CAHNRS News | Washington State University Skip to main content Skip to navigation

CAHNRS Coug Connections: Molly Dilworth

Each week, we showcase one of our CAHNRS Ambassadors, a student leadership organization that encourages students to pursue higher education and serves as a liaison between the college and the greater community. This week, we’re featuring Molly Dilworth, a senior from Vancouver, Wash.

Formal portrait photo of Molly Dilworth
Molly Dilworth

What are you studying?

I’m majoring in Agricultural and Food Business Economics, with a minor in Agricultural Systems Management.

Why did you choose WSU?

I visited WSU during my senior year of high school and absolutely fell in love. The campus was beautiful and the people were so excited to be here. That’s when I realized Pullman as where I needed to be.

What is special about being a CAHNRS Coug?

The family atmosphere of CAHNRS has made my college experience amazing. The CAHNRS program has given me so many opportunities and I’ve created so many relationships.

What is your favorite CAHNRS class so far and why?

Econ 311 (Econometrics): The professor was awesome and it was a class that strongly challenged me!

Who are influential professors that you’ve had, and how did they impact your life?

Vicki McCracken was always willing to help me out and pushed me to strive to do better in her course.

What extracurricular activities are you involved in besides ambassadors?

Economics Club and Intramural basketball

What is a fun fact about you?

I love to be a part of agriculture!

What advice would you give an incoming freshman/high school senior to help them adjust to college?

It’s normal to be afraid of going to college, but if you put yourself out there and follow your passions, college will be the time of your life.

Favorite item/flavor at Ferdinand’s?

Cougar Tracks

Celebrate Wine: Consider the Science in your Stemware

Uncork. Pour. Swirl. Sniff. Sip. The first to cleanse the palate, the second to acclimate, and the third to analyze. But what exactly are we analyzing when we savor a sip of wine? As you enjoy your favorite vintage on #NationalDrinkWineDay, consider the science behind your sensory experience.

In Washington State University’s Viticulture & Enology Program, scientists and students alike research the many factors that contribute to a quality Washington wine. One of the most important? Yeast.

Turning grapes into wine relies on this essential element. Without yeast, those grapes become grape juice. But through the process of fermentation, the berries are transformed into one of the world’s most popular beverages.

Wild, natural, spontaneous, or selected, yeasts turn up on the winemaking scene in all manner of ways—and affect fermentation and the resulting wines in just as many. For instance, non-Saccharomyces yeasts (shortened to “non-saks” by the scientists) can improve mouthfeel of a wine.

“The texture of a wine in your mouth, that’s mouthfeel,” said Dr. Carolyn Ross, professor of Food Science at WSU. “We measure mouthfeel with a standard tool called a ‘Mouthfeel wheel,’ which compares sensory experiences, like touch, to the texture of wine on the tongue.”

So if a wine has a particularly high alcohol content, you might describe it as “hot.” Or maybe it’s highly tannic, resulting in a “gritty” texture or a “dry” feeling. These elements are produced, in part, by managing yeasts.

When combined with other yeasts, like Saccharomyces cerevisiae, “non-saks” can reduce the final alcohol content of wine—an increasingly popular method among Washington winemakers.

In fact, according to studies conducted in WSU wine microbiology labs, Merlot showed reduced alcohol content when the fermenting winegrapes were inoculated first with non-saks and then later with Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

These deliberate, science-based decisions made by vintners add up to a singular sensory experience. Whether you’d describe your favorite wine as “full-bodied,” “silky,” or “smooth”—that’s science.

Thirsty for more? Read about WSU V&E research, the V&E Program, and the state-of-the-art Wine Science Center.

Scientist sliding a wine and survey through a window.
Dr. Carolyn Ross prepares a sensory evaluation of wine in the WSU Sensory Laboratory in the School of Food Science at WSU-Pullman.
Circle diagram with colored slivers.
Developed by Gawel et al. in 2003, the “Mouthfeel Wheel” is a standard tool used by wine sensory scientists like WSU’s Carolyn Ross.
Three scientists, one looking through a microscope.
Dr. Charles Edwards, left, analyzing wines with graduate students.

