From an online master's degree to her Ph.D

June 14, 2018

Angie Begosh got her masters through the MS Agronomy online program and applied that real-life application of scientific knowledge to the process of getting her PhD.

Recently finishing her PhD in zoology from Oklahoma State University, Begosh is a research scientist for the Department of Entomology at the University of Minnesota. Her dissertation focused on the influence of land use and the Conservation Reserve Program on native invertebrate pollinator communities in Southern High Plains wetlands and uplands.

Made possible by the flexibility of the online master’s program.

“If it had not been for the program providing me the opportunity to pursue an advanced degree without having to be physically on campus, I never would have considered it,” said Begosh.

The problem solving nature of the online program inspired Begosh to start thinking about the broader, more complicated questions she could test through research. In her classes, students evaluated an actual agricultural operation to make recommendations to improve profits. The classes incorporated practical skills like writing business letters, creating presentations and how to evaluate information sources using agronomic examples.

“The program prepared me to evaluate information, determine its validity, and relate scientific discovery to solving agricultural and ecological problems,” said Begosh.

The problem Begosh was most passionate about? How agriculture could play a better role in conservation. In order to pursue it, Begosh needed a better understanding of ecology. She was offered a Ph.D. research assistantship to study how the Conservation Reserve Program influenced pollinator diversity in the Southern High Plains of Texas..

Begosh never anticipated getting her PhD, but the MS in Agronomy program was a key stepping stone in getting there.

“I would highly recommend anybody who is considering the pursuit of an advanced degree to consider this program,” said Begosh. “I was able to do this while working full time and it has also opened many doors to job opportunities that I otherwise would not have been able to pursue.”