Student Spotlight: Erich Vogel

Erich Vogel
Erich Vogel

Hometown: Hastings, NE
Major: Biochemistry 
Anticipated Date of Graduation: May 2017

Why did you decide to come to UNL?
Before graduating high school, I had originally planned to attend university out-of-state. However, I had the opportunity to participate in a year-abroad language study program in Shanghai, China through NSLI-Y, and after coming back home after that year, I felt a much stronger connection to my home state. In addition, UNL provided very solid scholarships and fantastic programs for students that I found were difficult to be matched by the other universities that I was looking at. The fact that the university offers unique and stimulating programs like the Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship program, which I have been an active member of since freshman year, really made me realize that Nebraska was a great option for me personally, financially and from a career perspective.

What is your favorite thing about UNL?
Simply put, the diversity. Growing up in the relatively small town of Hastings, NE, and having just been living in a very diverse city the year before coming to UNL, I was under the impression that I would be coming back to an environment very similar to that within which I was raised back home. However, I couldn't have been more wrong. At UNL I have met some of the most interesting, kind, unique and compassionate people from every walk of life and backgrounds from all around the world. This exposure has opened my eyes and made my experience here at UNL more valuable than I could have possibly foreseen.

What is your favorite class you have taken so far and why?
My favorite class I have taken would have to be the class I am taking right now: Vines, Wines, and You (HORT 471). It is so different from the types of classes that I have taken in the past, and the holistic manner in which Professor Read looks at wine from not only a culinary angle, but also taking into account the social, cultural and historical influences that wine has played in our society throughout the human experience, has really evolved my understanding and appreciation of that industry. Who knows, maybe running a vineyard would be a pretty cool retirement job down the line? 

What are your plans post-graduation?
I plan on working for a multi-national agricultural firm, putting to use my science background and international knowledge to create meaningful solutions for sustainable and ecologically-friendly operation systems in various parts of the globe. Global food sustainability is one of my main passions, and I feel that a career that makes an impact in this field would be one of the most important things I could do with my life. To achieve my goals, I plan on completing a master's program in international business after working for a period of time in order to first gain real-world experience that I can then apply to my graduate program.

What’s life like outside of school?
Music is a very important part of my life, as I have been playing piano since the age of 6, have sang all my life and now also play the guitar. It is very rare to find a day when I haven't snuck up to the piano room in Knoll! I also spend a great deal of time with my friends and with the various organizations I am involved with here on campus. In addition, I work as a research assistant to Dr. Karin van Dijk in Beadle, and I am currently preparing to apply for U-CARE for next school year!