Student Profiles By Major


MaggieJo Pruitt

"Student Profiles by Major" text and photos are by Maggie Jo Pruitt of Harrison, an Agricultural Communication Services student intern during spring semester 2012. She is an Agricultural Education, Communications and Technology major with a concentration in communications and a double minor in Agribusiness and Global Studies.


Boone Hardy

Boone HardyBoone Hardy of Tumbling Shoals is an Agribusiness major with a concentration in Management and Marketing. Boone transferred to the University of Arkansas from Metropolitan Community College in Kansas City. Boone chose the U of A because of his family history.

“My grandfather, Glenn Hardy, was the Dean of the Bumpers College. My grandparents, parents, siblings and uncle graduated from here.” Boone has also kept the family tradition of studying agricultural business. “My dad, brother and uncle have Agribusiness degrees. The program here teaches everything I need to learn about accounting, economics and marketing.

“The choice was obvious.” Boone values the open-door policy of the Bumpers College: “You can ask any question to any faculty member and they will help you. That is special for how large the U of A is.” Boone plans to be a grain merchandiser at a grain elevator. “Everything I have learned ties in to my career plans.”

Boone appreciates what he has learned from Professor Michael Thomsen: “Dr. Thomsen influenced me in marketing. He’s incredibly smart and I learned a lot from his marketing course that I would not have otherwise known.”

For academic advice, email Boone at

Ashley Ritter
Agricultural Education, Communications and Technology

Ashley RitterAshley Ritter of Rogers is majoring in Agricultural Education, Communications and Technology, with a concentration in Agricultural Education. Ashley is also acquiring a minor in Agricultural Systems and Technology. Ashley chose the University of Arkansas because it is a Land Grant Institution “with a great Agricultural Education program.”

Ashley always knew she wanted to be a teacher, and during her senior year she took an agriculture course and knew that was the subject she wanted to teach. Ashley has high regard for the Bumpers College faculty, especially for Instructor Casandra Cox and Professor Don Edgar. “Mrs. Cox recommended that I become a department representative. This program has had a great influence on my leadership skills. Professor Edgar is my adviser and has helped me plan my entire college career.”

Ashley recommends joining student organizations “not just because they look good on your resume, but because they give you a group of people who are going through the same things as you to relate to throughout college.” Ashley is involved in Collegiate FFA and AgMech Club. For future students, Ashley stresses to always attend class. “A class may seem easy but you can end up getting a bad grade just because you didn’t go to class.”

Hayley Hogan
Agricultural Education, Communications and Technology

Hayley HoganHayley Hogan is majoring in Agricultural Education, Communications and Technology with a concentration in Communications and a minor in Agribusiness. Haley, from Ozark, appreciates the unique atmosphere Fayetteville offers. “Coming from a small town, it was important for me to find somewhere I could be independent. The University of Arkansas is the perfect environment. It isn’t too big and offers the ability to be as successful as each student makes it.”

Hayley chose her major because it combined the two areas she was passionate about: journalism and agriculture. “I knew the program seemed to be the perfect fit. After getting involved, I fell in love with incorporating agriculture in writing, editing, presenting, speaking and designing.”

“The Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences continually provides the opportunities I need to get the perfect degree to form the career I desire.” Hayley appreciates the faculty in her department and their dedication to helping the students succeed in all areas. “Dr. (Leslie) Edgar has provided me with an internship to gain professional experience.” For more information or advice, contact Hayley at

Matthew Harper
Agricultural Education, Communication and Technology
Concentration: Agricultural Systems Technology Management

Matthew HarperMatthew Harper graduated from Har-Ber High School in Springdale. His major is Agricultural Education, Communications and Technology with a concentration in Systems and Technology. Matt has a minor in Agribusiness. His major relates to his career plans because, “I am interested in working in product support, which will require strong technical aptitude. My concentration is perfect for my goals because it is a technical degree that teaches the principles of technology I need.”

He chose the University of Arkansas because “it was close to home and a tradition.” He chose his major because, “I was very interested in mechanical things and agriculture. It was a perfect fit for my interests.”

Matt described the atmosphere of the Agricultural Extension and Education Department (AEED) and Bumpers College as friendly.

“I love how friendly the AEED department is and how hands-on and practical our classes are.” Professor Donald Johnson and Instructor Casandra Cox have inspired Matt to get involved in student activities, including his positions as president of the AgMech Club and representative for his department.

