Whether cheering for them on the field or helping them succeed in the classroom, MU’s College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources is there for its student athletes.
“We are proud to support more than 70 student athletes in CAFNR,” said Bryan Garton, Associate Dean and Director of Academic Programs.
CAFNR has 32 student athletes from eight different sports. The School of Natural Resources has 41 from 13 different sports.
“Our faculty and academic support staff are eager to assist our student athletes so they receive the advising needed to meet their academic demands,” said Garton. “It’s great to see them perform well on the field or court, but even better to have them graduate with a quality education.”
In CAFNR, each student is assigned an academic advisor that helps assist in class scheduling and any other questions or problems that may arise during their time at Mizzou. Beyond classwork, support also is available in the form of career services and job placements, scholarship assistance and research studies.
Tanner Buschmann, sophomore Biochemistry major, came to CAFNR from the small central-Missouri town of Westphalia to study for a degree that allows him to pursue his goal of becoming a scientific researcher. Buschmann is on the track and field team and participates in the discus throwing events. He shared with us how his college experience at Mizzou has been so far.
What brought you to Mizzou?
My mom went to MU, but the Biochemistry degree really attracted me here. It was tough to find schools that had a Biochemistry program and the schools that did, were definitely not the caliber that MU has. Regardless of continuing my track and field career, I would’ve come here.
I did get an athletic scholarship that covers my book costs to help keep my bills down.
What is it like balancing class work and sports?
Everyone here makes it really easy. There are so many people here to support you. We have athletic academic coordinators through Mizzou athletics as well as a CAFNR advisor that help you so you don’t miss any practice or class. Attendance is a must for class. If you don’t go to class, you don’t play.
We do travel most weekends, but the professors are really great to work with. We give them our season schedules at the beginning of the year to kind of let them know when we will be out of town competing.
Their cooperation really makes our lives so much smoother. They help you make sure you get your time management right. So that really helps. You don’t have much time for much else other than school and athletics.
If we do need class help, tutors are available to us. Any subject you want. They really want us to do well in school.
What’s it like to travel?
I didn’t really travel much as a kid. We rarely left the state. So it’s great to see places that I honestly would not have had the chance to see. I am grateful to have those experiences.
Besides track contests, what all goes in to being on the team?
We practice about four to five days a week. During the season in the spring, we only do afternoon sessions. But the rest of the year we are doing morning and afternoon practice and workout sessions.
The facilities for athletes make this all possible. The Mizzou Athletic Training Center is fantastic. The weight room is huge. There is tons of space with an amazing dining hall that helps us with proper meals. The Hearnes Center still is great for the track team. Not a lot of colleges have an indoor track.
Being from a small town, does CAFNR help make you feel at home?
Definitely. I was nervous at first coming to such a big campus, but they really make you feel welcome here. It really seems like everyone knows each other here and that makes such a great environment.
It’s definitely a small-town feel here, which is great for me, because I was worried about the huge size of Mizzou and not feeling as welcome. It wasn’t very overwhelming here at all.
How has CAFNR helped your college experience?
My academic advisor Shari Freyermuth [associate teaching professor of biochemistry] is great at helping me plan my classes. She is very easy to reach and anything I need, she is there to help.
Stephanie Chipman and the folks at CAFNR Career Services have helped a lot, too. She’s helped find research intern positions for me this summer. I know I want to do some type of research when I graduate and she has helped find opportunities that I would like to do.
How important is it for you that CAFNR allows undergraduates to do research?
It is a valuable asset to CAFNR. It’s great. It looks really impressive on a resume to have that research before many others out there. A real-world experience really means a lot in the job-searching world. It’s another reason why I came here.