Ag Journeys

“Conserving nature and fighting cancer are two big reasons I’m in Pharmacology and Toxicology.”

Tricia Hojnowski

Hometown: Alba, PA

Major: Pharmacology and Toxicology

Minor: Environmental Resource Management (ERM)

Started at: Penn State Altoona

Good at: Shooting, fishing, singing, training horses, riding horses, horsing around, researching, making a difference, burning the candle at both ends, muscling through problem solving, marching, camping, boating, tubing, wakeboarding, trying to save money

“Penn State lets you create opportunities.”

“I’m interested in the environment and I’m interested in toxicology. I brainstormed with one of my professors about a way to combine these passions, which led to a summer internship monitoring water quality in a remote part of PA. It’s been an incredible way to put both my field science and lab skills to use.”

“My family bleeds blue and white.”

“I come from a long line of Penn Staters. I think there were a lot of smiles when relatives, especially on my mom’s side, found out I was going to Happy Valley.”

“Tox is no joke.”

“I have friends in other majors across the University who have great stories about having lots of fun. Don’t get me wrong, my college experience has been amazing, but I probably wouldn’t use the word ‘fun.’ Challenging. Inspiring. Difficult. That’s more like it. I wouldn’t trade my experience, but I can tell you this: Tox is no joke.”

Ready for battle.

“A lot of my love for the outdoors comes from my father. My dad’s a cancer survivor. Conserving nature and fighting cancer are two big reasons I’m in pharmacology and toxicology.”

Guanajuato, the breadbasket of Mexico.

 “I jumped at the chance to visit agricultural sites in Mexico. It was fascinating to see how much agriculture is different, and how much it’s the same. Like seeing dairy farms and vegetables that I’m very familiar with, and seeing cactus grown for food. It was also big validation of my fascination with water. Mexican farmers treat water like a precious resource. Things like precision drip irrigation are used a lot more than they are back in the States.”

“I was on horses before I could walk.”

“Through every age, no matter what else I was doing, there were horses. My life at Penn State is incredibly busy, but I’ll never give up riding and being around horses.”

At Penn State, one size doesn’t fit all.

“If you want it, you can make it happen.”

“My Penn State experience isn’t like a lot of people’s. I started at the Altoona campus, and now I come to University Park twice a week (crazy intense days) while I take care of family responsibilities.  What I’ve learned is, if you want the Penn State experience, you can make it happen.”