Nathan Lee Hykes ’15 chose DelVal for its intimate size, strong plant science program and its emphasis on hands-on learning.

“The hands-on experience at DelVal has helped me to have an extremely practical understanding of my field,” Hykes said. “I can see clearly how new skills and techniques that I am learning can be applied directly into production.”

Hykes credits his professors with utilizing their own experiences in the industry to help guide him into a career that’s right for him.

“The professors [at DelVal] help me both with learning the information for the classes and seeing how it fits into a career that I want to enter,” said Hykes. “I talk to many of my professors outside of class and they have been a big help in planning my route in the workforce and have used their experience in the industry to point out opportunities I never would have thought of.”

Experience360 has offered Hykes a practical understanding of his field that he can apply now and utilize in the future.

“I have not even graduated [yet] and I have been able to implement some of these things on my family farm,” Hykes said. “[E360] makes students hirable because they need minimal training on how to apply the skills they have learned.”

Hykes, the son of two 1992 DelVal graduates, enjoys the sense of belonging at DelVal.

“[DelVal] has a close-knit sense of community that permeates the campus and its alumni,” said Hykes. “I have a real sense of pride about being an Aggie and will carry this with me wherever my career takes me.”