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Never Stop Learning: A Student's Mantra

November 22, 2019

For some students, one degree just isn’t enough. With a passion for agriculture and a desire for a deeper understanding of soil science, Blackhawk student Travis Skattum returned to the classroom recently to pursue a second degree. Travis graduated from the Agribusiness/Science Technology Degree program and is currently pursuing the Laboratory Technician Assistant program.

“I have always loved science and this gives me another avenue to pursue an interest of mine. Blackhawk has provided a great learning environment for me to continue learning,” said Travis.

Blackhawk has given Travis an affordable, flexible option to continue his education close to home. The flexibility and accessibility of the Monroe campus allow Travis to work around his busy life schedule. Travis balances school, marriage, fatherhood, employment, and a small farm.

“It’s incredible that he is able to balance work and life and continue his education. He is organized, dedicated, and motivated,” said Agribusiness Instructor Dustin Williams.

Laboratory Technology Instructor Daniel Harrigan echoed Dustin’s comments, “Travis has a genuine interest in the topic. He always comes to class with questions about something he read, something interesting he was discussing with family, or additional research he was doing about topics from class.” 

Travis’ plate may be full, but one would never know it based on his approach to learning. His instructors describe him as someone who helps his peers succeed. As a member of Professional Agriculture Students (PAS), Travis served as an officer for two years, competing at state and national competitions. In addition to PAS, he became involved in Blackhawk’s Student Government Association where he motivated others to get involved and try new things.

“What I am learning and experiencing here, I want to instill that in my own children. You are never done learning,” said Travis.

He said this was a character trait instilled in him from a very young age and then later reinforced when he served in the United States Army. “Learn everything you can, and just try to do your best to help others.”

“His drive to learn is infectious to other students in the class,” said Daniel. “Somehow he finds time for all of this while working, spending time with family, and being involved in the community. Travis is the kind of student instructors love to have.”

“It’s always nice to have someone like that in your program and in your organization because it really makes a difference in the involvement and activeness of the others. He is the type of student that everyone enjoys having in class,” said Dustin.

Travis offered words of encouragement to other students: “Your education is like an iceberg…there is so much more below the surface. Be who you are and don’t worry about the rest.”

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