Tuesday, July 23, 2013

2012 Follow Up: Doug Masser, a year later = Vandal Pride

Doug in front of the University of Idaho sign,
but still representing the Nittany Lions.
Doug Masser, a 2012 Penn State AEE gradaute, is working on his Masters of Science degree in Agricultural Education at the University of Idaho. Because Doug was certified to teach high school agriculture with his undergraduate degree from Penn State, he is now focused more on research classes and classes that will help him out as a future agricultural teacher. The research he conducts focuses on community support for agricultural education and looks at ways to make community partnership stronger in ways that will improve agricultural education programs. To go along with his assistantship duties Doug also helps to advise the University of Idaho CFFA where he helps with coordinating chapter events, local CDE's and coordinating the National FFA Convention trip. 

Doug and the Idaho's CFFA members
 at National FFA Convention
After Doug graduated from Penn State he did not plan on going to grad school, he thought he was going to teach agriculture in a high school in Pennsylvania. Since he was in Schreyers Honors College at Penn State he had to complete an undergraduate research thesis – he enjoyed the research but he was not thinking about getting his masters until later on in his career. After graduation he went to Korea with other agricultural education majors at Penn State,  he also attended two research conferences to present some of his undergraduate research work. While at the conference, he met a man by the name of Dr. Jeremy Falk (http://www.uidaho.edu/cals/ae4hyd/faculty/jfalk), an assistant professor at the University of Idaho. Dr. Falk encouraged Doug to visit the campus and think about a masters in Ag Ed. When Doug went to visit the campus, he was very wary about moving across the country and leaving Pennsylvania, but he loved his visit and even signed an apartment and his assistantship contract the second day there. Doug said “I am a firm believer that every experience someone has shapes who they are later in life. That’s why when this opportunity fell into my lap; I knew it was too good to pass up.”

Doug helping to run a Parliamentary Procedure workshop.
In regards to living in Idaho, Pennsylvania native said that everyone is really friendly and that the lifestyle is more laid back. Doug thought that he lived in a rural part of Pennsylvania, but living in Idaho there is a lot more land and a lot less people. The agriculture in the state is different than that in Pennsylvania such as in Southern Idaho there are a lot of potatoes, onions and other crops that are grown in irrigated valleys and in Northern Idaho, where Doug is located, there is dry land and wheat farming in the rolling hills. Since the agriculture is different in Idaho from Pennsylvania, the agricultural education is different too. He said that agricultural mechanics is a large aspect with approximately 60% of the agricultural education classes being taught are agricultural mechanics. The other classes include animal, plant, food, and environmental sciences as examples.  However, similar to Pennsylvania, all the teachers are dedicated to their student’s success. Doug has been in grad school for a year and has met many of Idaho’s 120 agricultural teachers and feels that they are a tight knit family that supports each other and are dedicated to the future of agricultural education.

After Doug finishes his masters degree he wishes to return back to Pennsylvania and find a job teaching high school agriculture. He missed the being in the classroom and teaching. However, now that he has moved across the country for his masters degree he is more open to moving and teaching anywhere across the nation. Doug would like to “encourage everyone to stretch themselves to do something different and leave their comfort zone. New situations bring with (them) new challenges that help us all grow as individuals and professionals.”
A piece of University of Idaho's campus.
 To learn more about starting on the path to having a career that makes a positive impact on the lives of students across the globe by becoming an agricultural educator, please contact the agricultural teacher education program at teachag@psu.edu. Follow us on Twitter at TeachAgPSU, on Facebook, or on our blog

Jeanne Case
Student Blogger
2014 Dover HS Student Teacher
Twitter: JRose_Case

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