His advice to new students: “Make sure to have good study habits. Don’t wait until the night before to start studying. Always ask questions.” He also recommends getting involved in campus organizations to make friends, connections, and resume builders. For more academic advice or information, contact Matt at

Alex Jackson 
Animal Science

Alex Jackson Alex Jackson of Greenbrier is majoring in Animal Science with a concentration in Pre-Med. A student in the Bumpers College Honors Program, he is currently researching cattle susceptibility to Bovine Respiratory Disease based on single-nucleotide polymorphisms.

Alex says he chose Animal Science because “I knew I wanted to go to medical or veterinary school and this major allows me to do both. I’ve always had a strong interest in the cattle industry from working on a farm for most of my life. I believe knowledge in agriculture will help any career plan.”

He appreciates the helpfulness of the instructors in the Bumpers College. “I never feel like I am imposing on anyone when asking for help. My academic adviser has influenced me academically and personally. He is the nicest man I know and I don’t know anyone who thinks differently,” Alex says of Professor Jeremy Powell.

If Alex could go back in time and tell himself one thing he didn’t know before college, it would be to get ready for the time of his life. He advises future students to “stay on top, but don’t forget to stop and smell the roses.” For academic advice or questions email Alex at

D.J. Adams
Apparel Studies

D.J. AdamsD.J. Adams from Chicago is an Apparel Studies major with an Agricultural Communications concentration. He chose the University of Arkansas randomly and fell in love with Fayetteville, the school and the campus. “The U of A is large but not too big. The Bumpers College is small but extremely driven, hands-on and personable.”

“My adviser, Professor Leigh Southward, has helped me tremendously in school and in other important aspects, such as housing. Professor (Leslie) Edgar and Instructor (Casandra) Cox have helped me see how to take a course or skill and tailor it into something of my own.” D.J. appreciates the diversity of his program.

He is interested in all aspects of the fashion industry. “My department covers visual resources, fashion merchandizing, business swat analysis, designing and writing.” D.J. plans to own a fashion promotion company.

“Joining clubs is important because it is fun but a great source of empowerment,” D.J. says. His advice for future students: “Always set time aside to apply for scholarships. Stay focused on your work, but be sure to enjoy yourself. Have a schedule set and also know if you don’t have fun you will drive yourself insane. It’s about balance.” For academic advice or more information, contact D.J. at

Cory Johnson
Crop Science

Cory JohnsonCory Johnson, originally from Stuttgart, graduated from high school in South Fulton, Tenn. Cory chose the University of Arkansas because it offered a prestigious education in Crop Science. He is completing a minor in Pest Management.

He appreciates the Bumpers College because of the scholarship and study abroad opportunities it provides for students. “The agriculture programs here are great and offer many different classes for each major.” He values his program for “the variety of professors and their knowledge and backgrounds in Crop Science.”

Professors David Long and Mary Savin have been influential to Cory. “They have opened my eyes to different amounts and varieties of agriculture and how they correlate.”

Cory plans to work as a crop consultant. “Bumpers College has helped me in reaching my career goals by providing the classes I need to gain the knowledge and understanding of modern agriculture in a competitive industry.”

If Cory could go back in time and tell himself something before coming to college, it would be: “to double major and branch out. Study hard, but don’t be afraid to do something different.” For academic advice, contact Cory at

Jessica Hartshorn
Graduate Studies

Jessica HartshornEntomology graduate student Jessica Hartshorn grew up in Dayton, Ohio, and completed her undergraduate degree at Southern Illinois University. She chose the University of Arkansas for her graduate and doctoral degrees because, “Fred Stevens, now my adviser, is one of the four best entomologists in the United States.” Jessica was also drawn to the great teacher-student relationships in Bumpers College.

“I appreciate the support from faculty within the Bumpers College. Whether I am in my department, a different department, or the dean’s office, everyone is genuinely concerned about me as a person.”

Jessica said the Entomology Department faculty has helped her develop research skills as part of her preparation for a career. She has a graduate research assistantship, which pays her tuition and a small salary. Her research focuses on woodwasps and their basic ecology. “An invasive woodwasp was discovered in New York in 2004 and is most likely going to invade the southeast United States in the future,” she said.

Jessica has academic advice for both undergrad and graduate students: “You probably won’t end up doing what you think you’re interested in; I started out as an English education major. In graduate school you have to be prepared to be pushed to your absolute limit: physically, mentally and emotionally, but the benefits are absolutely worth it.”

