In this new series, the Neag School will be catching up with students, alumni, faculty, and others throughout the year to give you a glimpse into their Neag School experience and their current career, research, or community activities.
Here, Kelsey Karp ’16 (CAHNR) — an aspiring agriculture educator currently enrolled in the Neag School’s Teacher Certification Program for College Graduates (TCPCG) in Waterbury, Conn. — shares insights into her time at UConn, where she was an animal science major with a minor in food science. She spent her last year as an undergraduate living and working at UConn’s Spring Valley Student Farm, a community that provides UConn students with the opportunity to gain firsthand knowledge and skills in organic farming — planting, growing, and harvesting produce for UConn’s own Dining Services.
Through TCPCG, an 11-month program designed for college graduates looking to earn teacher certification, Karp is getting one step closer to fulfilling her ambition to become an educator.
Learn more about TCPCG — as well as dates for upcoming information sessions — here.
Hometown: Newtown, Conn.
When I graduated from UConn: May 2016
The best part of being a student working on the farm: We are like a little family. All of the student farmers are like siblings to me. It is a great support system, and we all enjoy working with one another. As student farmers, we reach out to the UConn community by tabling different events, such as spring fling, fresh check day, involvement fairs, etc. We all are passionate about sustainable farming and love to communicate what we do at Spring Valley Student Farm.
What surprised me most about farming: You would think that there is nothing for farmers to do in the winter time; however, the amount of time and thought that goes into seed orders and crop rotation will blow your mind!
“Being an intentional teacher is a teacher who accommodates and challenges all of their students. A great teacher should ignite a passion for learning and foster new interests in their students.”
Best part of TCPCG so far: I’ve just completed the first of four sessions and already feel so much more prepared to become a teacher. It has been a lot of work but completely worth every bit. The Waterbury [campus] cohort is only 15 students, and we all have become very close. We communicate and work well with each other. Having such a supportive and encouraging group of classmates and professors is amazing.
What I believe makes a great teacher: Being an intentional teacher is a teacher who accommodates and challenges all of their students. A great teacher should ignite a passion for learning and foster new interests in their students. Teachers should motivate their students to strive for success. Great teachers pave a path for students that will help them follow the road to assist them in gaining the skills they need for the career they are looking to pursue.
My greatest accomplishment: I am very proud of how much I immersed myself in the agriculture community at UConn. I was the vice president of UConn Dairy Club, fundraising chair of UConn Block N Bridle, EcoHouse mentor, dairy herdsman, student farmer at SVSF, etc. As a future agriculture educator, I will continue to be involved in the world of agriculture.
My greatest role model: My parents are both my greatest role models. They both are very hard workers and have taught me to be a hard worker. Without them I would not be the person I am today. They have helped me achieve everything that I’ve wanted to and continue to encourage me to go after my goals.
Something you don’t know about me: I am a huge Elvis fan, Zumba enthusiast, and pizza lover!
Favorite UConn Dairy Bar ice cream: Banana chocolate chip