Graduate Students

Shelby Carlson
  • Shelby Carlson
  • Graduation Year: 2018
  • Hometown: Altona, Illinois
  • Shelby Carlson grew up in rural Illinois where she gained an appreciation for agriculture. She knew was a young age she wanted to spread the word of agriculture to those both in and out of the industry. She graduated from Western Illinois...

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Courtney Walker
  • Courtney Walker
  • Graduation Year: 2018
  • Hometown: Atwood, Illinois
  • Courtney Walker is a 2014 Agricultural Education & Leadership graduate from the University of Missouri. After college, she followed her passion for food and agriculture to begin a career in agricultural sales. Courtney said her career...

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Elise Hackett
  • Elise Hackett
  • Graduation Year: 2018
  • Hometown: Tuscola, Illinois
  • Internship: National Junior Hereford Association, 2012-2015
  • Elise Hackett chose to pursue a master's degree in Agricultural Education because she has a passion for helping youth in agriculture. "If I can help at least one kid realize that they love to do something agriculture-related, I will feel...

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Jacob Meyer
  • Jacob Meyer
  • Graduation Year: 2018
  • Hometown: Champaign, IL
  • Jacob chose Agricultural Leadership Education because he loves working with people and wanted to learn how to better lead them in the workplace. He doesn’t have a background in agriculture, but was very interested in learning more and getting...

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Abigail Petersen
  • Abigail Petersen
  • Graduation Year: 2018
  • Hometown: Springfield, Illinois
  • Career: Sustainable Communities Extension Intern, Social Justice and Leadership Education Intern, Summer Research Intern
  • Internship: Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant and Purdue University, University Housing, ACES Office of Research
  • Abigail Petersen graduated from the University of Illinois with a bachelor's of science in Natural Resources. Among her undergraduate studies were courses on dendrology, ecology, and community biology, but her true passion in natural resources...

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Jessica Biernacki
  • Jessica Biernacki
  • Graduation Year: 2016
  • Hometown: Tinley Park, Illinois
  • Jessica chose Agricultural Leadership Education after volunteering with Cook County Farm Bureau for the past six years. After seeing the benefits of the youth outreach programs, she decided to pursue a career to help further youth development...

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