You are currently viewing Texas A&M: Texas A&M Celebrates National Transfer Student Week

Texas A&M: Texas A&M Celebrates National Transfer Student Week

  • Post author:
  • Post category:Uncategorized

In honor of National Transfer Student Week, Texas A&M University’s Office For Student Success (OSS) is inviting Aggies to celebrate the unique achievements and experiences of A&M’s transfer student population.

Throughout the week of Oct. 17-21, OSS is partnering with units across campus to host five full days of events benefiting Aggie transfer students, from informational panels on internships and study abroad opportunities to a party on Rudder Plaza with food and prize giveaways.

“This week allows us to celebrate transfer students and their advocates who help them navigate the transition from one institution to another,” said Val Coleman, program coordinator for OSS’s Transfer Student Program.

In recognition of this week, Texas A&M Today spoke with three Aggie transfers about their experiences on campus, their plans for the future, and their advice for other students transitioning to A&M.

It may have been Texas A&M’s academic reputation that brought David Haney from California to College Station — but when he arrived on campus, the history senior and U.S. Army veteran found even more to love.

Recalling his first visit to the Veteran Resource and Support Center, Haney said he was blown away by the sheer scale of the services and facilities available to student veterans at A&M. Since then, he’s been working to bring even more fellow service members into that community.

“Not only did I utilize the resources myself, I also decided to give back to the student veteran population by being an advocate,” Haney said. “If I run into a student who’s a veteran, one of the first things I do is say, ‘Hey, do you know about the Veteran Resource and Support Center?’”

Haney said he’s been finding community in the classroom, too. A transfer from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey, California, he’s been taking full advantage of A&M’s status as a large Tier-One research university, speaking with professors about their work and finding new topics he’s passionate about. In addition to his history major, Haney is earning minors in geographic information systems and religious studies, aiming to pursue further studies in digital humanities or organizational psychology. Eventually he hopes to work full time at A&M so he can continue serving his fellow students and other student veterans.

“Something I like to tell a lot of student veterans is that if you’re here, you’re here for a reason, and you are worth it,” he said. “There’s no reason to think that you don’t belong, because there are people here whose job it is to make sure that you do belong.”

Economics junior Kaitlyn Cox is the first to admit that finding one’s footing at a school as large and academically challenging as Texas A&M can be a bit of a struggle.

Fortunately, there are plenty of resources to help transfer students find their place in the Aggie family — starting with Transfer Camp each summer. A transfer from Tarleton State University, Cox said she enjoyed her own T-Camp experience so much that she decided to go back as a counselor this past summer.

“It really helped with knowing all the traditions around A&M and learning about the different resources that are there,” Cox said. “Being a counselor, it’s so cool watching transfer students really embrace the A&M culture.”

Cox has continued to give back to her fellow transfers as a student worker for the Office for Student Success’ Transfer Student Program, but her commitment to service doesn’t end there. She’s also involved in BUILD, a student organization that constructs portable medical clinics for communities in need.

“I love having an org that’s really about helping other people,” she said. “And you’re getting to know other Aggies while you’re working. That’s probably been my favorite thing so far.”

In the classroom, Cox has found strong interests in finance and economic development. She is currently considering a career in the nonprofit sector. On top of her undergraduate degree, she also plans to pursue a master’s in economics through A&M’s Fastrack Program.

Ultimately, Cox said she hopes her fellow transfer students will fully engage with the university and all it has to offer — even the traditions that might seem strange or silly from the outside.

“There’s something about A&M that just pulls people in and makes them want to get involved,” she said. “Doing those things you might think are silly is really a good time, and it’s the best way to make the most of it.”

Dee Patton is not your typical college student. But with some help from Texas A&M, the U.S. Army veteran, former Columbia University student, and retired IT specialist is still expanding her horizons.

Now a senior in the Department of Horticulture, Patton said she wasn’t sure exactly what she would find when she came to College Station. A long-time New Yorker, she knew living in a small town would be a big adjustment. And the last time she went to college was in the late 2000s, working for an investment banking firm by day and studying economics at Columbia at night. Most of all, she was worried that her age might make it hard to fit in among her fellow undergrads.

“I was concerned that I would not be well accepted,” Patton said. “But they have just been lovely, really wonderful. They treat me like any other student.”

Whether you’re a transfer student, a nontraditional student, a student veteran, or all three like Patton, she said the most important thing a new Aggie can do is use the resources that A&M provides for those groups.

“Get their advice on what activities to get involved with and how to integrate most successfully,” she said.

Within her department, Patton says she’s found community, opportunities to get involved and a real passion for the field of horticulture. Having spent so much of her life in dense urban areas, she’s keenly aware of the aesthetic, environmental and emotional value that plants can bring to those kinds of spaces. That’s something she hopes to continue exploring during her future endeavors.

“Horticulture can be very powerful,” Patton said. “One of the reasons I wanted to come back to school is that I didn’t want to just make money anymore. I wanted to do something that felt more inspired, and coming to school here has opened my eyes to opportunities I might have for the next chapter of my life.”