Editor’s note: In keeping with the theme of this special issue, we’re profiling three outstanding undergraduate students who have benefited from donors’ generosity to college-wide scholarships.
Sitting in the classroom as a 23-year-old, Sarah Christopher is not your typical college student. She began college at Concordia University as an honors student. When some unforeseen health issues got in the way of her focus at school, she took time away for herself and eventually transferred to St. Paul College after her first semester.
“I had to let my ego take a hit in order to take care of myself,” she says.
Christopher went out on a limb by applying to the University of Minnesota and was excited when she received notification of her acceptance. She is now pursuing a degree in applied economics and has held an internship with Delta Cargo as a customer service representative. Upon graduation, she would like to further her experience within logistics and business analytics and potentially earn a master’s degree in supply chain management.
“I am grateful for the large sense of community that the University of Minnesota fosters within the Twin Cities. I am able to make connections with a wide variety of people just by saying, ‘I go to school at the U.’”
CFANS Alumni Society New Students Scholarship
Growing up on her family’s farm in southern Minnesota, Valerie Earley became involved in 4-H and FFA by showing her dairy steers and rabbits. “Through FFA and 4-H, I began to learn about agriculture and the potential for leadership development in these organizations,” she says.
As she continued to take agricultural classes throughout high school, Earley’s love for learning about all aspects of agriculture continued to grow. She strives to help others realize the innumerable ways that agriculture affects their daily lives.
Just last year, she served as Minnesota FFA state secretary, which found her traveling, making connections and serving as a role model for FFA members, many of whom will be making their way to the U in the coming year.
Augustus L. Searle Scholarship Fund
Hannah Lochner’s involvement in showing horses through 4-H and with the Minnesota Pinto Horse Association sparked her fascination for equine nutrition. With a love for and curiosity about her horses, as well as an interest in potential research, she chose to major in Animal Science.
“I actually decided I wanted to attend the U of M during my early 4-H years. We visited the U of M and toured the Leatherdale Equine Center, which was an inspirational place for me,” Lochner says.
She vowed that she would attend the U. In preparation, she took several college courses in high school, and the field day visits at the U confirmed her decision.
Her favorite part about CFANS is being surrounded by students who share the same interests she does. She is also appreciative that she can dig into agricultural research as an undergraduate.
“I am a member of the Minnesota Pinto Horse Association (MPtHA), and I spend numerous weekends throughout the summer successfully showing my horse, Boe. MPtHA is like my second family, as competitors are truly supporters and friends of one another. Everyone is there to lend a hand, have fun and do what we love,” Lochner says.
After graduation, she plans to find a job that focuses on research in equine nutrition or equine diseases, she says. “I’d like to contribute to creating new discoveries and information for horse owners across the globe. I want to give back to the equine community while doing something I love.”
-Stories by Becky Church
-Photos by Mikala Myran, Matt Addington, and Erin Lochner