Overcame challenges as a transfer student, had many transformational experience and received a formidable education

Name: Mason Gordon   

Hometown: Rushville, Indiana

High school: Rushville Consolidated High School

Major & Concentration: Applied Agricultural Economics

Why did you come to Purdue: Growing up, I spent countless hours watching Purdue sports with my Dad. Very early on, I set a goal to become a Boilermaker. As an FFA member, Purdue became a second home. Every time we visited campus, that early goal to become a Boilermaker intensified.

Favorite Purdue tradition: Our school song. Sometimes I find myself humming it for absolutely no reason. Ever grateful, Ever true. 

Top three influences at Purdue:

  1. Dr. Michael Wilcox
  2. Dr. Ken Foster
  3. Dr. Michael Gunderson

Five words to describe Purdue:

  • Stellar
  • Tradition
  • Innovative
  • Elite
  • Memorable

Top five highlights of your career:

  1. Storming the field after beating Ohio State. Boiler Up!
  2. Meeting with President Daniels in Hovde
  3. Being at the Elite 8 game
  4. 1st Annual Indiana FFA Day at the Statehouse
  5. Being featured in Indiana Chamber's BizVoice Magazine for my internship in Rushville

Something you wish you would have done at Purdue: Old Masters

Places you have been as a Purdue student 

  1. Italy – Study Abroad
  2. Indiana State House – Farm Bureau Public Policy Internship
  3. Washington, DC – Corn Refiners Association Government Relations Internship
  4. Kansas City, MO – AFA
  5. Atlanta, GA- AEAA Academic Quiz Bowl
  6. Detroit, MI – Forbes Under 30 Summit

Have to redo college in a major not in Ag: Political Science

Favorite club/organization: AEAA Academic Quiz Bowl

Favorite Student-led event/initiative: Grand Prix

Favorite Purdue event: Any home football game

Favorite place to study: My desk

Over your career where were you most likely to be found on campus: Swinging with Ted on the back-porch swing at our apartment

Favorite spot on campus: Ross-Ade Stadium

Favorite thing about CoA: The familiar faces. As a transfer student, it was very intimidating to insert myself as a Junior in classes and clubs with students who had been working with each other for a few years. But, all of the familiar faces allowed me to quickly make friends and become comfortable on campus.

Favorite thing about AGEC: Our faculty. TA-ing with Dr. Foster, traveling abroad with Dr. Gunderson, and assisting Dr. Wilcox with research has allowed me to develop relationships with some of our many of our incredible faculty members. Each of them have been instrumental in providing me with opportunities to maximize my Purdue experience.

Favorite thing about your major: Our vast network of distinguished alumni.

Favorite class: AGEC 305 with Dr. Foster

Favorite professor: Although I never had him in class, Dr. Michael Gunderson. Ciao!

Coolest project: Working with Dr. Michael Wilcox and the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs on my senior thesis – The Economic Impact of Indiana's Stellar Communities Designation

Three biggest accomplishments:

  1. Being nominated by Purdue for the Rhodes and Mitchell Scholarships
  2. Dept. of Agriculture Outstanding Graduate – Lincoln Land Community College
  3. All American Jr. Collegiate Livestock Judge

Things on your resume not listed above: For two summers, I interned for Rushville's Mayor Mike Pavey. As his intern, I was 1 of 6 community members who represented Rushville in a presentation to 11 state funding agencies for the Stellar Communities Designation. That award brought nearly $18 million in investment funds to Rushville.

Three words to describe you:

  • Old-man
  • Corn-man
  • Packers-fan

What are you passionate for: Rushville, Indiana. Ask anyone that knows me, and they will tell you that I think Rushville is by far the most "stellar" hometown in America. I was blessed to be a part of the most transformative period in our community's history. Witnessing that incredible transformation has inspired me to pursue a career where I can enable other rural cities and towns to experience a revitalization of their community.

What intrigues you about the Ag industry: It's a family tradition. My earliest memories with my family happened around our 4th generation family farm.

What motivates you: My friends. The great thing about being at Purdue is that our students are incredibly talented. I've been blessed to be surrounded by friends that inspire me to be the best version of myself that I can be.

Favorite quote: "I didn't come this far to only come this far." -Unknown

Personal Motto: "Everything happens for a reason"

Accepted employment: I've been named 1 of 12 Mitchell Scholars. This scholarships funds one year of graduate studies in Ireland. In September, I will begin working on my Master's Degree in Rural Futures Planning and Innovation at the National University of Ireland, Galway. I'm incredibly excited to learn about solutions to rural issues in a very rural country.

Where do you want to end up: 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. #Gordon2048

Advice for underclassman: Be involved with a purpose. Often times, we feel pressured to be involved in as many organizations as we can. If you have a passion, pursue involvement – jobs, research, organizations – that align with that passion. And don't forget, that involvement doesn't have to be on campus! Make your Purdue experience unique.

Biggest takeaway from Purdue: Countless memories and friendships that will last a lifetime. 

Agricultural Economics, 403 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907 USA, (765) 494-4191

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