Deferred enrollment gives graduate student extra time to help his own students improve their English language skills
“My favorite thing about working with students is sharing this knowledge with them, because with time you can see their progress and the improvements in all their skills, so they feel proud of themselves. It also gives you the opportunity to support them not only as tutor, but with their personal goals and dreams too.” - Pedro Antonio Díaz Cachay
Due to the pandemic, Pedro Antonio Díaz Cachay had to delay his Fall 2020 enrollment in the Agricultural Economics Department's master of science program. While the news was disappointing, the department agreed to saved his place in the MS program for Fall of 2021. It also provided him with a little more time to work with students from his home country looking to improve their English language skills.
Pedro is from a small Colombian town called Yopal in Casanare. It's there that he worked as an English teacher from 2016 to 2021 at the Liceo Moderno Celestin Freinet school. Each year students at the school are given an overarching theme to guide their studies. Last year, Pedro's students focused on two themes - the environment and important topics that will impact our future.
"We decided to use the book 'How To Feed The World' which highlighted some challenges that we as people must overcome nowadays, and shows that a plentiful food system is possible when an integrated approach is taken," said Pedro. The book was a gift to Pedro from Dr. Ken Foster, one of the book's editors and authors. Pedro completed an internship at Purdue in 2018. Dr. Ken Foster was his tutor.
"During several classes, each student had the opportunity to work with one different chapter of the book, which mentions topics such as: population growth, climate change, land use, water scarcity, food waste and loss, as well as other topics," said Pedro. "After that, we created a video where they shared the most important aspects and conclusions of it with the school and their parents, showing the objectives we will face in the future in terms of food and agriculture."
Pedro is now on campus and attending his MS courses in person at Purdue, but appreciated the extra time he had working with students. "My favorite thing about working with students is sharing this knowledge with them, because with time you can see their progress and the improvements in all their skills, so they feel proud of themselves. It also gives you the opportunity to support them not only as tutor, but with their personal goals and dreams too."
A video showcasing the work of Pedro's students is available on YouTube. In the video, students share lessons from the "How to Feed the World" book – a collaboration between professors and staff from the department of agricultural economics and other faculty members across Purdue’s campus.