Jessica is involved in ISELY-BAERG Entomology Club. For academic advice or questions, e-mail Jessica at

Taylor Coomer
Enviromental, Soil, and Water Science

Taylor CoomerTaylor Coomer is an Environmental, Soil, and Water Science major with a minor in Crop Management. A graduate of Piggot High School, Taylor grew up as a Razorback fan. She only applied to the University of Arkansas, she said, because “my dad graduated here. It’s just a legacy thing.”

She chose her major because it is close to her roots. “I grew up as a cotton farmer in the Delta region. It seemed natural to transition to study what I loved growing up doing.” Taylor is in the Bumpers College Honors Program. Her honors thesis research includes testing effects of water use efficiency of biochar applied to soil in which cotton is grown.

Taylor appreciates the relationships with other students and teachers in the Bumpers College. “It’s hard to find teachers who don’t know you by name or face. This helps the students make great connections for career possibilities. The small class size is great, it is easy to receive one-on-one help with classes.”

For prospective students, Taylor has advice: “Do what you love—don’t think about the money. Don’t be afraid to take chances, I came here as a pre-med major and now I’m the furthest thing from it, but it’s what I love.” For academic advice or questions, email Taylor at

Amanda Mishler
Food Science

Amanda MishlerAmanda Mishler of Dallas is a Food Science major and a member of the Bumpers College Honors Program. She chose the University of Arkansas "for a change" after growing up in Texas. After she visited Fayetteville and spoke with faculty members in the Department of Food Science, she knew the beautiful campus and excellent program were exactly what she desired for her college experience.

Amanda chose Bumpers College as a high school senior on a visit because, “the instructors really impressed me. I could tell they took their one-on-one perspective seriously.” Amanda wants to pursue a career in product development through her major in Food Science.

“Bumpers College has been nothing less than helpful. I feel comfortable asking professors about their own experience. My professors have sought me out personally regarding classes, internships and research opportunities. The Bumpers faculty really cares about their students.”

Amanda is conducting research for her Honors Program thesis with her faculty mentor, Professor Navam Hettiarachchy.

Her advice for prospective students: “Get to know your professors, they aren’t scary. Go to office hours. Professors are always willing to help if you are willing to ask.” Amanda said if she could return to her freshman year and tell herself one piece of advice, it would be, “Don’t stress out so much; you can’t do it all, you can only do your best.” For academic advice or questions, e-mail Amanda at

Emily Culver
Food, Nutrition and Hospitality Management

Culver EmilyEmily Culver, a graduate of Fayetteville High School, is majoring in Food, Nutrition and Hospitality Management with a concentration in Hospitality and Restaurant Management. Emily chose the University of Arkansas because it provided everything she wanted for her college experience. “I knew I wanted to major in hospitality, be a part of Greek life, live close to home and be involved in a great community.”

The family-feel of Bumpers College was comforting for Emily. “We aren’t just a number here.” Her major is a perfect fit for her career plans because it sets her up for event planning. “Bumpers College challenges me, encourages me, and provides me with many opportunities to develop the skills, knowledge and confidence to pursue my goals and do well.”

Emily recommends getting involved in registered student organizations to meet and connect with others and give back to the community. She is involved in Eta Sigma Delta, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Mortar Board and PhiU.

Emily also has advice for prospective students: “Make every moment count and savor each moment of every day whether you are just walking on campus, taking a test or hanging out with friends. Four years may seem long, but it goes by extremely fast.”

Katie Waldrip
Food, Human Nutrition and Hospitality
Concentration: Dietetics

Katie WaldripKatie Waldrip of Moro is a Food, Human Nutrition and Hospitality major with an Agribusiness minor. Katie chose the University of Arkansas not only because it was a family tradition, but because she knew there was no other school in Arkansas that could offer her the education she expected. “Both of my parents graduated from Bumpers College, and I knew it was the experience I wanted as well," she said.

“My adviser, Assistant Professor Charles Ogbeide, has influenced me by directing me to clubs and leadership roles. If it weren’t for his guidance and support, I wouldn’t have traveled to a conference in San Diego or be Dietetics Club President.

“The Bumpers College is perfect because we have smaller classes and reoccurring professors. Since professors teach more than one subject, students get to build relationships with their professors that last longer than four years. The curriculum of the classes has more than prepared me to excel in graduate school.”

