What is your major?
My major is agricultural science and technology, with a focus in plant science.
What made you choose TT?
About two years ago I volunteered with a non-profit and I got to work with youth within agriculture. After that experience I realized how much I really liked working with students, but I didn’t know how to incorporate that with my major. My advisor caught on to the fact that I enjoyed working with students and suggested that I take the first TT class, TLPL 101, as a way to see if teaching was something I would be interested in. Once I was able to speak with Dr. Campbell and Dr. VanNetta I learned more about the program as a whole and how an integrated master’s degree could allow me to actually work in the classroom. I originally wanted to do production agriculture or work for a sector in the industry, but the more I got involved in the program the more I realized that I want to teach agriculture rather than produce food.
How has your experience been thus far?
As a TT student, I’ve never felt more valued in the classroom on the college level. I feel like the TT teachers care about us like we’re not just students, but we’re future coworkers, which is cool. In other classrooms, a lot of times, I just felt like a number until I reached my higher-level electives and then the teachers got to know me.
What are your future goals and how has TT helped you reach them?
My goal is to first complete the 5-year program in IMCP. I am a senior now and I’ve been accepted into the Noyce program, which will help pay for a good portion of that master’s program. Following that year, I would like to teach agriculture at the high school level. I’ve had the pleasure of teaching at College Park Academy (CPA) and Hyattsville Elementary as a TT student and I realized that teaching high school students would be a better fit for me because it is easier to hold their attention. After teaching at the high school level for a few years, I would love to continue my education so I could possibly become a department head. I would also like to possibly work with a non-profit that focuses on diversity in education.
How has your height impacted your teaching experiences? (Note, Dane is 6'4" tall)
This may sound weird, but I’ve learned how to use my height to my advantage. I’ve recognize that when I have one on one student interactions I can be a bit intimidating. I’ve had to work on my body language to be more open by not crossing my arms and not putting my hands in my pockets. Also, when I’m talking to students, if they are working at a desk, I make sure I get down on my haunches so I’m at their level, rather than leaning over the desk talking to them. I find that if I’m at their level then they feel more comfortable talking to me about problems, ideas or something that is going on in their lives.
Lightning Round (what’s the first answer that comes to mind?)
What’s the last book you’ve read?
Nicholas Barks Two by Two. I read with my grandma and it’s a book we chose together.
What’s the last movie you’ve seen?
Big Fish by Tim Burton
If you could choose a song to describe you, what song would that be?
"Brother" by NEEDTOBREATH because the song is about being someone to lean on and being a light in the live's of others. In the grand scheme of things, that's the kinda person I strive to be.
If you had to choose a color to describe you, what color would you choose?
Green by far. Like Christmas green. I love working with plants, especially evergreens, and I feel like green is the color of growth. I feel like we never really stop growing within education. So, we can always have room to grown. Green really defines me and it’s the color of agriculture.
If you could teach anywhere in the world, where would you want to teach?
I’d eventually like to teach in Alaska. Their methods of agriculture are very different from the forms I have learned about here on the east coast and would like to know more about them. If I taught Agricultural Education in Alaska, I would have the opportunity to teach and be taught too.
Lastly, what words of encouragement would you give current or future TT students?
Don’t be hesitant to serve, with all your might because investing in other people is where it’s at. We can have as much education as we want, but until we start working with other people we have no impact at all. If we start investing in future generations, instead of just keeping all the knowledge to ourselves, we begin to mold leaders, so the impact we make will continue on even after we are gone.