Mary Beth Skaja
Overland Park, Kansas
Hello, my name is Mary Beth. I am a Senior, and will be graduating Spring of 2014. I am majoring in Animal Science, Production/Management option. I have always had a love for animals and still do. Ever since I was little I knew I wanted to work with animals. I want to work at a zoo or feline sanctuary with big cats. I think it would be a lot of fun to travel to Africa and Asia to study the cats in their natural habitat. Like my parents always told me, do something you love. I am thankful for my parents, and my boyfriend, Scott. They are very supportive of my decisions and are proud of my path. They also help me in anyway they can if I am in need of it.
In my picture, I am petting Pecos, a school horse where I used to take lessons. I may not have much of an Ag background, but I do love to ride horses. I have been riding English for some time now and love to go over jumps, the way it feels like you are flying over the jumps. The other person in the picture is Scott. He is also an animal lover and enjoys going to see the horses and barn cat where I rode. Since coming to K-State, I have not been able to ride much and am hoping to ride this summer just for fun.
This past summer, I went on an Equine Study Tour, faculty-led. I would have to say that it was the best experience I have had. We went to England, Scotland and Ireland to see how the English took care of their horses. We also got to do 3 group rides, where we got to ride draft horses, to jumping for those who were comfortable enough, to going on a trail ride in a park. I am so thankful for my parents letting me go on that trip and encouraging me to do it, saying you never know when you would have an opportunity like that come up again.
All in all, I am proud to be a Wildcat, and glad I have had the opportunity to join Sigma Alpha to meet new people, make new friends and make memories. EMAW!!!
Growing up out in the country near Abilene, Kansas gave me a wonderful sense of respect for outdoor life and agriculture. I absolutely love being outside, whether its riding my horses, fishing, gardening, riding four wheelers, shooting guns, or simply sitting around a bonfire. I went to high school near Salina, Kansas that was located out in the middle of a cow pasture, which is quite common in this state! During high school I participated in cheerleading and as a team we won many first place trophies at a couple Kansas competitions. I also played golf in the spring time against the boys since we didn’t have girls golf. While I never placed first individually, the boys and I placed as a team several times at many tournaments. Coming from an agricultural background, and having an interest in animals brought me to Kansas State University. I knew I wanted to be apart of this wonderful college life full of the purple, the pride, and the great education that was in store for me. Sigma Alpha has really opened many doors for me being a woman pursuing a career in agriculture. As an only child, Sigma Alpha has really made me feel blessed to have the sisters I never got to have.
Growing up in several states across the country, I am proud to call Kansas my home. Not only have I been able to notice a difference in the friendliness of the folks living here, I have learned of my love of agriculture.
The opportunity to join Sigma Alpha came my way while attending Kansas State University. I knew that I had to be a part of this group of amazing women, and although I didn’t receive a bid after my first rush, I am honored to have finally joined.
I am planning on graduating Kansas State University in 2015 with a bachelor in Animal Sciences with a Production and Management concentration. I have met a lot of interesting professors and friends along the way that I am sure that I will never forget.
Upon my graduation, I aspire to work as an Animal- Assisted Therapeutic. I am passionate about helping others, and being able to work with people and animals is a dream come true!