Part of the land-grant mission of North Dakota State University is to serve its people. That same value is instilled in Meghan Yerhot, who is inspired to serve her community, break down barriers and educate others.
NDSU provided a supportive environment with a wealth of opportunities to learn and put her passion into practice.
“I feel fortunate to be part of the developmental science program at NDSU because it allows me the flexibility and freedom to get involved,” said Yerhot. “It is the incredible individuals in various departments across campus that make NDSU great, and I believe the best way to become more well-rounded is to involve yourself in various organizations and groups.”
There are over 300 student organizations at NDSU, offering diverse options for students to get involved.
Yerhot chose to get involved with TRIO Student Support Services on campus while continuing her studies. The program is designed to enhance the educational experience of students through one-on-one tutoring, career exploration, mentoring and more.
“Working as the graduate assistant in TRIO SSS taught me a lot about myself as a person, and how I want to create change within the higher education system,” said Yerhot. “I noticed many inequalities and inconsistencies that occur for many students in college.”
Yerhot heard stories during her time as an advisor about food insecurity on campus. She learned through research that more than one in three NDSU students have experienced food insecurity.
This year Yerhot was able to open the Goods for the Herd food pantry with support from various departments across campus. The food pantry has helped around 250 students as of April and that number continues to grow.
“I have learned many valuable things during my graduate experience,” said Yerhot. “I learned the importance of slowing down and taking time to make connections with others. We all have a deep human need to be seen and heard. Working with students from various backgrounds has opened my eyes to many different thoughts, theories and perspectives on life.”
Yerhot has been recognized for her contributions across campus through various awards through the years, including the Tapestry of Inclusion and Mary McCannel Gunkelman awards. The Tapestry of Inclusion is a pictorial mosaic that recognizes NDSU community members for their contributions to diversity. The Gunkelman award honors individuals who work to create a happy environment on campus.
She is on track to receive her doctoral degree in developmental science this summer and plans to explore college teaching positions. It is because of her experience at NDSU that she wants to continue to inspire others to achieve their best and advocate for their success.
“I have personally found such value in advancing my degree at NDSU and feel incredibly passionate about helping others become fervent lifelong learners. I believe that education is a powerful tool that allows people to achieve great things,” Yerhot said.
One tip Yerhot has for other women considering an advanced degree is to embrace the opportunities available at NDSU, to find your true passion and go for it.
“The experience I have gained during my graduate program is irreplaceable,” says Yerhot. “I have been challenged and pushed out of my comfort zone many times that has ultimately resulted in me becoming better and a more well-rounded person.”
NDSU offers 87 master’s and 52 doctoral degree programs, as well as 21 certificate programs. Find out how an advanced degree can make a profound impact in your life by visiting ndsu.edu.