t is a feeling you simply cannot put into words. An overwhelming sense of home where a student feels like anything is possible. It is a feeling that cannot be described through an email, letter in the mail, or phone call, it just needs to be experienced. Texas Tech University has a strong reputation of giving students the feeling that this is exactly where they need to be when they step on campus.
After Madison Ainsley, a senior animal science student, first visited Texas Tech College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources she knew it was exactly where she needed to continue her college education.
“The CASNR community made it feel like it was their privilege to have me, and that was such a cool feeling,” Ainsley said. Without the students, CASNR would not be a successful program as it is today. Professors know it is their job to nourish and guide students so they are able to become the best version of themselves.
“The saying that it takes a village to raise a kid was really true for me,” Ainsley said. “There were multiple people in my life who influenced me and helped raise me, and when I started walking around the agriculture department that is exactly what I felt, the village.”
CASNR’s faculty and students make special efforts to ensure potential Red Raiders, and current students, feel welcomed and wanted. The people who make up CASNR want potential students to feel the way they felt when they first visited Texas Tech. Each faculty member and student holds a unique role within CASNR, which makes it a successful program.
Mark Miller, professor in meat science, food processing and preservation for the Department of Animal and Food Sciences at Texas Tech, said all he had to do when Ainsley came to visit Texas Tech was paint her a picture of what it was like to be here.
“We want to pursue excellence, strive for honor, serve unselfishly, and know our teams are only as good as all the people on it,” Miller said when asked what he tells potential students when recruiting.
After being a student at Texas Tech for three years, Ainsley has been able to witness the other side of the recruitment process and watch CASNR reach out to potential students.
“It’s not because they want numbers or money,” Ainsley said. “It’s because they want the best, high quality kids.” Transferring from Texas A&M University after her first year, Ainsley has experienced being recruited by top-notch universities. When Ainsley was asked how CASNR’s recruitment process was different from others, she said she believes quality over quantity is what Texas Tech is doing, and that is what CASNR recruits.
“Their growing numbers, in my opinion, is only proof that more kids want to be a part of such a successful program,” Ainsley said. One of Texas Tech’s strongest recruitment strategies is the ability to respond quickly.
“CASNR does an awesome job of being able to get acceptances back to students faster than any other university,” Miller said.
CASNR recruits their students, like Ainsley, by giving a personal touch. Showing students they are cared for and wanted at a university with over 36,000 students is the best feeling when a student is about to move away from home. When Ainsley finally decided to visit Texas Tech, she said she felt cared for and wanted. Ainsley said as soon as she stepped onto Texas Tech’s campus, Miller took her under his wing and made her feel like she was already a student in CASNR.
“I spent an entire year at a different college, and I would say at least 50 percent of my time I was still at that other college, I felt like I already belonged at Tech because that is how much people cared,” Ainsley said.
As a new student at a huge university like Texas Tech, it is easy to feel overwhelmed by the large number of students. Being understood and known by professors is a high priority for many students, which is why the CASNR community takes time to develop a relationship with their students.
“To be able to know them, their story, their family and their needs is what I love most about the CASNR community,” Miller said. “For a professor to be able to listen to their students personal goals, desires and dreams is what makes the CASNR community so special.”
Being a part of a family like CASNR is exactly what a potential Red Raider needs during their time at Texas Tech. The sense of belonging a student has when surrounded by a community who is always raising the bar is an indescribable feeling that pushes each individual to be their best.
“They are the kind of people I aspire to be like,” Ainsley said.
“They foster such a positive environment that allows for each individual to grow on their own level and become a star in their own way.”
CASNR doesn’t expect you to fit a mold. They do not expect you to look or act a certain way. They want each individual to come and achieve their personal goals through their own methods.
Miller said when he is able to speak as highly about his students as he does, it makes all the hard work worth it.
“I don’t have to work ever because I get to work with amazing students,” Miller said.
Having students like Ainsley and professors such as Miller is what makes CASNR, CASNR.
“CASNR students have a high degree of integrity and honesty and at the end of the day, they want to be the best,” Miller said. “They have a big heart and are unselfish.”