Alyssa Thibodeau | Food Science & Technology | Mesa, Arizona
First-generation college student | Food and Fermentation Science Club President
Golden Voice Award | Local and university scholarships
Presentation award at CAS Research Poster Showcase
My name is Alyssa Thibodeau, I am a single mother and self-proclaimed foodie originally from the desert. I am also a first-generation college student and have used the lack of opportunities for my family as a motivation boost to finish my education. I moved to Oregon in 2018 specifically to farm, and I got back into school in 2020.
Personally, I have found it very difficult to be in school, being a single mother with no family in the area and no financial support. There are times when I must make absurd sacrifices just to have the time I need to for my studies, along with the fact that I rarely have time for myself. I have been pushing strong for the past two years, and I hope that my motivation and personal drive will continue to help me push through.
My hobbies are gardening, cooking, fermenting, brewing, cheese making, milking goats, sewing, being outside, and much more. I am particularly passionate about chemistry, math, being a part of my food source, cloth diapers, sustainable living, and reducing plastic use. My passions in my focused degree path are dairy sciences, and my goal is to make an impact on the sustainability, research, and education of the industry.
One of the most influential experiences gained from the CAS is the opportunity to pursue undergraduate research through the Beginner's Undergraduate Research program. This experience kick-started the momentum I have for my future education and affirmed the importance of the area of research I am working in.
For students entering school, take the opportunities that come your way and interest you. Get involved with all that you can outside of school; extracurricular activities, clubs, internships, jobs, etc. No matter if you feel like the engagement is outside the realm of your studies, this makes for a well-rounded experience and shows the ability to participate and perform in different settings. Apply for every possible scholarship and fill out your Scholar Dollars, whether you feel you're qualified or not; the scholarship committee will determine that for you!