December Student of the Month: Mitchell Roder

What is your background?: I grew up on an acreage just outside of Remsen, a town of 1500 in northwest Iowa about four hours from Cedar Rapids. I attended Remsen St. Mary’s School and graduated in 2016 with my 14 classmates. My parents are Glenn and Amy. I have two older sisters, Amanda and Emily, and one older brother Nathan. I spent a lot of time growing up helping at my dad’s auto repair shop and I also regularly helped work on my dad and my grandpa’s farms. I played multiple sports in school and I also really enjoyed working in the wood shop and hunting on the weekends.

What brought you to Kirkwood and why?: An older friend of mine attended Kirkwood and told me about the school. When we visited Kirkwood I immediately felt like I belonged. During our visit I talked to the staff about the program and found out about all of the things that we would learn and get to do in the Ag Diesel Program. They also told me that they have great instructors and they were right. I saw that Kirkwood is the #1 rated community college Ag program which also helped with my decision to attend Kirkwood as well. The college reminded me of my hometown since everyone in the Ag program feels like family.

What is your program of study and what interests you about it?: I am enrolled in the Ag Diesel program at Kirkwood. I grew up around mechanics working both at my dad’s auto repair shop and on my grandfather’s farm equipment. I have always enjoyed fixing things but I especially liked working on the farm equipment. I just put the two together and it led me into the Ag Diesel program. I applied to the Titan Machinery Sponsorship Program and was accepted. So now I am attending Kirkwood as a representative of Titan Machinery. I spent this past summer working for Titan in Kingsley, Iowa and that only reinforced my decision to go into Ag diesel mechanics. I’m always up for learning new things and I have been learning a lot at Kirkwood. I’m excited to go into my second year at Kirkwood where I will get to rebuild my own tractor.

Are you involved in anything else on campus?: I do not belong to any of the Kirkwood groups but I have made many friends on campus and enjoy the social life here at Kirkwood.

If not, are involved in anything off of campus?: I joined a basketball league at the YMCA in Cedar Rapids. Basketball was my favorite sport in high school and I love playing the game. My older brother also lives in Cedar Rapids so I get to spend time with him playing on the same team.

What do you do for fun?: I like hanging out with my friends and making memories. I also like building things with wood like cabinets, tables and stands. I like working on old cars and trucks.

Where do you see yourself in five years?: After graduation I will be working for Titan Machinery in Kingsley, Iowa. I would like to find a home in the country where I can start a family some day. I would like to continue helping work on the family farm and maybe even have some livestock of my own. I am looking forward to beginning the next phase in my life. I would like to thank Titan Machinery for sponsoring me. My experience at Kirkwood and Titan have both been a very positive thing for me.

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