Q&A: Student To Student

Carly Martin, junior in agricultural education and studies, communications option, chats with Jenny English, senior in animal science and member of the Army National Guard, about what it’s like to walk in her shoes.

What have you been involved with at Iowa State?

I am animal science pre-vet and I have a minor in Spanish and nutritional sciences. I also have drill training one weekend each month for the Army National Guard. I work for Diane Spurlock in her lab and I’m a Student Admissions Representative. I’m a member of ballroom dancing club, too.

You stay pretty busy! Is there a particular animal that you are most interested in?

I joined Block and Bridle as a freshman and participated in the Little North American Showmanship contest winning the novice showmanship award for swine. This experience made me realize I was most interested in learning about and working with swine.

I actually grew up on a swine farm so they’re my favorite, too. How will you pursue your interest in working with swine?

Currently I’m working in the swine nutrition lab researching feed digestibility. This summer, I will apply to vet school and intern with Iowa Select Farms.

Do you have a favorite activity that you have been part of at Iowa State?

Being a Student Admissions Representative. I love being able to give students tours around campus and get them excited about coming here.

How did you decide to join the Army National Guard?

Some of my high school classmates in Le Grand, Iowa, encouraged me to join. After learning about the benefits such as full paid tuition, books and living expense, I went through the training.

When you were deployed what did you enjoy most and what were your biggest challenges?

After my junior year at ISU I was deployed to Afghanistan for a year. I enjoyed being able to take part in more of the hands-on experiences like creating Purple and Bronze Star awards for soldiers and working with people from many different states and countries. I was also assigned to interact with locals to help gain and build their trust with the United States. The hardest part was being away from my family, especially when my mom passed away in a car accident in January of 2011.

Was it tough to transition back to campus?

My return back to Iowa and my studies went more smoothly than I expected. While deployed, I took online classes and that really helped me transition back. My family and friends were a great support, too. I still keep in touch with students from my unit that attend Iowa State.

What other international experience have you had?

In the spring of 2009, I studied abroad in Mexico for three months as part of a Spanish language immersion course.

Looking back, what have you learned from your time on campus and abroad?

People are one of the best resources you can have. The advice and mentoring I’ve received have opened up so many doors and opportunities that I couldn’t achieve on my own.