Giving back to the community and preparing for a career, at the same time
by Madison Moore '15

One of the things that Andrew Rudd ’17 discovered about DelVal was that hands-on experience puts “what you learn during a lecture into perspective.” This way of learning at the University had helped him gain the training he needs to jump right into a job after he graduates.

Rudd, a landscape contracting and management major, applied what he learned at DelVal to a family friend’s landscape business. He worked on small side projects and studies different landscape displays at fairs and tradeshows to help prepare for his future career in contracting and management.

He said in the classroom he had been able to put what he learns from a PowerPoint to use, instead of just taking notes and listening. His favorite activities have been getting to use different power equipment or “putting myself in situations that other schools would not put me in during a class.”

“Only at DelVal can you run a backhoe during an 8 a.m. lab and see how to do it first-hand,” said Rudd.

He hopes that through all of the experiences gained from the University, he can own and operate his own landscape contracting business, in Belvidere, New Jersey, his hometown. Additionally, he hopes to become certified as an agriculture teacher and “give back to the community.”

“Without FFA or my high school’s ag program, I would not have been at DelVal and I would have never had some of the best teachers and experiences of my life,” said Rudd.

He said his professors at the University had always been available to answer questions, regardless of the topic. He said they gave him “encyclopedias” worth of knowledge. Rudd said this was especially helpful to him as a part-time student who traveled home twice a week to take EMT classes. Despite his work as a volunteer firefighter and his commute, Rudd was able to make the dean's list twice.

“Keeping my community safe is how I give back and I love every second of it,” said Rudd.