CSU, Chico

Marie Elorza, Animal Science

Marie Elorza, Animal Science

Marie Elorza, Animal ScienceA student who takes 18 units per semester and works simultaneously is usually considered busy. 23-year-old Marie Elorza is more than busy. In addition to her 18-unit workload, Elorza is the student herder for the Sheep Unit at the University Farm.

On the day we spoke with her, she’d supervised the births of 12 lambs and still made it to class by 9 a.m. Prof. Cindy Daley nominated Elorza as the animal science department’s star student because "she has a knack for livestock and has an incredible desire to do great work."

Elorza cares deeply for her family and takes the 2½- hour drive home to Beckworth whenever possible to help with chores. Her father is recovering from back surgery, and Elorza admits that she has been torn between wanting to do well in school and helping her family. Her struggle hasn’t diminished her academic performance in the slightest. Elorza was recently nominated to join Phi Kappa Phi, which is an honor only bestowed to the students in the top five percent in each college. She is also involved in many on-campus groups including Alpha Zeta, the Stockdog Club and Young Cattlemen’s Association.

Elorza says that she has had so many great professors at Chico State, that she doesn’t "even want to mention names, because they all have influenced me". In the future she hopes to attend graduate school and work with animals and livestock in some way.