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Networking is key to the future, local scholar says
April 6, 2017
By Jean Parrella
University of Idaho College of Agricultural and Life Sciences

University of Idaho sophomore Collin Stone sees networking as the key ingredient to a successful future. Stone is majoring in agricultural education and agribusiness in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS). He became familiar with the university at a young age through early networking.

Stone grew up on a small family farm in Bonners Ferry and became involved with UI through the 4-H Youth Development program. Later, Stone became an active FFA member and decided that agriculture would be a part of his future.

“I had so many connections to UI already through 4-H and FFA,” Stone said. “We would always come down here for events so I was really comfortable with the campus. I also knew that the ag program here was definitely something profound and well-known across the Pacific Northwest.”

In high school, Stone was the student council treasurer and representative. He said the constant social interaction from these positions helped him prepare for his activities at UI.

Stone became a CALS ambassador to share his passion for agriculture and his love for the college. He enjoys sharing his experience with high school students and encouraging them to pursue higher education.

“Being an ambassador is kind of like being a teacher,” Stone said. “It’s really rewarding to get students interested in college and looking into their futures.”

Stone is also the vice president of the Sigma Chi fraternity at UI, in charge of philanthropy and marketing. Last year, Sigma Chi raised $10,000 to give back to their international philanthropy, the Huntsmen Cancer Institution in Utah.

“The networking is huge and the opportunity for involvement is something that I really appreciate,” Stone said. “It’s really cool being in charge of opportunities to give back to the community.”

Stone’s ultimate goal is to work with people, whether it be teaching agriculture in a classroom or as a consultant for an agriculture company. A former high school teacher of his at Bonners Ferry High School, Adam Ineck, first inspired the idea of becoming a teacher.

“He was like another father figure to me and my mentor,” Stone said.

Kasee Smith, an assistant professor in the Department of Agricultural and Extension Education, has motivated Stone to think harder about becoming a teacher.

“The way she gave us new ideas and different ways of thinking about how to teach in the classroom made me think really hard about teaching,” Stone said. “She made it really enjoyable and she made you feel like you could really do it. She gave a fresh new perspective.”

The faculty/student ratio in CALS and the family atmosphere also helps Stone network.

“Some of my classes here are even smaller than my high school classes, which is kind of crazy to think about since my school was only about 450 students,” Stone said. “So that’s something special — you get a lot of hands on experience and a lot more one on one interaction that can help you in the future. I also know almost everyone in my classes and having that experience is something really special.”
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