Vice president, Houston native, and Missouri tiger. These are just a few terms that could be used to describe the senior science and agricultural journalism major, Jenny Janssen.
Growing up as an only child Janssen liked the adventure of traveling, this is one of the reasons she chose the University of Missouri.
“I definitely wanted a fresh start,” said Jenny Janssen, vice president of Agricultural Communicators and Leaders of Tomorrow. “I wanted to find a new program and make some new friends … thinking, I can be more independent.”
Janssen was looking for a specific type of school.
“I was looking for a school with a strong liberal arts program,” she said.
Janssen studied abroad as a sophomore in Florence, Italy, as part of the Will Write for Food course. At the time, she was a pre-journalism major. After studying how to write about food and wine under the direction of MU professor Nina Furstenau, Janssen decided to go into the College of Agriculture Food and Natural Resources as a science and agricultural journalism major with an emphasis on food writing.
“I have a really big interest in food and wanted to learn more about agriculture and sustainability,” Janssen said.
In this major, Janssen would be able to expand her passion for food and be able to travel.
Being an out of state student, traveling has been a positive influence, as it has increased the number of connections Janssen has made.
“Coming from out of state, the friends you make, the connections, the networking with people from all over the U.S … have been great,” Janssen said. “It gets you more comfortable with being out of your comfort zone.”
Before deciding to become a tiger, Janssen visited other universities such as the University of Kansas.
“I visited KU, unfortunately, and it was so cold, that was a turn off,” she said. “The tradition here reminded me a lot of my background. My dad, specifically, went to Texas A&M and he was really into the tradition, and I went to a lot of the football games. I felt that kind of vibe here.”
Since making the decision to come to MU Janssen has made an impact on the future leadership of the university.
“When I met Jenny, I was just starting freshman year and was looking for any kind of guidance or advice anyone could offer,” said Holly Harlan, ACLT member. “I met her at our first Agriculture Communicators and Leaders of Tomorrow meeting and she was so kind and willing to sit and talk with me even though she didn’t know me at all.”
Janssen is a fifth-year senior at the university, making her an alumna of Kappa Alpha Theta.
“Whether Jenny knew it or not she was a role model for a lot of younger girls,” said Claire Welker, Kappa Alpha Theta sorority member. “She really symbolized what it means to be a Theta.”
Providing an example of what to strive for only scratches the surface of her character. Janssen has the ability to maintain a positive outlook throughout the semester.
“She always had a smile on her face and was so, so easy to talk to,” Welker said.
Janssen will graduate at the end of the spring 2017 semester.