Writing Opens Doors

Samantha Pedder (photo by Steve Williams)Teaching and learning may begin in the classroom, but senior wildlife and fisheries science major Samantha Pedder is an example of how activity outside the classroom expands the college experience. Pedder participated in an agricultural communications essay competition, and her piece on the effects on agriculture of natural gas drilling into the Marcellus shale formation tied for first place.

She won an all-expenses-paid trip to the Agriculture Promise forum in Washington, D.C.,where she and another student gave a 30-minute presentation, “How to Present a Message to Legislators,” to the conference.

Pedder met the director of intergovernmental affairs at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and talked with congressional aides. She plans to continue her involvement in government as she progresses in her career. Pedder has worked as a wildlife biologist aide for the Pennsylvania Game Commission, and she’d like to work as a wildlife biologist for a state or national agency after graduation.

“I came to Penn State because the College of Ag Sciences offers so many opportunities to explore agriculture,” she said. “Since I have been here, I have developed interests and skills that I will pursue and use in my professional life.”

Photo: Steve Williams