CAHNRS Coug Connections: Katie Doonan

Each week, we showcase one of our CAHNRS Ambassadors, a student leadership organization that encourages students to pursue higher education and serves as a liaison between the college and the greater community. This week, we’re featuring Katie Doonan, a sophomore from Bishop, Calif.

Profile photo of Katie Doonan
Katie Doonan

What are you studying?

I’m majoring in Organic Agriculture Systems and Pre-Medicine, with a minor in Animal Science.

Why did you choose WSU?

I chose WSU because I felt encouraged to follow my own pathway instead of just being another nameless, faceless student. They encouraged outside of the box thinking and never pushed me onto a path that I did not want.

What is special about being a CAHNRS Coug?

CAHNRS is truly a family. On the university level you have a home, but CAHNRS is a diverse group of people that constantly push you to strive for more, and support all your goals.

What is your favorite CAHNRS class so far and why?

My favorite CAHNRS class has been Soil Science 101, or the introduction to organic farming and gardening. It encompassed almost all levels of the organic process, but we also got to do hands-on lessons like transplanting seeds and exploring the organic farm.

Who are influential professors that you’ve had, and how did they impact your life?

John Reganold is my favorite professor thus far, but he is also my advisor, department chair, and research mentor. He encourages all my goals and works with me on every step of the process.

Jeb Owen has also taught me to think beyond what you are told and inspired a love of learning beyond what I’m immediately interested in.

What extracurricular activities are you involved in besides ambassadors?

I am also involved in the American Medical Student Association and I am actively involved in the fitness programs through the University Recreation center.

What is a fun fact about you?

I learned how to drive tractors when I was 8!

What advice would you give an incoming freshman/high school senior to help them adjust to college?

I would say keep an open mind and enjoy the learning process because these topics can be so fun if you let them. Talk to your professors as much as possible because they can help with all aspects of college life and can be genuinely fun people!

Favorite item/flavor at Ferdinand’s?

Cookies and Cream milkshakes and Natural Viking Cheese!

CAHNRS Coug Connections: Lambert Ngenzi

Each week, we showcase one of our CAHNRS Ambassadors, a student leadership organization that encourages students to pursue higher education and serves as a liaison between the college and the greater community. This week, we’re featuring Lambert Ngenzi, a junior from Kent, Wash.

Formal portrait photo of Lambert Ngenzi
Lambert Ngenzi

What are you studying?

I’m majoring in Environmental and Ecosystem Sciences, with a minor in GIS.

Why did you choose WSU?

WSU offered me the ideal environment to grow and learn. The first time I visited the campus with my mom and sister, I knew right away this is a place where I can fit in. In addition, WSU offered me a good financial aid package.

What is special about being a CAHNRS Coug?

It is a diverse and welcoming community. In CAHNRS, I love being able to express myself as an individual, and share my passion. CAHNRS is a new home for me.

What is your favorite CAHNRS class so far and why?

Environmental Science 275 with Dr. Alex Fremier was one of the most challenging classes I have taken in my major, but also really interesting as it gave me a first glance into environmental issues and how people have tried to resolve them.

Who are influential professors that you’ve had, and how did they impact your life?

Kara Whitman has been a life and academic advisor. I met Dr. Whitman in my Environmental Science 101 and 285 classes.

Alex Fremier is my mentor and has helped me get into prestigious programs.

Charise Deberry has been the most amazing person I have met at WSU and inspired me in many aspects of my life.

What extracurricular activities are you involved in besides ambassadors?

McNair Achievement Program, Peer Mentor for Undergraduate Research, LSAMP, Environmental Science Club, and Water Club

What is a fun fact about you?

I can speak 4 languages: French, Lingala, Kinyarwanda, and English

What advice would you give an incoming freshman/high school senior to help them adjust to college?

Visit the school you want to go to, and do your research.

You don’t have to know what you want to study.

Do an internship!

Favorite item/flavor at Ferdinand’s?

