Taking agriculture to the next level is only the beginning for two Fort Valley State University freshmen looking to join a billion-dollar industry that continues to build communities and change lives.
Agriculture majors Lindsay Corbin and Lauren Wartley are using their platforms as recipients of Fort Valley State University’s first Global Innovators Scholarship to gain research experience and to pursue their respective passions of helping people and animals. For 18-year-old Corbin, veterinary technology was the obvious choice for a degree.
“I wanted to attend a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) but did not know if any of them offered a veterinary technology major for four years in the state. After I got the scholarship, that really opened my eyes about Fort Valley,” she said.
The Arabia Mountain High School graduate from Lithonia, Georgia, said she took an engineering pathway her first three years of high school and enjoyed building robots but always wanted to work with animals and be a veterinarian.
After completing the engineering pathway, she quickly changed to agriculture. “I kind of fell in love with it because it is so hands on with animals,” Corbin said. “It is part of people’s everyday living. Agriculture can take you anywhere. It is a field that can incorporate everything you love.”
Combining her passion for agriculture and engineering, the freshman Wildcat desires to make prosthetics for animals after reading an article about this growing technology. “It really does make a difference. You get a lot of resourcefulness out of it, while rehabilitating animals. You are introducing new technology and saving many animals’ lives. I also get to incorporate engineering, which I love,” Corbin said.
In addition to her making animal prosthetics, Corbin wants to own a mixed veterinary practice or work for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). “I have always had an interest in being able to give back to my community by making sure the animals are healthy, ensuring that our resources are good and bringing in new technology to help current circumstances,” she said.
On the path to become a doctor, 18-year-old Lauren Wartley changed her major from biology to animal science after learning more about FVSU’s program. “I would have never guessed to go through medical school through animal science,” she said. “This will allow me to have more hands-on experience in other fields, and animal science will look good for any medical school.”
In addition, Wartley is thankful for the small campus and family-oriented atmosphere. “Fort Valley is a hidden gem. It does a lot and has top agricultural programs. I knew I could make some connections on campus,” she said.
With military parents, the Harris County High School graduate from Hamilton, Georgia, said her ultimate career goal is to help people as a trauma surgeon, specializing in disaster medicine, or possibly serve in the U.S. Navy.
“I want to be able to travel and stay at a hospital for one or two years or for however long I feel like I want to stay there,” Wartley said. The travel enthusiast, who lived overseas in Germany and South Korea, said she would like to work in Europe and Latin America. She participated in a study abroad program last summer for a month in Spain. Minoring in Spanish, she wishes to learn Korean as well. Both honored to set the foundation as Global Innovators, Corbin and Wartley did not expect to receive the scholarship.
“My mom and I never thought that I would get a full scholarship. It meant that I would be able to pursue four years of veterinary technology at a HBCU, which I wanted. I could see my goals. It opens up a lot of different opportunities and pushes me to be the best I can,” Corbin said.
Wartley said if she had not gotten this scholarship, she would likely have stayed home for the first two years. She tried to avoid getting any loans as much as possible. “I said pigs had to fly backward in order for me to get this scholarship,” she said, smiling.
The Global Innovators Scholarship includes up to $40,000 for tuition, room, board, fees and other academic expenses. In addition, the scholarship offers $2,000 for international study and $500 to pursue a customized passion project such as research, creative exploration or entrepreneurship. For more information on applying for the Global Innovators Scholarship, visit https://bit.ly/2y3xx3B.