Lauren Daub, Harrisburg, Pa., is one of only 34 students to be named a 2014 WVU Foundation Outstanding Senior. Lauren will graduate in May 2014 with a degree in agricultural and extension education from the Davis College. She’s also the outstanding senior for the Division of Resource Management.
How did you choose your major?
Growing up in Harrisburg, Pa., I did not have the chance to go through a high school agriculture education program. It seemed strange to change my major during my first semester to agricultural and extension education. I have always loved helping others and had a passion for agriculture. I wanted to share and educate others about this passion for agriculture. I wanted to make a difference in the lives of students and help them discover a love for agriculture. After only a semester in my new major, I knew that this was the right path for me. I have loved learning during my time at WVU. During student teaching, I was able to see glimpses of my dream. When students’ faces light up when they learn something new and love a lesson I confirmed that my choice as a freshman was right. Agriculture and extension education has helped me become the person I am and is the basis for the careers I want to have.
What have been some of your most memorable experiences at WVU?
The summer before my freshman year I participated in Adventure WV. Our group did Habitat for Humanity with other incoming freshman. I made memories with new friends that I still cherish. Joining the WVU Archery team was one of the greatest decisions I made. I got to share a passion for a sport with other people who quickly became my friends. Getting involved within the Davis College and getting to know my fellow classmates has been a blessing. Becoming involved in Collegiate FFA, I had the chance to travel to Kentucky and attend the National FFA Convention. So many great times were had on that trip. Being a teaching assistant for Agriculture Communications was one of the greatest experiences I had at WVU. I was able to help, teach and work with my students to become career ready graduates. The greatest memories I have are of attending Mountaineer football and basketball games. WVU students are the most passionate fans. I have loved being a part of something as big as being a Mountaineer.
What kinds of extracurricular and out-of-the-classroom activities did you pursue while you were a student?
My first week at WVU, I wanted to join a club with an activity that felt familiar to me. In high school, I shot with an archery league. I joined the WVU Archery club team. I served as secretary for two years and vice president for one. During my time in Archery club I had many volunteer opportunities. I even had the chance to involve a non-profit organization from my home town. Caitlin’s Smiles is a non profit organization that I volunteered with since I was a freshman in high school. The founder, Cheryl, lost her daughter Caitlin to cancer at a young age. She started the organization in her honor and supplies craft supplies, Caitlin’s favorite activity in the hospital, to hospitals all around the country. I was able to start delivering the craft supplies to the WVU Children’s Hospital with the Archery team and continue to do so today. I have also volunteered at the Maple Shire Nursing Home and Sundale Nursing homes. I am an active member of Mountaineer Collegiate FFA and Alpha Tau Alpha. I have also had the opportunity to serve with AmeriCorps and Energy Express for two summers. Both summers the site teams conducted service projects to help give each student a backpack full of new school supplies and give families board games to hold family nights. Helping the community has always been one of the activities I enjoy the most.
What advice would you give for a student who wanted to pursue your major at WVU?
Be confident in yourself! I did not grow up with the FFA or an agriculture program at my high school, which many others in my major did. I was able to learn everything first hand. I never doubted my knowledge and asked for help whenever I needed it. Professors are there to help you. They want to make sure you understand the material and will give you extra help if you ask for it. Get involved on campus. I have met so many friends from joining new clubs and volunteering.
What are your plans for after graduation?
I am planning on attending graduate school at WVU to further my education in agriculture and extension education. I feel that there is more to learn and would like to open more career path opportunities.
In the long term, what’s your dream job? If you could look at your resume in, say, 10 years, what will it say you’re doing?
In the long term, I hope to become an extension agent or an agricultural sciences teacher. I have always liked working with the people in the community. It is so important to have activities and educate youth. Either career path has many aspects that I love. I want to help others and make a difference in the community and the world of agriculture.