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Agriculture and Applied Sciences Student Delivers Commencement Address

Thursday, May. 02, 2013

Heather Larson represents USU's graduating class of 2013 as student speaker

Heather Larson from USU's College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences, represents the graduating class of 2013 as the student speaker at USU’s 126 commencement.

This year, a College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences student will deliver Utah State University’s student commencement address May 4.

Heather Larson, a horticulture major in the Department of Plants, Soils and Climate, grew up in Idaho Falls, Idaho, later moving to North Ogden where she attended high school. She began her collegiate career at the University of Utah studying chemistry.

“I didn’t love the school, didn’t love my major,” Larson said. “It was interesting, and I was good at it, but I wasn’t loving it.”

Unsure of what degree she should pursue, Larson took a leave of absence from school. During that time, she got married and started gardening, a passion that led her to pursue a degree in horticulture.

“I was thinking I could maybe see this as a future, so I did some research and decided to come [to USU],” Larson said.

Chosen as CAAS’s valedictorian, she and the top scholars from USU’s seven additional colleges were asked to prepare and deliver a commencement address. Presented to the other valedictorians and several faculty members, the group voted on the best address given, selecting Larson.

Larson said finding a topic for her speech was daunting because the university has such a diverse group.

“I decided to focus on what we share in common,” she said.

Larson will give two speeches on graduation day. The first speech will be given at the university’s 126th commencement ceremony in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum May 4 at 9:30 a.m. The second will be given to CAAS graduates along with their friends and families in the Kent Concert Hall the same day at 2 p.m.

Larson said her advice for new students is to get to know the faculty, because they have experience and the best guidance.

“It’s just a warm and friendly school,” Larson said. “The faculty are so much more friendly. I feel like they reach out to the students. You don’t necessarily have to reach out to them to have them notice you at all.”

Excited to take the next step, Larson is unsure what job she wants to pursue but is interested in getting into the greenhouse industry, teaching or being involved with Extension.

Related links:

USU Department of Plants, Soils and Climate

USU College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences

Writer: McCarty Hatfield,

Contact: Heather Larson, 801-458-4574,

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