ExplorACES again provides look at college’s opportunities

By Melissa Zieff

Before Cassie Becker attended the ExplorACES program as a high school student, she didn’t know where her career path would lead her.

After attending the program, however, Becker declared a minor in animal sciences and said faculty and students welcomed her with open arms.

According to the ACES Web site, ExplorACES is a two-day event designed to acquaint prospective students and their families with the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at the University. This year’s event will take place on Friday, March 13, and Saturday, March 14.

Becker, who is now a sophomore in ACES, attended the program three years in a row just to experience all it had to offer. Becker is now on the ExplorACES steering committee, which puts together pamphlets for the incoming students, among other duties.

“I saw so many things at once,” Becker said. “Being able to see so many departments and meet so many teachers helped me narrow down what I wanted to do.”

Karlie Elliott, co-chair of the event and senior in ACES, said one of the goals of the program is to show high school students all the opportunities available in the college of ACES.

“We want to show students that, yes, they can be a part of our college, and they can make an impact on the world while they are doing it,” Elliott said.

Mitch Heisler, also a co-chair and junior in ACES, said the ExplorACES committee has been planning since last September, and the program is nearly ready for incoming students.

“We want to make sure every part of the college is represented so we don’t leave anyone out,” Heisler said. “We want to have more diversity within the college.”

Once the potential students arrive at the University, they will meet with ACES professors, current students and visiting alumni as well as go on tours, listen to presentations about University housing and attend various workshops.

In the program’s fifth year, ExplorACES will feature 114 exhibits, which display information about any club or organization the potential student may be interested in. The program will also feature 23 mini-classes, which include everything from Doctor Hurley’s Magical Milk Lab, to mini-lectures in Crop Science 112.

Elliott said ExplorACES is not only a resource for students, but for parents as well.

“Parents often ask about scholarships and financial aid,” Elliott said. “There is one million dollars’ worth of scholarships through the college of ACES and we encourage all students to apply.”

Becker said she received the Jonathan Baldwin Turner scholarship, through which she earned $1,000 and an invitation to an honors banquet. During these trying economic times, paying for college can be difficult, and Becker believes it is comforting for parents to know there is aid available through ACES.

ExplorACES will also include two receptions for admitted University students. One reception will be for students who have been accepted into the college of ACES, while the other is for students who will come into the University as General Studies majors and wish to learn more about ACES.

“Come with an open mind and ask lots of questions,” Becker said. “I went to ExplorACES for three years and every time I went, I left having learned something new.”