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Student Profile: Helen Eaglin

AgEd Major Finds Focused, Supporting Communities

By Jacob Kessens

When she must name the people in her department who have made a positive impact on her, Helen Eaglin must take a moment to think. Not because she cannot think of anyone, but because there are so many that it is a difficult list to narrow down.

“The way that ASEC, and even the College of Agriculture is built, professors do a really great job of having one-on-ones with students, which is something that I really value,” said Eaglin, a junior agricultural education major from Reelsville, Indiana.

Photo of Helen Eaglin Helen Eaglin says that she has been able to form meaningful bonds with faculty who look out for her interests and other students who share her interests. Photo by Amber Cripps

Those personal connections are important to Eaglin. She graduated from a small high school and said she was a little nervous about coming to a large university like Purdue. She said she wanted to find a community of people with similar interests and to form meaningful bonds — not only with professors, but with other students as well. She was able to form those bonds in the Department of Agricultural Sciences Education and Communication.

One of those bonds is with Sarah LaRose, assistant professor of agricultural education. Eaglin detailed a time when she was stressed thinking about student-teaching the next semester. She was looking for guidance on how she could prepare for the task. LaRose was there to help.

“We spent an hour after class on a Friday, just talking through everything that I needed to talk about,” Eaglin said. “She was patient, gave me ideas, and told me that she was able to talk again if I needed to in the future.”

Eaglin also has grown close to people through student organizations

One of those groups is the Indiana Association of Agricultural Educators-Purdue (IAAE). Eaglin described IAAE as a professional organization that is involved in a wide variety of activities that focus on the community and agricultural education. Eaglin said that IAAE-Purdue gave her the ability to network and form meaningful bonds with individuals who have similar interests.

“Within the organization we recognize and support ag education as something that can be used to build a community and foster relationships with other students majoring in AgEd,” she said.

Eaglin said she also formed bonds by being a member of the Purdue Reamer Club. The Reamer Club supports Purdue athletics and are best known for driving the Boilermaker Special, Purdue’s official mascot. Eaglin said the group is much more than that.

“We are known as the ‘Spirit of Purdue,’ and we are dedicated to upholding all the great traditions here,” she said.

The connections Eaglin has made at Purdue have been an important part of her college experience.

“Being around people who share the same values with you makes it easy to become friends,” she said. “I have grown close to a lot of people, and I could see those friendships outlasting our time here at Purdue.”

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