Service is central to the CALS student experience

By: Megan Decker

Whether it’s addressing immense challenges in our global community such as food insecurity through service-learning in the ISU-Uganda program, or serving our fellow students pork-chops-on-a-stick on central campus as part of College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Week, service is engrained in the CALS student experience.

For students, faculty, staff and alumni in agriculture and life sciences, service is a tradition, not a buzzword. Our college is a place to develop and enhance our skill sets while furthering our understanding of the sciences, adoption of new technologies, appreciation of the fine arts and celebration of diversity. Each of us brings unique skills and talents to the environments in which we live, study and work. We each have a responsibility to further develop these talents to best serve those around us, and there is no better place to immerse ourselves in this growth than Iowa State University. Our world-class faculty, staff, industry representatives and an incredible alumni network present students with opportunities to duly prepare themselves to meet their own needs and the needs of others.

There is strength in our reliance on one another as we seek to find solutions to the complex issues we face. It is important to recognize the close-knit community of doers, thinkers and innovators we belong to as members of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. We owe it to ourselves and to our global community to take advantage of the growth opportunities presented to us through the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, so we are best equipped to create a better world than the one we grew up in. To this end, we strive to embody these core values through our service as Student Body President and Vice President, and we encourage you to identify how you are drawn to serve and contribute your energy and passion to your communities.


“Serving as an agricultural business peer mentor gave me the opportunity to work closely with my peers in a mentor-mentee relationship, providing professional and personal advice that was pertinent to each student’s situation. As mentors, we shared personal stories and knowledge from our years to enhance their college experiences. In return, our mentees helped us learn how to adapt our mentorship to best serve them in their own unique situations.” – Julia Campbell, senior in agricultural business, president of ISU Student Government

“I began my adventure as a Cyclone during this unprecedented year in the midst of a global pandemic. Despite these circumstances, my first year in CALS was full of people who went above and beyond to make the year unforgettable. As a CALS ambassador, I was able to share my experience with potential students so they felt welcomed and supported through the unique circumstances they might face.” – Megan Decker, sophomore in agriculture and society, vice president of ISU Student Government