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Allison Hoover

Agricultural and Extension Education Major, INTAG Minor who studied abroad in Costa Rica, Thailand, and Cambodia.
Allison with her students in Ghana during AgriCorps

Allison with her students in Ghana during AgriCorps

The College of Agricultural Sciences offered countless opportunities to explore international interests and I was always excited to learn about and seek opportunities to incorporate my global experiences into my undergraduate career at Penn State. From my freshman year, I worked with my academic advisor (Dr. Daniel Foster) to develop a "plan" for maximizing an international experience in my academic major. With his assistance, I was able to make a "plan" for traveling and immersing myself in Spanish speaking culture so as to complete part of my student teaching experience abroad in a second language. This plan involved summer enrichment abroad (2 of my 3 undergrad summers were spent in Costa Rica) to develop Spanish speaking and cultural competency in Costa Rica in order to student teach there in my senior year. Additionally, I was able to be involved in the International Agriculture minor program with Dr. Tom Gill where I gained much international insight in the classroom, but was also able to travel to Southeast Asia for an immersion experience as part of an International Agriculture course.

Allison HooverAllison Hoover

(left) Teaching 5th grade students about agriculture in Costa Rica. (right) My favorite host brother, A-Owan, in a Northern Thailand village.

My current career path exists as a result of experiences both from my US education as well as the opportunities offered to me to work and study abroad over the years. I primarily became interested in education after an enriching experience with the National FFA Organization during and after high school - thus directing me to major in Agricultural and Extension Education with a global focus at Penn State. Upon graduation from college, I directed that interest toward the career path of agricultural development, with emphasis in education, which sent me to West Africa for a year of service with AgriCorps, Inc. While in Ghana, I was teaching students who had extremely varied cultural backgrounds from myself - I often found it challenging to relate to them on several levels. However, there was one thing that allowed me to relate to them very easily - they were students: young people with an uncertain eagerness to discover life, grow and understand themselves with regard to the world around them. This is what connects them to students all over the world, a concept that assured me that a career in education was one to which I was called. Regardless of where in the world I serve as a "teacher," there will always be students to positively influence and love.

Allison Hoover

In Ghana for AgriCorps

I am currently serving as a high school agriculture teacher and FFA advisor at Ripon Christian Schools in Ripon, California. After being called to the distant land of California to start the agricultural education program and FFA chapter here in 2015, I have found that, no matter how far I now live from my family and friends, I can call this place home because of the passion I have for my students. Their energy, interests, and successes are what encourage me every day to keep at this challenging profession. The ability to both challenge them and learn from them, all while instilling in them the abilities and leadership skills needed to be the next generation of agricultural leaders, is what makes my job so amazing.

Allison Hoover

With my students in California