Faculty Spotlight: Leah Sandall

Leah Sandall
Leah Sandall
About Leah Sandall: 
I am a native Nebraskan and grew up just outside of York.  I received my bachelor’s degree in Agronomy from UNL and discovered my interest in education as an undergraduate teaching assistant.  I earned my master’s degree from UNL in Plant Breeding and Genetics.  After a brief time working in the small business sector, I returned to UNL in 2008 as an Extension Assistant with the Pesticide Safety Education program.  In 2010, I was hired as a Lecturer/Instructional Designer in the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture.  

What is your position at UNL? 
I am the Distance Education Coordinator for the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture.  In this position I have the opportunity to work with faculty and staff in the department, in other departments at UNL and other institutions to develop online courses and educational materials.  These courses and materials are developed for academic and nonacademic/Extension learners and are often a part of the Plant and Soil Sciences eLibrary (http://passel.unl.edu ).  I will be teaching an online course (AGRI 115: Biotechnology – Food, Health and the Environment) so this position allows me to combine my interest in teaching and experience in Extension.

What drew you to UNL? 
The land-grant mission of research, teaching and extension is a powerful combination for educating people about science, especially in the area of agriculture and feeding the world.  I am also quite partial to Nebraska and this institution!  

What aspect of working in an educational setting do you enjoy the most? 
The opportunity to help people, provide quality education and the ability to interact with people from all over the world are what I enjoy most about working in an educational setting.

What do you consider your greatest achievement? 
While this response may be a bit outside the box, I believe my greatest achievement has been my ability and desire to continue learning.  Sometimes learning is painful but it always results in growth, both personally and professionally. 

What is something that most people don't know about you?
I spent six weeks in Spain a few years ago and this solidified my interest in learning the language.  I have a long ways to go but learning Spanish is one of my lifelong goals.    

What is your life like outside of work?
I love spending time outside walking around Holmes Lake or biking on Lincoln’s bike trails.  Time with my family and friends is a priority for me, especially time with my nieces and nephews.  I enjoy traveling, internationally and within the U.S., and trying all kinds of new foods along the way.