Alumni Spotlight: Paul Aarsvold

Name: Paul Aarsvold
Degree: Ag Ed
Grad Year: 1994
Advisors: Dr. Roland Peterson & Dr. Earl Bracewell
Current organization/ employer: Plainview-Elgin-Millville School

Favorite memory of campus: I don't know if I could narrow it down to just one. From being with friends to very interesting classes to attending the Football game when we beat Wisconsin (the year they went to the Rosebowl) - it was exciting time for all of us as we explored new things and ideas.

Why did you choose CFANS as a college?  When I transferred back from the U.S. Air Force Academy - I chose the University of Minnesota as I had already done some ROTC work there and there was a pretty special young lady (my now wife Val) attending there as well. She got me in touch with Dr. Pete and the rest "is history" as they say!

Why do you think the University of Minnesota is great?  I think the the University of Minnesota is great as it is the flagship University for the State of Minnesota. It provides incredible opportunities for education and research.

Career information/ professional achievements:
I began my teaching career at Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City in 1994. In 1998, my wife Val and I were hired as the Ag teachers at Plainview High School where I have been ever since. Some professional achievements - I served on the CFANS Alumni Society Board. I have also served our professional Association - MAAE (the Minnesota Association of Agriculture Educators) as a Director and Officer, and several times as a Conference Co-Chair. I was named as the 2013 Minnesota Farm Bureau FFA Advisor of the Year and this past October was awarded my Honoary American FFA Degree.

What's your passion? What do you love about your work and your field?  Helping students find success is my passion. As I tell my students, there has never been a day that I haven't wanted to go to work because of what I do (don't get me wrong - I appreciate a good snow day as anyone!!! :) ), but I love interacting and watching the growth of the students. One of the greatest feelings is to see former students become active and successful community members and parents.

How did your education at the U of M help prepare you for what you are doing today?  At the time, the University of Minnesota - TC campus was the only place in the state to get a degree in Agricultural Education - so I wouldn't be able to do what I am doing now. But it goes far beyond that - as the relationships that were formed there continue to help me both in my personal and professional life.

What advice do you have for current students (and future alumni)?  My advice for current students and future alumni is to get involved! There were many life lessons that were taught to me from being involved in the various groups and clubs. Besides the lessons - it is still fun to run into and catch-up with old friends that were in those groups as well. Lastly, I highly encourage the current students to join the Alumni Society and then to get involved there!