Anderson passionate about helping others feel at home at Iowa State

Turner Anderson standing on a balcony, with trees and a building in the background.
Turner Anderson, graduating senior in animal science, animal ecology and biology, encourages others to seek ways to engage in diversity efforts across campus and the community to become better global citizens.

By Whitney Baxter

Joining different clubs, experiencing new cultures and getting to know people from various backgrounds are all things Turner Anderson encourages others to consider doing to become better global citizens.

Anderson, a graduating senior triple majoring in animal science, animal ecology and biology, is this semester’s recipient of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Student Council Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion Award. The award recognizes his efforts to encourage diversity within the campus community.

Anderson kicked off his Iowa State adventure by participating in the Academic Program for Excellence the summer before his freshman year. This program helps multicultural students transition from high school to Iowa State. Participants take classes, learn about available resources and get to know faculty and fellow students.

As a George Washington Carver Scholarship recipient, Anderson had the opportunity to serve as a peer mentor through the George Washington Carver program. In this role, he guided younger students as they prepared their four-year plans and thought about internships or jobs they wanted to apply for.

“Being a peer mentor not only allowed me to build close relationships with younger students of color, but also with my scholarship coordinator and other members of my cohort,” Anderson said. “I’m glad I had an opportunity to impact scholars across the program in so many ways.”

At the recommendation of a friend, Anderson became the undergraduate representative on the Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee. He helped put together the weekly Diversity Drops email newsletter sent to the department’s students, faculty and staff. Earlier this semester, he presented about the newsletter’s impact at the annual ISCORE conference.

No matter what organization he’s been involved with, Anderson always strives to ensure students are heard and feel like they are a part of the larger university community.

“I have used the knowledge I’ve gained to serve as an advocate for the communities I belong to and the ones I’ve continued to learn about along the way,” Anderson said. “Encouraging my fellow students to engage in difficult conversations and voice their experiences has been essential to creating a better Iowa State community.”

Anderson encourages others to seek ways to engage in diversity efforts across campus and the community to become better global citizens.

“Everyone has a place at Iowa State, and learning from those around us can help us all become better allies for each other,” Anderson said.