Katie, who plans to pursue a graduate degree in Family and Consumer Sciences, is a Bumpers College Student Ambassador and is involved in many Registered Student Organizations on campus, including Associated Student Government, Diamond Dolls, Dietetics Club, Eta Sigma Delta, G.A.M.M.A., Hospitality Club, Kappa Kappa Gamma, and Student Dietetics Association. She is available to e-mail for academic questions or advice at

Jeff Hunt
General Human Environmental Sciences

Jeff HuntJeff Hunt of Hot Springs is majoring in Human Environmental Sciences with a concentration in Human Development. He chose the University of Arkansas for its great reputation as a research institution and its familiarity. “Fayetteville has been my home for many years now and I have deep roots in the community. U of A was my first choice.”

When asked why he chose his major, Jeff replied, “I was really looking for a course of study that would help me learn more about myself, while also gaining skills that would help me improve the lives of others.” He appreciates his program because the skills he learns in human development “apply to everyone, no matter their background or lifestyle.”

Jeff describes the Bumpers College atmosphere as “open, welcoming and very diverse.” He values the faculty in his program for their vast knowledge and real-life applications. His classes have given him insight to prepare him to effectively assist others in any stage of life. “These courses have covered such a broad range of topics that I feel prepared to follow professional opportunities in a number of different directions.”

For future students, Jeff advises, “go to class, do the work and ask lots of questions! Perseverance is the key to success in college.” He has learned through his college experience to never underestimate the knowledge he possesses. For academic advice or questions, contact Jeff at

Will Mears
Horticulture, Landscape, and Turf Sciences

Will MearsWill Mears of Shawnee, Kan., is majoring in Horticulture, Landscape, and Turf Sciences. A graduate of St. Thomas Aquinas High School, Will chose the University of Arkansas because of the sense of community in the Bumpers College. “It’s easy to get to know everyone—inside the classroom and out.”

The program Will chose was perfect for his interests. “I have had a lawn service since I was 11. I’ve known since I was 16 I would pursue this career to continue my business.” He appreciates the opportunities Bumpers College offers to its students, including study abroad programs and internships.

“As a transfer student from a community college, it was hard to figure out all of my credits. The professors are great at helping transfer students get organized and starting their experience here the right way.” Will is a member of the Skeet and Trap Team and The Turf Club.

“I recommend getting involved. The Turf Club placed 5th out of 87 teams in the National GCSAA Turfbowl this year. Clubs are perfect ways to compete within your expertise and make friends with your peers.”

Will has advice for transfer students: “Study your degree checklist. Only take classes you are required to take and the electives will fall into place.”

Jonathon Smith
Plant Pathology
Graduate Studies

Jonathon SmithJonathon Smith of Rogers is a graduate student working on a master's degree in the Department of Plant Pathology. He has a graduate research assistantship, which pays his tuition plus a small salary. He is part of a research team studying species resistance and production and quantification of mycotoxins in grain under the direction of his faculty advisor, Assistant Professor Burton Bluhm.

After receiving his bachelor’s degree at Arkansas State University, Jonathon chose the University of Arkansas for his graduate studies because it was close to home and provided the program he needed to reach his goal of being a research scientist. He plans to work in government or academic research.

“I like the Bumpers College atmosphere because it provides excellent professor-student interaction. I have an undergrad degree in biology and it didn’t provide the same atmosphere.”

Jonathon said his advisor, Dr. Bluhm, has influenced and supported his research and he values all of his Plant Pathology professors: “I have a relationship with every professor. They provide input with my research and I can learn from everyone involved in the program.”

Jonathon is available to contact for academic questions and advice at

Terik Jones
Poultry Science

Terik JonesTerik Jones, a Poultry Science major, is a graduate of Green Forest High School. Growing up in the poultry industry in Green Forest, Terik planned to use his family background to pursue a Business degree and minor in Poultry Science. However, as Terik began taking classes in the Dale Bumpers College, he realized he wanted to pursue a major in Poultry Science. Terik appreciates the closeness the Bumpers College atmosphere provides. “My Bumpers courses have always been more laid back with a small classroom setting, which makes my education more personal.”

Terik has been influenced by all of his Poultry Science instructors, but especially Professors Susan Watkins and Mike Kidd, who is also department head. “Dr. Watkins has helped me land internships, job offers and other connections throughout my college experience.”

Bumpers College has helped Terik achieve his career goals by offering professional and business connections, including a chance to meet former Senator Dale Bumpers.

If Terik could rewind four years and give himself one piece of advice before starting college, he would say, “It goes by way too fast, so enjoy it.” His academic advice for any student is a resounding, “don’t procrastinate, go to class, and always be punctual.” For academic advice or questions, e-mail Terik at


Students & Majors

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