Montana Hull, a senior at Eastern New Mexico University, plans to become a middle or high school agriculture teacher and Future Farmers of America advisor because "both the agriculture and education fields are constantly changing and evolving.
"I love that there is always an opportunity for me to learn more," she explains.
The agricultural education major, who expects to graduate in the spring of 2020, has additional plans to pursue a master's degree. A member of the Dean's list since she first arrived at ENMU, Montana was the recipient of the "Outstanding Student in Agriculture Education" award in 2018.
Montana, who has received several academic scholarships, chose to attend ENMU for its affordability and the scholarships offered to her. Her interest in the school was ignited when she visited Eastern as a junior in high school for an FFA competition. "It was during this time I was able to tour the campus. I fell in love with it right away," Montana says. "After that visit, I knew that Eastern was exactly where I wanted to pursue my bachelor's degree."
The Kappa Delta Pi president cites four professors who have helped her "tremendously" during her time at Eastern: Dr. Kathleen Wagner, associate professor of secondary education; Mrs. Kari Lemke, director of teacher education; Dr. Marshall Swafford, assistant professor of agriculture education; and Dr. Darron Smith, a former agriculture professor at ENMU.
"It is because of those individuals, who have encouraged me to invest in my interests and pursue my passions that I am here at Eastern studying agricultural education," Montana explains. "Their encouragement and guidance have made all the difference throughout my education journey."
Montana took her favorite class, "Structured Observations of Teaching and Learning," during her sophomore year. She says it sparked the inspiration in her journey to become an educator: "The class was interactive and fun, and I was able to teach a lesson for the first time in it."
To those planning on following in Montana's footsteps by becoming an agriculture education major, Montana says you are needed and welcomed: "As agriculture educators, we have the opportunity to change the world by teaching the truth about this industry to students." She strongly advises you to come to class "ready to learn, organized and proud of the profession you have chosen to pursue."
Montana's favorite part about being a Greyhound is the community at ENMU. "It has phenomenal staff and faculty that are always there to help when needed," she elaborates. "I have always felt welcome here and have made friends that I know I'll have for a lifetime."
Born in Albuquerque, New Mexico and raised in Belen, Montana is an only child. Her mother, Juanita, recently retired from the Raymond G. Murphy VA Medical Center in Albuquerque, after 40 years of services as a registered nurse. Currently, she is the school nurse at the elementary school Montana once attended. Her father Richard retired from commercial truck driving when Montana was born to be a stay-at-home dad.