Katie Gardner

 Agricultural Education, Communications & Technologykatie

Why did you choose your major?

I chose a double major in Agricultural Education, Communication, & Technology and Agricultural Business because of my passion for agricultural advocacy and the versatility in opportunities available. When I was in high school, my future adviser, Dr. Rucker, invited me to shadow students in her classes and it was through this that I knew without a doubt I was in the right place. These programs have equipped me with skills, experiences, and a vision that will allow me to make an impact on the future of agriculture.

 What are you hoping to do with it?

My current work on my honors thesis that looks into how rural and undeserved communities stay connected to the news and civically engaged has given me further interest in media and strategic communication. This focus was developed from experiences and projects I had the privilege of taking part in during two summers in Washington, DC interning for the USDA and the White House. I hope to pursue a career that allows me to help bridge gaps in communication and connectivity as we move toward more digital based media.

 How do you stay involved with your department?

As the ambassador for the Agricultural Education, Communication, & Technology department, I am actively meeting with new students, building relationships with current students, and assisting others in getting plugged in on campus. I serve as Vice Chair of the Honors Student Board and as a Senator in the Associated Student Government representing the college, allowing me to represent my peers.

 What is your favorite class and/or professor?

Any class with Dr. Rucker automatically lands at the top of my list of favorite classes, but I particularly enjoyed her Leadership Development course. It had a service learning element that allowed me to work alongside a team in running the Media Room at Arkansas’ State FFA Convention, combining both my career interests in communications and passion for service. Dr. Rucker is an expert in building successful teams and leaders, and her classes are ones you will never want to miss!

 How are you an engaged U of A student outside of the classroom?

Beyond Bumpers, I am involved with the Associated Student Government, Student Alumni Association Board, Razorback Foundation Collegiate Board, and Delta Delta Delta Sorority. I have found that reaching across campus to pursue interests and passions through student organizations like these really maximizes what you can get out of your time here on campus. The network, experiences, and impact you can make are incomparable.

What is your favorite thing about Bumpers College?

You can ask anyone and the answer will almost always be the same: the people. It is best described as a family because of the way we are able to connect with each other as a smaller college on campus and how we value each other for our unique backgrounds and perspectives. Regardless of it is students, faculty and staff, or administration, everyone is on the same team and is relentlessly supportive for success.

Why did you want to be an ambassador?

I believe in the impact Bumpers College can have directly on it’s students, which then carries on to impact the world as we take what we have learned here into our futures. Amplifying the voice and image we have the power to create as student ambassadors is incredibly rewarding.

 What is your advice for an incoming freshman?

Build relationships with your adviser and professors! They can provide you with insight on scholarships, internships, careers, and general life here on campus. They are experts in their fields and in working with students, so they can help guide you through the years ahead.


About Katie

Fayetteville, AR

Agricultural Communications & Agribusiness 

Agricultural Education, Communications and Technology