“City Girl” Sarah Yim Finds Her Voice in Crop and Soil Sciences

Senior Sarah Yim is outspoken about her passion for her educational experiences in Crop and Soil Sciences. “I lived in Charlotte, so I’m pretty much a city girl. Coming in and deciding to go into an agricultural major, I kind of became a new person.”

She is majoring in Plant and Soil Sciences with an agroecology concentration, and is happy to share her enthusiasm. Her advisor Michelle Schroeder-Moreno.

Sarah began her journey at NC State as an environmental science major, but changed her focus after taking Bob Patterson’s CS 323 class, Food Prospects in World Population.  “I talked to him during office hours to learn more…and I also was part of EcoVillage.” (a sustainability-focused living and learning community based out of Bragaw Residence  Hall).

“And Alison Reeves, who works at the Agroecology Education Farm–I did some volunteer work at the farm with her, and I also talked with her, and one thing that really resonated with me is, within the Crop and Soil Science department, the kind of work ethic I see, and the passion—the sense of purpose. It was especially meaningful when I came in as a freshman, feeling, “Oh, I want to save the world!”

Sarah recalls her proactive experience of working at the farm with characteristic enthusiasm: “My sophomore year I created my own project on fertilizer comparisons!”

“I’m really interested in sustainable soil management, in particular microbiology.” She’s actively involved in many arenas. “Right now, I help out with Dr. (Terrence) Gardner’s environmental soil microbiology lab…I’m helping one of the grad students who’s using the lab for vermicomposting with tomatoes.”

Last summer Sarah worked with Basic and Environmental Soil Science Training (BESST) REU students. “I assisted as a voice of soil science expertise.”  REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates is a national program for undergraduates who want research experience, usually in a field not offered by their school.  BESST was created and is led by Crop and Soil Sciences’ Josh Heitman and Owen Duckworth.  https://reuncsu.wordpress.ncsu.edu/

Sarah’s career goal?  “My end goal is to teach at a university. It’s being able to spread that knowledge. Not just how we produce our food, but how we can do it in a manner that will extend for generations.”

Teaching runs in her family. “I have a special interest in international related issues, but I want to teach in the United States. Going to different schools, one, to gain knowledge, and then to spread knowledge, because every region has a specialized field to look into, just like everyone has different perspectives, (I’m) branching out as an individual.”

How did she decide on NC State? “I knew in high school I wanted to go into something environmentally related, and honestly, it was the only one that appealed to me.  NC State provides such a large number resources for a student. It’s a little overwhelming, but that’s what exploring’s about! You have four years to look into your seminars, take different classes, talk with different professors and professionals…”

Sarah smiles and speaks out again. “I’m a firm believer in being proactive, because at the end of the day, your voice can’t be heard if you don’t talk.”


Article by Kaki Carl