Ag Journeys

“My major looked unbelievable on paper. It’s even better in real life.”

Molly Carson

Hometown: Kennett Square, Pennsylvania

Major: Wildlife and Fisheries Science

Minor: Marine Sciences

Clubs: Penn State Women's Varsity Swim Team, Penn State Student Welfare and Development SAAC, Athletic Director's Leadership Institute, Schreyer Honors College

Good at: Drawing and illustration (I am currently working on publishing a coloring book), painting, swimming, waterskiing, watching and reviewing movies!

Molly Fishing

Water is my destiny.

“My mom and brother were both competitive divers. My dad did crew. When I was around six years old my parents observed my big feet, thought that meant I'd be a good swimmer, and in the pool I went. Every summer, we live in the water at the beach in Delaware. Penn State varsity swimmer, fisheries science—water is my destiny.”

“Opportunities come out of the walls here.”

Molly and Snapping Turtle

Great on paper. Better in real life.

“I came in as a biology major and then stumbled upon Wildlife and Fisheries Science in a seminar. When I discovered the major, it was like hitting the lottery. The hands-on nature of the program. The immersive nature of the program—I didn’t know there was anything like that at college.”

Electrofishing on Lake Perez

“If there is one experience that sealed the deal that I was in the right major, it was this one. We spent the night stunning fish, studying them, and returning them, healthy, to the water. The data we collected are important, of course, but having your hands on a fish, making observations, collecting information, seeing it as a beautiful being brings the science to life. We don’t just learn with our minds, we learn with our hands.”

Large Mouth Bass
Students in stream

Ag students are a different breed.

“My roommates, all on the swim team, might be getting ready for school, and then I parade in wearing hip waders on my way to school. Or off to check out a cow I might show. Or on my way to tap maple trees. We’re different. Everything in ag has a hands-on component. That’s crucial for the way I learn.”

“Swimming is hard, but it pays off.”

Molly and Roommates

With Swim Team and Wildlife and Fisheries Science, I have two second families.

“Being a college athlete is hard and it comes with sacrifice. I’m swimming laps long before the sun comes up. Going to bed early while friends are gearing up to party.  Are there times I question my choice to be an athlete? Sure. But the payoff is huge too. I am great at time management. I don’t need to allocate extra time to stay fit. And the friendships I have on the team are unbelievably strong. Nothing like shared suffering to form bonds!”

Scuba divers on boat

Turks and Caicos. Amazing.

“A month studying abroad on the most beautiful island doing the difficult but satisfying work of science. Meeting students from everywhere and talented scientists and academics from the island. In the field exercises, I was more prepared than other students because of the hands-on science work I’d done as a fisheries major. And I got my advanced SCUBA certs while I was there.”

Seahorses and Sea Life coloring book page

Go find your crayons!

“I’m publishing a coloring book featuring my original art: The Ocean’s Coastal Coloring. It blends realistic observations I’ve made in the water with my own fantastical view of ocean life. Play your cards right and you might get a signed copy.”


“The swim team danced at THON—a dance marathon tradition at Penn State that raises money for pediatric cancer. We went up on stage in front of thousands. Yes, we’re athletes but not, repeat, not dancers. Honestly, we were probably terrible but feeling the entire arena packed for the THON cause and Penn State pride was overwhelming. Penn State clicked for me that day. That’s why it’s special. All the communities together.”

Swim Team dancing