Student Success Stories - Jessica McCosker
Salem Community College graduate Jessica McCosker, now a student at the University of Tennessee, is getting closer to a career of working with animals.
“I absolutely love animals!” McCosker said, noting that her passion developed while growing up on her parents’ 190-acre farm in Quinton.
“I have the privilege of volunteering at Horse Haven of Tennessee, an animal-rescue that works with horses,” she said. McCosker also visits Tennessee’s Young Williams Animal Shelter where she hopes to soon become an official volunteer.
McCosker would like to work for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, but her long-term goal is to own a farm with as many horses as possible, but it might not be in the Garden State.
She hasn’t decided if she is returning to Salem County after completing her studies. “The longer I am out here in Tennessee,” she said, “the more I fall in love with the beautiful landscapes and vast opportunities there are for me.”
After graduating from SCC in December 2011 with a Liberal Arts degree, McCosker transferred to the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, where she is majoring in Animal Sciences-Animal Industries with a concentration in Business. McCosker noted that her SCC courses transferred to the University, allowing her to start as a junior.
McCosker began taking SCC courses while at the Salem County Career and Technical High School’s Academy of Biological and Medical Sciences.
“At that point, I was still undecided about my major,” McCosker said, “So, I began by taking whatever classes I could.”
McCosker enjoyed her time at SCC. Active in the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, she was elected its president for the fall 2011 semester.
“I also had great instructors who were there for me when I needed it,” she said. “If I ever had a problem, all I had to do was ask.”
McCosker fondly remembers Assistant Professor of Social ScienceTimothy Hack. “He pushed me the most out of any of my instructors,” McCosker said. “I gained a lot of helpful writing and reading skills because of his Western Civilization classes.”
McCosker’s advice for current SCC students is to reflect on their personal goals and let those goals drive them. “In the end, my goals at SCC are what led me to transferring to the University of Tennessee,” she said. “If things start looking down, remember they will get better, and that every stressful day you may encounter just brings you one step closer to your dreams.”