By Ellen Bombela, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Communications Service
Before she came to college, Joi Latson didn’t know anything about agriculture. Fast forward four and a half years, and she has been chosen to represent the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences as the student marshal for the Iowa State University Fall Undergraduate Commencement.
Growing up in St. Louis, Latson, a senior in global resource systems, didn’t realize how important agriculture was and never would have pictured herself devoting her life to it.
“I didn’t understand how important it was and how it affected our daily lives,” Latson said. “Usually when I think of students who are in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, I think of people who grew up on a farm or working in agriculture with their families, but that’s clearly not always the case. I’ve learned the importance of it throughout my time at Iowa State.”
Her mentor, Dorothy Masinde, has helped push her to succeed and get involved with different experiences. Masinde will be escorting her at the commencement, and believes Latson is very deserving of the honor.
“Joi is a smart person with a lot of potential to succeed in life. She worked very hard to achieve great grades while staying engaged in co-curricular activities and providing leadership on campus and in the local community,” said Masinde, a senior lecturer in Global Resource Systems.
Masinde was the one who encouraged Latson to take an internship in Uganda. For six weeks Latson worked with the nutritional education centers.
“We observed trainings related to food preparation and agriculture, and also worked with school feeding and nutrition, which included making sack gardens,” Latson said. “We didn’t have proper soil or land to work with, so we had to improvise.”
A capstone is required for all global resource systems majors, so Latson completed hers with the Center for Interamerican Studies.
“I worked with a team in the organization to develop standards that teachers could turn into curriculum to be used in their classrooms,” Latson said. “We did this in both English and Spanish, so it was very useful practice with technical Spanish writing and was something that I could put on my resume.”
Latson also completed the Peace Corps Prep program offered through Iowa State. She will be traveling to Guatemala as a Peace Corps volunteer after graduation.
The undergraduate commencement ceremony will take place December 15 at 1:30 pm. in Hilton Coliseum.
December 4, 2018