The favorite teacher question
By Madalyn Hammel
September 12, 2018

There are few other questions I dreaded more as a senior in high school than, “Where do you plan to be in five years?”

I graduated high school in 2014 not knowing where my educational path would lead. I only knew that I was headed to community college in pursuit of an associate degree in science. I was unsure what I would do after my time at Wabash Community College, but I dreamed of attending the University of Illinois even though this appeared intimidating and unattainable. After a visit to the College of ACES, I had to give UIUC a chance. After much guidance and support, I transferred and began working towards my degree in agricultural leadership education at the University of Illinois.

During my previous visits to the agricultural education program, the students would say, “We are like a family.” I thought this was a lie because "everyone knows that at college you’re just another face in the crowd." This could not be further from the truth. My experience in the agricultural education program has been that of a family, where people are willing to help you and want to see you succeed. It’s with this support that I was able to graduate in May with a bachelor's degree in agricultural leadership education.

Now, as a first-year graduate student working towards a master’s degree in agricultural education, I never expected to be this happy at the University of Illinois, but I love my time with the College of ACES. One of the greatest attributes of ACES is the professors who want to see you succeed. Whether it’s through their willingness to provide you with the needed tools or sharing their own experiences, they are eager for you to learn and achieve your goals. The support I received came not only from the agricultural education program faculty but from many of the other ACES professors as well.

If you are indecisive whether the U of I is the right institute to pursue your degree in agriculture, I encourage you to consider calling the University of Illinois home. You will be amazed at how much you will learn and the sincerity of the professors and staff. It is for this reason, we are all proud Illini.