Profile: Alan Coats
Junior Alan Coats didn't know that a weekend trip to the Heifer International Ranch in Perryville, Ark., sponsored by the MSU Maroon Edition, would have a great impact on his life. However, the experience led the forestry major of College Station, Texas, to both a summer internship and a clearer view of what he wants to do for the rest of his life.
"Heifer is an international non-profit organization, and their two main goals are feeding the hungry and conserving the environment. They show people with limited resources how they can make the most of what they have and how they can make a living for themselves," Coats said.
"What they do there is basically what I want to do. It was a great experience, so I talked to some people there and applied for the job," he said.
Coats and more than 20 MSU students and faculty experienced the ranch's global village simulation as well as several team-building exercises in September 2012.
"We learned how to work together and what people in other parts of the world go through, what they have to do to survive," Coats said.
"Each of us only had a few things to eat, but everyone had something different, so we were able to combine our ingredients and we ended up having more than enough food. It was really neat to see how cooperation can work like that."
Coats looks forward to learning more about this cooperation this summer, leading groups through experiences and simulations as well as working with other interns and leaders at the ranch.
"There will be other people working from all over the U.S. and other countries, and a lot of them will have more experience than me and know about things that I don't. It will be neat to get different perspectives and meet people within Heifer and other organizations who will have some great ideas," he said.
In the future, Coats hopes to work toward bridging the gap between developed and developing countries throughout the world, helping to "fix the broken relationship between natural resources and humans." His past experiences at the Heifer Ranch as well as MSU have given him direction for this summer and his future career.
"I'm really glad I came to MSU. I've had some wonderful experiences and I've gotten to know some very intelligent professors and students who are really passionate about what they do, so it's been inspiring to get to know people here," Coats said.
"The things that have happened to me here at State have put me on the right path as far as what I want to do with my future."Writer: Morgan Tubbs | Photo: Megan Bean
Next week … Hossein Toghiani !