College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Welcoming ABE’s new advisor: Aaron Leppert 


The Department of Agriculture and Biosystems Engineering (ABE) is excited to welcome Aaron Leppert to the department as the new Agricultural Engineering advisor. With a background in chemistry and secondary education, Aaron is extremely passionate about guiding students through their time at Iowa State.  

Read more to see our interview with Aaron and how he wants to help students grow below. 


Q: What inspired you to become an advisor here in ABE?  

I taught high school science for three years and most enjoyed helping students explore their passions and pursue career options. I always hoped to transition into a role that helps students succeed in higher education and wanted to place greater focus on student career development. My academic advisor was crucial to my success while undergoing undergraduate studies and I always admired the role; I knew academic advising was the next best professional step to continue serving students. Paving a future path is never easy and I want students to find a place of support and sense of home at Iowa State University. I hope to help students find confidence in their life decisions, feel capable of an independent lifestyle, and contribute to the world we share. 

Q: What do you want students to know when they graduate?  

Once students graduate, I want them to feel confident in the decisions that lead them to this metaphorical “finish line.” I want students who leave Iowa State University to know it’s all right if they don’t have all the answers yet. Despite any uncertainty life may hold, I want students to feel their learning was worth the journey. Due to connections and support systems forged at Iowa State, I want students to know that help is never far away. I hope to be a part of those connections and support systems and help this office space continue to serve these students as they take their next professional steps. 

Q: How did you get involved in the advising community?  

During my junior year of my undergraduate degree, the COVID pandemic thrust all of academia into uncertainty. I was dismayed at the outlook of my remaining semesters at Iowa State and developed a lot of uncertainty in my original pursuit of becoming a science teacher. I was terrified, during COVID, to student teach and wanted to flee my career path. Fortunately, I had a lot of great conversations with my academic advisor, faculty, and staff and realized I had all the tools necessary to overcome the obstacles headed my way. My goal has always been to inspire people to achieve their greatest and I was given the courage that, no matter the deviation, my learning at Iowa State University would be enough to lead me along the right path. I knew I wanted to work in higher education at some point in my career; however, I recognized the growth and humility high school teaching would instill within me. Now, with a few years of teaching under my belt, I am looking for the next opportunity for growth and a different lens with which I may serve students. All of this led me to a role as an academic advisor.