For senior food science major Lauren Odom, attending an HBCU meant the world to her, and Tuskegee University was at the top of her college prospect list. Odum shares in the family tradition of attending an HBCU passed down from her parents, and she says HBCUs help guide and nurture your entire college experience.
A supportive atmosphere
A native of Huntsville, Alabama, Odom has always been aware and involved with the culture HBCUs have provided.
“My parents and sister attended the same HBCU, and I’ve always loved hearing about their experiences; however, I wanted to find out on my own what the experience would truly be like,” noted Odum.
Odom says she chose to attend Tuskegee because of its reputation as one of the best universities in the country, and also because of her passion for cooking.
Loving to cook
Cooking has always been a hobby for Odum. She recalls that, even as a child, she was always in the kitchen experimenting and learning the ins-and-outs.
“Coming to college, I really wanted to tie in my passion for cooking with a specific study, which lead me to food science,” explained Odom. “Food science offers such a broad range of study, but what’s important about my major is that I take the time to learn what we are actually consuming when we eat.”
During the summer, Odum was an intern with the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. She worked for the minority side under ranking member Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan.
Odom explained that through her committee service, she was able to experience a variety of exciting events — the most notable of those being assisting with the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill.
“The timing of my internship allowed me to work on the Farm Bill, which is only passed every five years. The bill is important because it includes topics related to food policy, ag policy, food security, conservation, trade, and other policy items,” said Odum.
In addition to working on the bill, Odum also managed day-to-day duties, which included various hearings and briefings, responding to constituent correspondence, assisting with press and social media content, and performing general clerical duties.
“Serving as an intern this summer allowed me the opportunity to work in a fast-paced environment, and I was expected to perform efficiently and remain readily accessible in the event a senator or other congressional administrator needed assistance,” she recalled.
Odum says throughout her tenure at Tuskegee University, she’s been grateful for every opportunity and experience.
“I truly believe that I’ll be leaving this university as a different person. Mother Tuskegee has allowed me to find myself, and become more proactive and diligent — which has molded me into the woman I am today,” she explained.
Odum says there are countless opportunities available at Tuskegee University, and she’s glad that her teachers and mentors took the time to invest in her.
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