Kamil Jablonowski is a junior in the College of the Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources. His passion for horticulture stemmed from and early interest in plants, and he is actively involved with many organizations on campus. Here is what Kamil said about his time as an undergraduate in CAHNR.
What attracted you to UConn? There is so much UConn pride in Connecticut, and I heard great things about the campus. It was also a good location since I am from Stratford, Connecticut so it is about 90 minutes from where I live. UConn was just far enough away, but I can still go home when needed.
I also liked all of the opportunities that the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources has to offer, and I was always interested in horticulture. I knew that UConn was founded as an agricultural school and had a strong program.
Why did you choose your particular major? I am majoring in horticulture. I was always fascinated by plants, and I like to say that they selected me instead of me selecting them. Horticulture was always fun. It was an easy decision to go into that major.
I was never truly interested in other aspects of agriculture or animals, so this was the perfect option. Also, it is a very hands on major and more than just classroom learning. Almost all my classes have a lab component or some work in the field.
Which one of your UConn activities, internships or jobs was the most memorable? Why? My favorite job has been working as a laboratory research assistant for Gregory Anderson in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. I am his only student worker and gained valuable hands on experience. The research focuses on tropical plant species, mainly the Solanaceae family, which comes from Puerto Rico and the Canary Islands.
Name two other experiences that have enriched your studies. I also had the opportunity to study abroad in Poland. This was a bit different from the typical experience abroad since I was the only person from UConn, and one of only three students from the United States. I met people from all different countries since the program was comprised mainly of international students. While I was there, I focused on Jewish and Polish studies.
I am also a member of Alpha Beta Epsilon, a co-ed fraternity for students in biology. I was just elected to be president for the upcoming year.
I have had a variety of experiences at UConn and became very involved from early on. In addition, I work for UConn Blooms, serve as a College Ambassador for CAHNR and am part of Legacy Leadership here on campus.
What was the biggest challenge in your UConn career? My biggest challenge is definitely time management. Coming into UConn I planned to take it easy and focus on academics. I had not planned to be so involved. In my first semester, I took on two jobs as well as pledged Alpha Beta Epsilon. Although these extra involvements enhanced my college experience, they takes a lot of effort to balance.
When do you expect to graduate? What then? I plan to graduate in May 2016. I am not completely sure about what direction to take after college, but I know I want to continue with horticulture. I am particularly interested in plant breeding, and I want either to find a job in the field or continue on for further education. Down the road, I want to own my own business or become a professor and teach horticulture.
Is there anything else you would like us to know about you? One interesting fact is that I am a first-generation American and first-generation college student.