Recruiting Race; Duo key to boosting animal and food sciences enrollment
While many attributes contribute to the exponential student enrollment in Texas Tech University's Department of Animal and Food Sciences, part of the approximate 62 percent increase in undergraduate enrollment over the past six years is owed to Moriah Beyers and Kayla Rathmann's recruitment and retention efforts.
"I love my students," said Rathmann, coordinator of student and alumni programs. "Anything that involves working with my kids is a passion of mine. I teach, advise a student organization, plan outreach events, fundraise, and enjoy all of it when my students are engaged."
With only four short years to spend with students, Beyers, coordinator of meat science programs, added there is nothing more fulfilling than helping and enabling students as they complete their education and prepare for their careers.
When it comes to attracting prospective students to the department, getting them on campus and engaging them is the most effective means, the pair said. Hosting outreach events such as meat and livestock judging camps, the Texas 4-H Roundup, Texas FFA Convention, and North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture judging conferences, provides students the opportunity to interact with faculty and staff.
"It's important to get to know your students and their parents and treat them like family," Rathmann said.
Marked by many national champion competitive teams, and outstanding academics and research, Beyers said excellent students, faculty and staff add to recruitment efforts. "The faculty and staff in the department strive to provide an excellent education with very diverse opportunities for each student," Beyers said. "I believe that great students, great faculty and great programs will continue to attract to top tier students."
A Fredonia native, Beyers received her bachelor's in animal science from Texas A&M University and her master's in agricultural communications from Texas Tech. Previously, she worked for ARMtech Insurance and joined the department in 2008. Beyers was voted the Outstanding Agricultural Staff Member by Ag Council in fall 2008 and spring 2013.
Rathmann grew up in Garden City, and received her bachelor's in agricultural development and her master's in agricultural education from Texas A&M University. Prior to joining the department in 2007, she served as the Director of the Texas 4-H Friends and Alumni Organization, as well as the Coordinator of Undergraduate Programs for the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.
College officials note that Beyers and Rathmann serve as two parts that complete the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources recruitment circle. Departmental effort, coupled with the Dr. Bill Bennett's Student Success Center, has led to successful student recruitment and retention efforts.
Written by Faith Jurek
CONTACT: Michael Orth, chairman, Department of Animal and Food Sciences, Texas Tech University at (806) 742-2805 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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