking back, I know that I personally needed time to develop as an individual before coming to a university. My time at St. Johns River State College allowed me to do just that.
- Here at UF and in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, we pride ourselves on diversity – not only based upon race, but social status, geography, and even life experiences. Being a transfer student contributes in a positive to way to the diversity of our campus and lived experiences. I believe what makes each of us unique should be celebrated. When used properly, our individual stories, ideas, and contributions to society can help us to better the one thing we all have in common: our love for the Gator Nation!
Using an interdisciplinary approach, students in the environmental management in agriculture and natural resources major develop the scientific and technical foundation needed to integrate and communicate the diverse environmental issues associated with urban, agricultural, and natural ecosystems. Students study hydrology, soil science, pest management, water resources, ecology, and natural resource policy. Learn more about this major at cals.ufl.edu or take our majors quiz today.