STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Charles Tatum
BY ELLIE ISBELL, SOPHOMORE/AG COMMUNICATIONS
Charles Tatum, who is affectionately known as Chuck by his friends, had never considered the College of Agriculture until he received his invitation to attend the Ag Elite program the fall of his senior year. Each year, the College of Agriculture recognizes elite high school minority students who display an interest in science, including agriculture and environmental sciences. This program includes a departmental browse, alumni and student speakers, lunch with faculty representatives, scholarship information and a recipient is selected for a $1,000 scholarship award.
Chuck is from Jasper, Alabama, where his mother works for a non-profit and his father, a University of Alabama graduate, practices law. Because his father is an alumnus, Chuck grew up an Alabama fan. All things considered, Auburn University’s College of Agriculture was the last place Chuck thought he would end up pursuing an education. However, when Chuck attended the Ag Elite program and toured Ag Hill with an Ag Ambassador, he fell in love with the welcoming atmosphere of Auburn University and the College of Agriculture.
He began talking with students in different majors within agriculture and decided to major in agricultural communications. Chuck was pleased with the agricultural communications curriculum because it provides him a variety of career options after graduation.
People might wonder how Chuck’s dad feels about sending his son to his alma mater’s rival university, but Chuck says his dad’s been great.
“My family was supportive of my decision to come to Auburn,” Chuck shares. “Dad likes to joke about it a little bit, but when it comes down to it, he is supportive!”
Not only is Chuck guaranteed many career options upon graduation, but he also has had many opportunities to get involved on campus while he’s a student at Auburn. Within the College of Agriculture, Chuck is involved in Ag Ambassadors, Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow and Ag Council. Chuck regards serving as an Ag Ambassador his best experience within the College of Agriculture to date.
“I have really enjoyed being able to help students through Ag Ambassadors this year through Camp War Eagle (Auburn University’s freshman orientation program) and prospective student events.”
Outside of the College of Agriculture, Chuck is president of the Auburn chapter of Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences. He also has a job that he is passionate about working with Auburn University’s Photographic Services as a student life photographer. This job gives him the chance to diversify his photography portfolio while attending different events on campus.
After graduation, Chuck tentatively plans to work in marketing and sales. However, with two and a half years of school left, he knows that this is subject to change with experience. No matter which of the numerous career paths Chuck chooses to take, he is confident that he will be equipped to represent the agriculture industry with his Auburn agricultural communications degree.
Ellie Isbell is a sophomore studying agricultural communications and is originally from Muscle Shoals, Alabama. She is an Ag Ambassador, Auburn Athletics Marketing Department intern and Project Uplift mentor, in addition to being the editor of War Eagle Words.