Alumni Profiles - Meet Nicole Aizaga
Hometown: Dix Hills, NY
Year of Graduation: 2011
Major: Animal Science
Minors: Spanish, Biology
Undergraduate Campus Involvement:
Residence Life, Animal Science Club, Alpha Zeta, National Residence Hall Honorary, Ag Day Planning Committee
Current Position of Employment or Education:
Biology Teacher at Dover High School, Graduate student in Special Education at Wilmington University
Describe your best Ag experience:
My best Ag experiences were all of the Ag Days that I had. Each year it was so enjoyable to see the College get together and celebrate all of the unique and interesting things we do. I particularly enjoyed Ag Day because I was on the planning committee for 3 years. It is one thing to go to Ag Day and enjoy the great time that it is; it is another thing to work hard with a close knit team of people who care about Ag Day and be able to see it through until the end.
Which Ag course was your favorite and why?
My favorite Ag courses were Animal Science 101 and 111 because they were the first glimpses into the field of agriculture I had. I enjoyed learning about the animal science industry with Dr. Griffiths, and then being able to apply it out in the 111 lab.
Tell us about your current position or program of study and what led you to that field.
I am currently a Biology teacher at Dover High School and I am also working on my Masters in Special Education at Wilmington University. I got into the field of education after taking an Urban Education class at the University of Delaware. I applied to, and was accepted to, the Delaware Teaching Fellows program which put me through a 5-week intensive summer institute where I learned about the foundations of education, and I had a chance to teach summer school. I eventually received my position at Dover High School, and I am enjoying my work teaching Biology and Senior Science.
How did your College of Ag experiences prepare you for your current job or post-graduate education?
My College of Ag experiences really helped me grow professionally and personally. Being that our college is so small, I was able to have great faculty mentors who saw the potential in me. I would not have pushed myself so hard to seek out opportunities if it wasn't for the fact that I had people who brought my potential to my eyes. My faculty mentors in the college pushed me to take positions in various committees, and they helped me hone in on my leadership skills that completely prepared me for any sort of challenge that will come up in my professional life.
What advice do you have for students interested in your field?
If students are interested in education, remember that it is never too late to transfer into the field. If you find yourself passionate about the field, but towards the end of your college career, seek out masters programs or alternative certification routes like I did with the Delaware Teaching Fellows. Teaching is a great profession, and there is a lot of information out there about how to receive certification; the key is just to be proactive about finding positions and opportunities.