Ana Morales, Ph.D. Student
Why did you choose Agronomy’s Graduate Program at Purdue?
I am from Ecuador. Back in 2014, I got my bachelor degree in an Agricultural University called Zamorano, in Honduras. In 2017 I came to Purdue as a visiting scholar in the Department of Agronomy. I loved Purdue and I stayed as a graduate student. I got my master degree, and know I am working on my PhD program in the same department. Choosing Purdue gave me the opportunity to work in Extension activities and conduct applied research focused on improving farmer’s agricultural practices.
Briefly describe your experience as a graduation student,specializing in Soil and Land Use and working with Purdue Extension.
Thanks to my advisors, Dr. Bob Nielsen and Dr. Jim Camberato, I participated in several Extension events during my MSc program, in which I had the opportunity to be a co-presenter and interact with people from different backgrounds. I also conducted on-farm research, which gave me a better perspective about farmer’s challenges and needs. Being around faculty that are experts in their areas, and being able to approach them for advice. I love being able to travel to different agricultural research centers around Indiana and evidence the effect of the environment on experimental treatments.
What are your career goals?
1) Continue my work in sustainable agriculture
2) Create applied research to provide farmers meaningful and practical information
3) Master Geographic Information Systems (GIS) tools applied to crop science, and
4) In the long-term, provide technical assistance for policy making.
How have your interactions been with faculty and staff?
The staff are very helpful and my advisors during my MSc program were an incredible support for me. Other faculty help me a lot too.
What are the strengths of the Graduate Program in Agronomy?
The Department has a variety of Faculty that are experts in different areas. The staff are friendly and willing to help, which makes a good environment in the Department. The Department offers students the opportunity for travel scholarships, which encourages students to attend and present their research in scientific events, and supports student activities to involve and connect people. There are also teaching assistant opportunities.
What has been your greatest accomplishment while at Purdue?
Being able to share my research in Extension and Scientific events.
What advice would you give an incoming grad student?
Take advantage of all the opportunities that the Department and Purdue offers. Don’t be shy and get involved in extracurricular activities, which will be very helpful to acquire leadership and communication skills, as well as to extend your social network. If possible, be a teaching assistant (TA) for at least one semester.