Snapshots: Pursuit of Purdue. Meet Avery!

Each week, we’ll take a look at a student who started their journey in Exploratory Studies. All of these students have found their perfect major at Purdue. Be sure to check out our blog each week for a new post that will feature a different student and their new major at Purdue.

Let’s meet Avery.


Name: Avery Sameshima

Current year: Sophomore

Major(s): Hospitality & Tourism Management

When did you start in Exploratory Studies?

I started my college career in Exploratory Studies.

How long were you in Exploratory Studies?

I was in Exploratory Studies for 3 semesters, but knew what major I would choose by the end of my second.

Why did you start in Exploratory Studies?

Exploratory Studies seemed like the best idea for me since I’d had no idea what major or career I’d wanted. When I first arrived at Purdue, I was considering majoring in political science, or theatre, or nursing. It’s a varied selection, I know. However, as I went to meetings and call-outs for these majors as a requirement for my Exploratory Studies class, I discovered none of them were right for me. This is exactly what I joined Exploratory Studies for: to find out what I did not want to do.

Why did you choose your current major?

I chose Hospitality & Tourism Management because I love working with people and making them feel comfortable and happy. Customer Service is something I value quite a lot, and with the recent jobs I’ve had in food service, I’ve really been able to see a lot of what a career in HTM requires.

What kind of personalities would be good for this major? What are some of the skills or abilities people should be aware of in order to enjoy this major?

All kinds of people can major in HTM. However, it does require a strong trait of sociability and compassion. The jobs require so much interaction amongst coworkers and customers that someone who cannot function well in a social setting would probably not benefit the job. Most of the people I’ve met in this major are very social, kind, hard-working, and constant learners. The job requires research for everything, whether it be preparation for an interview or even just having a guest speaker. Research must be done to show that we care and to make our own impressions.

 What was your favorite thing about Exploratory Studies?

My absolute favorite thing about Exploratory Studies was my teacher and advisor, Mary Beth Lencke. If I were asked who my favorite and best teacher here was, I would give them her name. Not only was she extremely kind and helpful, but she always listened to what I wanted to do and talked me through the pros and cons. She’s a great advisor and an even better person.

Do you feel Exploratory Studies was helpful to you during your first semester(s) at Purdue?

Exploratory Studies was extremely helpful, though I might not have realized it. Going to all the meetings and call-outs and researching the majors that I showed interest in really helped me pick and choose. It all gave me an overall sense of whether or not I felt like I belonged in the major, would succeed in the major, and would enjoy a career in it for the rest of my life.

 Are you surprised at where you have ended up in your studies?

I’m not surprised at where I am, I just hadn’t expected to have taken so many turns. I first started off at Purdue in some pretty high level math and science classes. Then, I went on to doing maths and management courses. Now that I’m in a majority of HTM courses, I can see that I really had to fight through the other courses because I’d not been passionate for them or felt they were beneficial. I think that having gone through that has prepared me for my HTM courses and the amount of effort I will need to put in.

 What’s your favorite thing about Purdue?

My favorite thing about Purdue would definitely be Harrison Grille! It’s my favorite place to work and the food is delicious. You should definitely come by some time and grab a bite to eat. We close at 1 am every night!

…or morning.

Fun Fact?

I joined a hip hop dance crew on campus called Dance 2XS. We are not competitive, but we do have two trips that are out of state in which we showcase what we’ve learned and developed. It is one of my favorite things to do here at Purdue, and I will definitely be re-joining after this semester.

Interview conducted my Emily R., junior


Snapshots: Pursuit of Purdue. Meet Heather!

We’re excited to feature another new blog series on our blog called “Snapshots: Pursuit of Purdue.” Each week, we’ll take a look at a student who started their journey in Exploratory Studies. All of these students have found their perfect major at Purdue. Be sure to check out our blog each week for a new post that will feature a different student and their new major at Purdue.

Now let’s meet Heather!

Heather Huizenga

Name: Heather Huizenga

Year: Freshman

Hometown: Demotte, Indiana

Majors: Agricultural Business, Finance, Marketing

From a small town and a farming family, Heather always assumed she would major in the department of agriculture but was unsure what area exactly so she went undecided.

Heather started Purdue University as an Explorer in the fall of 2014. Like many Exploratory Studies students, she was undecided senior year of high school.

Heather heard about, her now, apartment complex and Christian living community called FaithWest through a friend and along side Purdue’s Agriculture background, Heather decided Purdue was the right choice. She loves the environment Purdue creates by offering so many resources to succeed in any area of study.

She is a recipient of the Presidential Scholarship. She plans to CODO into the College of Agriculture and major in Business, Finance, or Marketing.

Her favorite parts of being in Exploratory Studies are her advisor, Mary Beth Lencke, and the EDPS 105 Exploratory class. Heather loves that Mary Beth Lencke has helped make Purdue seem like a smaller place and she can tell Mary Beth genuinely cares about her future as a Purdue student. As for the EDPS course, Heather loves the personality tests and career tests have really advanced her knowledge of the Agriculture department and what majors will fit her best.

As for others considering these majors, Heather believes a background in farming or anything ag-based would be a good fit for the College of Agriculture. Specifically, she believes to be in Finance or Business, one must genuinely be good with numbers and love to apply it to everyday agricultural situations. She says, being a people person is a must, because of all the wonderful people one will come across in the agriculture business world.

Written by Kari L., junior 

Purdue Counseling & Guidance Center Discussion Groups

From The Purdue Counseling and Guidance Center:

If you are stressed about classes or a romantic breakup, or are grieving the loss of someone important to you, the Purdue Counseling and Guidance Center (PCGC) can help you cope.

The PCGC will be offering discussion groups on these topics each Tuesday night from March 3rd until April 24th.  The evening will begin with a free dinner from 6:00 to 6:30 pm with the group discussion following from 6:30 – 8:00 pm.  For more information and to register, call (765) 494-9738.  Our email address is  and our website is

Limited spaces are also available for general individual counseling.  Please call to make an appointment.

Writing Lab workshops for International Students

The Writing Lab in HEAV 226 is starting two new programs for international undergraduates: 1) English conversation groups, and 2) a monthly writing workshop series (advanced registration is required). Conversation groups are free and cover a different topic per week to improve your knowledge of American vocabulary and “slang.”  No registration necessary – just show up once a week!

Workshops require registration – call (765) 494-3723.  The next workshop is entitled “Research Made Easy: Finding and Evaluating Sources” to be held on Thursday, Feb. 12 from 1:30 – 2:30 pm.

Engineering Students – Last Day for CODO papers is Friday, Dec. 5!

If you are seeking to CODO into First-Year Engineering for Spring and are currently taking or finishing the CODO requirements (this now includes ENGR 13100 OR ENGL 10600 OR COM 11400 OR an engineering-approved general education course), please make sure TWO copies of your CODO papers have been turned in to ARMS 1300 by 4:30 p.m. on Friday, December 5. 

A CODO meeting is also required prior to the end of the semester.  Sign up for a meeting here:  Very few seats are left and you may have to skip a class in order to attend.

You do not have to wait until your meeting to turn in your CODO paperwork.  Contact your EXPL Advisor soon to have that paperwork created for you!