Leah Philipp, sophomore in agronomy from Manchester, Iowa is one of two of the Department of Agronomy's peer mentors.
"I came to Iowa State because I originally wanted to study genetics in agriculture as I wanted to give back to the farming community that helped me become the person I am, and I knew Iowa State had an awesome ag program," said Leah. "At orientation, I realized I wanted to work more directly with farmers instead of in a research lab, so I changed my major to agronomy, and honestly, that was the absolute best decision I ever made."
Leah decided to become a peer mentor because she realized how hard adjusting to college truly can be, especially when being close with friends and family that live hours away. She also mentioned that her peer mentors from her freshman year, Jenna Cowan and Ted Hilgerson, were very helpful and she wanted to be that type of resource for someone else.
"My favorite part about being a peer mentor thus far has been seeing the friendships begin between freshmen on the agronomy field trip. I have loved getting to know all of them," Leah said.
Leah's responsibilities have included contacting Northcrest Community for pumpkin painting and delivery, making and delivering welcome bags for the freshmen, attending the field trip, and helping Dr. Wiedenhoeft prepare for the Agronomy 110 class.
"I think peer mentors affect the learning community and agronomy department because we do our best to help the freshmen adjust. The learning community helped me feel more at home last year since Iowa State University was a big adjustment from a small high school class size," said Leah.
Leah also explained that peer mentors truly help Iowa State feel smaller and more like a community, giving freshmen a sense of home in such a large college environment.