Taking the reins

Name: Amber Courter
Major: Animal Science
Year: Senior
Hometown: Newburgh, Indiana

Farm experience not required: With her suburban upbringing, Amber discovered early that she had little in common with many of her farm-raised classmates. To remedy this, she sought out opportunities to gain large-animal experience — like internships at an equine vet practice and a commercial hog operation. “I had no experience with horses or pigs, but I decided to put myself out there and see what I could learn. It also helped me relate better to several of my classmates.”

In demand: Named the Outstanding Student in Animal Sciences all three of her years at Purdue, it’s not surprising that Amber is one of the department’s student ambassadors. She often speaks with prospective and admitted students and is invited to speak at freshman orientation for students majoring in animal science. At the university level, she’s been a team leader for Boiler Gold Rush the past two years. “I like incoming students, and I love sharing knowledge!”

Passing it on: Amber’s love of teaching will be a natural fit for her dream of becoming a veterinarian. “I really like educating people and sharing what I know. I want to help people learn how to take care of their animals and keep them healthy and happy.”

Service with a side of leadership: Community service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega has let Amber hone her leadership abilities while serving others. “Giving back is very important to me, and there are so many ways you can step up and lead in this organization. I’ve had the opportunity to make the organization better by serving in a variety of leadership roles.”

What makes a good leader? “Wanting to make a difference, having a passion for something, being willing to listen to other’s ideas and then putting those ideas into action.”

By Tammy Weaver-Stoike