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December 2021 grad: Jackson Gille followed his passion for animals to a dairy science degree

Photo courtesy Jackson Gille.

Jackson Gille, a native of Green Bay, Wisconsin, will be graduating with a bachelor’s degree in dairy science. Initially intent on medical school, Jackson followed his passion for animals, which led him to switch his major. In this Q&A, Gille talks about his academic path, career plans and shares advice for other CALS students.

Q: Where did you grow up?
A: I was born and raised in Green Bay, Wisconsin. But, growing up, I spent a lot a time in the Northwoods, as well as in the Fond du Lac area with my grandparents on either side.

Q: How did you decide on your major?
A: I initially intended to pursue a degree in biology and attend medical school. But after years of working on a dairy farm and my passion for animals, I decided to make the change to dairy science.

Q: What were the most valuable college experiences you had?
A:
I think the most valuable lesson I’ve learned came from changing my major and acknowledging my interests. I wanted to go to medical school, but animals always had my heart, so to speak. My grades improved and my interest in education greatly increased when I decided to study what I loved. It is important to really care about what you are studying, regardless of money or social acceptance. You’ll be a lot happier!

Q: When you think about your time here as a student, what are you proud of?
A:
I am proud of simply being here. Being at UW–Madison has been an extraordinary experience with many ups and downs – all of which came with a lesson! I “grew up” here essentially, and I am proud to say I did.

Q: What are your future academic/career plans?
A: 
I intend to continue my studies and eventually get my M.S. and Ph.D. in reproductive physiology so I can do further research in the future. Maybe I’ll try to attend veterinary school afterwards too, if it is reasonable – but who knows!

Q: Do you have any advice you’d like to share with CALS students?
A:
My advice for other students is to just enjoy it while you can. Pretty cheesy, but it really does go by fast. Not just college, but time with friends and family too. Don’t be afraid to take a step back and just bask in present for a little bit.