Stuart Seputro is a student in the Department of Crop Sciences, and a member of the Crop Sciences Student Ambassador Program. Read more about Chengxu in the Q&A below.

Stuart Seputro

What is your major?
Plant Biotechnology and Actuarial Science

Where are you from?

Why did you pick the Department of Crop Sciences?
During my sophomore year in college, I became interested again in addressing climate change issues after learning that we only have 6-7 years left to bring the carbon emission level down to 0 before the effects of climate change become irreversible. At that moment, I became very concerned with climate change issues, and I decided to apply for Plant Biotechnology, so I can learn more about plant improvement techniques and how I can combine that with the phytoremediation discipline (which was once my research focus) to help tackle climate change issues.

What is your favorite part of being a student in the Department of Crop Sciences?
I love almost every aspect that Crop Sciences has to offer. It has a great advisor (Erika Olivares is really dedicated to helping her students), world-renowned faculty (who offer a wide range of research opportunities), and, last but not least, supportive classmates.

What do you do for fun outside academics?
Hang out with friends, travel, watch movies

What do you plan to do after you graduate?
I plan to work in the plant genetic improvement sector for a couple of years in the United States before returning to Indonesia to start my plant genetic improvement research company that focuses on making improvements to mitigate climate change issues.

What is one thing you want people to know about Crop Sciences, the College of ACES, or the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign?
You won’t regret choosing this university and this major. The University of Illinois has a huge and diverse student population; here, you can make friends with people from almost every place around the world. Not to mention, it has a strong alum connection that can help prepare you for your post-graduation plan. As for the major itself, Crop Sciences (through its committed faculty and staff) offers endless opportunities to help you reach your dream. I wish I had known this earlier.