Youth Development & Agricultural Education

Student Testimonials

What is the YDAE graduate experience? A few students have shared their perspectives with us.

“YDAE has offered me such unique opportunities for interdisciplinary study. I am fortunate to be a part of a great academic family that has taught me so much!” Matthew Kararo, Doctoral Student, Illinois

“YDAE is a place one would not miss being part of. I was warmly welcomed by staff from the department on the day of my arrival…I had my first outing to one of the faculty’s house for dinner with his family, which made me feel at home. Interaction between advisors, teachers, other staff members and the other grad students is just so good that the environment make me relax—excellent for learning.” Yakosa Tegha, Masters Student, Malawi, Africa

“At first I thought that YDAE was all about education but I have realized that it is about everything agriculture and I am enjoying doing agricultural extension. I am gaining knowledge in all aspects, horticulture, animal science, natural resources, etc. The coordination between professors, students and everyone who work in YDAE is awesome. Everyone is so friendly.” Chimwemwe M Chisenga, Masters Student, Malawi, Africa

“My YDAE experience has been wonderful! The entire department has been extremely welcoming and helpful and my advisors are top-notch!” Krystin Bodden, Masters Student, Texas

“The department’s culture is very welcoming and no one remains a stranger for long” Alee Lynch Gunderson, Doctoral Student, Tennessee

“My last year experience as a Master’s student at YDAE inspired me to work on my PhD degree today. Working on and teaching about experimental science back home taught me that there is a need for enhancing students learning in science starting at early ages. What makes YDAE unique is the life science education area which is taught by a scientifically trained group of faculty that collaborates with their departmental colleagues who have advanced degrees in educational methodology/pedagogy. Having also a bachelor degree in agriculture and natural resources, the agricultural education and extension component of YDAE offers me the context that I was looking for my research interest which is to contribute to the use of agriculture as a way to teach life science in Chilean elementary schools.” Cecilia Espinoza Morales, Doctoral Student, Chile

"YDAE has been a great fit for me because of the diversity of opportunities available such as working with other departments and faculty, attending conferences, and having flexibility in what research I do." Melissa Voigt, Doctoral Student, Minnesota

“YDAE has prepared me for my future by offering classes that are relevant to my career goals, while giving me career development opportunities. In my first semester here I have been given the opportunity to present at a national conference, as well as attend training seminars and represent the department in campus-wide volunteer opportunities.” Lindsay Myers, Master’s Student, Indiana

“YDAE is a good representative of fulfilling the land-grant mission. It serves disadvantaged groups and strives for benefits of Indiana communities. Also it emphasizes knowledge-based research and exploration.” Qi Ding, Doctoral Student, China

“Interacting with faculty in YDAE has really given me the experience and insight into how an academic community functions. The mentorship I have received from faculty and staff has helped me to reach my highest potential as they provide support to assist me in attaining my professional goals.” Bekah Nortrup, Master’s Student, Indiana