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Students are the Best Part of Extension Educator's Job

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

According to Beatrix J. Haggard, associate professor of plant science and extension education, students are what make her passionate about her job at Oklahoma State University.


“It always gets very boring during mid-summer, and I can’t wait until they get back to campus,” Haggard said. “It is never a dull moment when all of the students are hanging out across from my office and studying and making life-long friends.”


Haggard obtained a bachelor’s degree in agronomy and range management from Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas, and obtained a doctorate in agronomy from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.


During her college years, Haggard had the opportunity to travel extensively, doing fieldwork in Alaska and Romania. During this time, she worked with the United States Agriculture Department’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, mapping soils in the Salcha-Big Delta Region and participated in the World Congress of Soil Science tour from Fairbanks to Prudhoe Bay. 


After graduating from LSU, she worked at the Northeast Research Station in St. Joseph, Louisiana, for three years before coming to OSU. 


Haggard said one of her favorite things about being a teacher is seeing those “lightbulb moments” for students.


“Sometimes it is a fun fact, and sometimes it is a concept that finally clicks. Advising is also a great aspect about teaching at OSU. Some discussions are very hard, but it is also great to know that you get to be another sounding board for a student’s decisions. 


Outside of OSU (and in a few OSU meetings), Haggard enjoys knitting.


“I taught myself to knit during high school as a way of connecting with my grandmother who passed away when I was 4. One day, I found leftover knitting items that belonged to her. I now knit sweaters, socks, blankets, but I avoid scarves, because they are boring.”


Haggard said she loves the overall atmosphere of OSU.


“I love that everyone wants you to succeed, and you know that you are not competing with each other. Everyone has made me feel welcome since I started at OSU, and I try to mirror that to my students.”

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