Student finds success in unconventional double major: theatre and ag communications

Published: February 19, 2020
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Zac Moss, a third-year Auburn student studying theatre and agricultural communications, can often be found memorizing lines for an upcoming play during his study break.

Theatre and agricultural communications may appear to not have anything in common, but Moss says there are many similarities. Although not the easiest path, he reminds himself daily that his hustle will be worth it in the end. 

“My majors seem very unique from each other, but they actually work well together,” Moss said. “Both majors require excellent communication skills and the ability to speak to people you don’t know personally.”

Upon his acceptance into Auburn, Moss was awarded the College of Liberal Arts Diversity Scholarship. Moss uses this award as motivation to keep moving forward.

“It shows me that if I can come to a school as distinguished as Auburn University and be awarded one of its most prestigious scholarships, I can do anything I put my mind to,” Moss said. “I have gained the respect and trust of the leaders of the College of Liberal Arts, and I will always represent this university with integrity.”

With a good attitude and genuine dedication, Moss successfully manages his busy schedule.

“There is a lot of juggling with my schedule when it comes to school,” Moss said. “I have to utilize any free time I may have so I don’t fall behind in my schoolwork because most of my theatre activities are set in stone. Balancing the two is made possible with persistence.”

Studying two majors has many benefits, such as the variety of knowledge Moss has acquired since his freshman year.

“You usually don’t see many people who know a lot about subjects as contrasting as mine,” Moss said. “I can go from a conversation on how pharmaceuticals levels are rising in our groundwater reserves to how slouching can inhibit you from having good breath support. I might even break out into a British dialect—an accurate one if you’re lucky.”

Moss’ love of agriculture began as a child when he visited his grandparents’ farm in Holt, Alabama.

“During the summer I would stay with my grandparents for a few weeks and help my granddad with his farm animals,” Moss said. “He was getting older so I would help him feed chickens, collect eggs, feed the pigs and other things like that.”

By the time Moss was a senior in high school, he realized he could see himself studying agriculture in college, but he also had another passion—theatre.

“My interest in theatre began after I had to quit the football team in high school,” Moss said. “I started doing theatre because I took a theatre class and won first place at the state competition that year.”

After that success, Moss decided to stick with theatre, and before long he fell in love with it.

“When I was getting ready to go to college, my dad told me I needed to make a decision on whether I wanted to pursue an agricultural communications or a theatre degree, and I said, ‘Why not both?’”

Moss has found success in both of his majors. This past summer Moss worked with Alabama Extension’s Synergistic Efforts to Reduce Pharmaceuticals In the Environment program, stationed at Alabama A&M University. Moss has performed in seven plays at Auburn, with his biggest role to date being his role in “Eurydice.”

“I love being able to go up on stage and express myself,” Moss said. “It’s a feeling of euphoria and gratitude.”

Moss said he would love to continue acting after graduation, but he keeps his expectations reasonable.

“I would love to be able to act in Atlanta,” Moss said. “Hopefully I can do that, but not every dream can become possible which is fine because I also have agricultural communications.”

Moss plans to use his agricultural communications degree to become a public relations and marketing specialist.

“My dream is to move to Atlanta and work for Coca-Cola, but at some point in my life I would like to go back to work for Extension and continue to work with environmental issues,” he said.

One thing is for sure—Moss didn’t choose the road most traveled when deciding to double major, but he has no regrets.

“I knew going into it that two majors would be difficult to manage, but I told myself, ‘If there’s a will, there’s a way,’ and I’ve loved every second of it.”

Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research with an elite, top-tier Carnegie R1 classification, life-changing outreach with Carnegie’s Community Engagement designation and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 30,000 students, and its faculty and research partners collaborate to develop and deliver meaningful scholarship, science and technology-based advancements that meet pressing regional, national and global needs. Auburn’s commitment to active student engagement, professional success and public/private partnership drives a growing reputation for outreach and extension that delivers broad economic, health and societal impact.