“For the longest time I thought I wanted to do something in the medical field, but in high school I found my passion for agriculture through FFA, 4-H, and a part-time job on a farm,” Kara says. “I was still really strong in math and science, so ag engineering seemed a natural fit. Plus, my dad is an alum of the ABE department, so I was pretty familiar with the different specializations and ways I could use the major in a career.”
As an ABE major, Kara believes she gets the best of both worlds—agriculture and engineering.
“I like to think of ag engineering as a combination of all the other engineering majors, so I get a very unique experience,” Kara says. “I have taken classes in mechanical engineering, civil engineering, electrical engineering, and computer science. Then I get to use my ABE classes to figure out how to apply everything to agriculture. I really get the best of both worlds in the College of ACES and the College of Engineering.”
An ACES Jonathan Baldwin Turner Scholar, Kara she says being a part of that program has been a blessing.
“Of course the scholarship has been wonderful in the financial sense, but I also get leadership and networking experience by being a JBT Ambassador. We work with incoming students/applicants, and I am blown away by the awesome things they are doing in high school,” she says. “The JBT banquet is my favorite event—it brings together recipient families, donors, and the college. After helping with and attending the banquet my sophomore and junior years, I came to realize how special a group it is.”
Kara says that attending the U of I and being a College of ACES student, though challenging, has been well worth it.
“I have learned to juggle more than I thought I ever could. Between classes, clubs, and fun time, my days can get pretty hectic. I know that the rigor here in a top-five ABE program will serve me well,” she says. “I’ve been encouraged to take on leadership roles, travel abroad, complete internships, and volunteer; through each of those experiences, I have found people that support me and want to see me succeed.”