Strawberry

CAHNRS Coug Connections: Luke Williams

Each week, we showcase one of our CAHNRS Ambassadors, a student leadership organization that encourages students to pursue higher education and serves as a liaison between the college and the greater community. This week, we’re featuring Luke Williams, a sophomore from Enumclaw, Wash.

Formal portrait photo of Luke Williams
Luke Williams

What are you studying?

I’m majoring in Agricultural Economics.

Why did you choose WSU?

WSU offers a major that I am both very interested in and passionate about. Campus is not too far and not too close to home.

What is special about being a CAHNRS Coug?

Feeling like you belong to something even bigger than a college education. CAHNRS offers a network of peers and unique experiences throughout your time as a Coug.

What is your favorite CAHNRS class so far and why?

Beef feedlots is a very informative and interesting class. It probably ties with microeconomics in terms of igniting my excitement to learn.

Who are influential professors that you’ve had, and how did they impact your life?

I admire Dr. Prera for his knowledge of economics and his laid back but straight forward lecture style classes. He solidified my interest in economics throughout my first semester.

What extracurricular activities are you involved in besides ambassadors?

I have yet to join any other clubs through the university. Besides ambassadors I spend my times hunting, fishing, or hiking out on the Palouse.

What is a fun fact about you?

People are often surprised at how well I can whistle. From imitating birds to keeping up with the radio.

What advice would you give an incoming freshman/high school senior to help them adjust to college?

If you are bored, then you are boring. There is always something to do, whether it is joining a club or going on an adventure off campus.

Favorite item/flavor at Ferdinand’s?

Original Cougar Gold cheese

CAHNRS Coug Connections: Maya Wahl

Each week, we showcase one of our CAHNRS Ambassadors, a student leadership organization that encourages students to pursue higher education and serves as a liaison between the college and the greater community. This week, we’re featuring Maya Wahl, a junior from Lind, Wash.

Formal portrait picture of Maya Wahl
Maya Wahl

What are you studying?

I’m majoring in Agricultural Education.

Why did you choose WSU?

After spending my freshman year at Kansas State University, I decided to come home to Washington. I grew up loving WSU and found myself returning to Pullman the next fall to pursue a future in Agricultural Education. I wanted to be closer to my family and friends and I knew WSU was the right place for me.

What is special about being a CAHNRS Coug?

I have met so many unique people through CAHNRS, people who have completely different stories than I do yet we all have one thing in common and it’s CAHNRS. I’ve learned more from these people than I would ever learn from a textbook which I why I find this experience so valuable.

What is your favorite CAHNRS class so far and why?

AGTM 201. I took this class my first semester I came to WSU. I had never taken a shop class before and it forced me into my growth zone. I had to tackle learning how to weld and use machining in the shop. By the end of the semester I felt accomplished and confident in the skills I had obtained. This is just one example of the opportunities for hands-on learning offered in CAHNRS.

Who are influential professors that you’ve had, and how did they impact your life?

Denise Yost was incredibly kind and I loved to watch her facilitation methods in class, which I will use in my future classroom.

JD Baser; as an Agricultural Education Student he has always been there for me and I hope to be as good of a teacher as he is one day.

What extracurricular activities are you involved in besides ambassadors?

Agricultural Education Club, Agriculture Future of America, and Professional Development Club

What is a fun fact about you?

I am the fifth generation on a dryland small grains farm and own a business that markets these grains to brewers and distillers to make beers and whiskeys.

What advice would you give an incoming freshman/high school senior to help them adjust to college?

Never say no. Go to the ice cream social or the fun activity your RA planned for your floor. You never know who you will meet and where they will take you.

Favorite item/flavor at Ferdinand’s?

Tin Lizzy and Cougar Gold!

CAHNRS Coug Connections: Kayleen Fredrickson

Each week, we showcase one of our CAHNRS Ambassadors, a student leadership organization that encourages students to pursue higher education and serves as a liaison between the college and the greater community. This week, we’re featuring Kayleen Fredrickson, a junior from Lake Stevens, Wash.

Formal portrait photo of Kayleen Fredrickson
Kayleen Fredrickson

What are you studying?

I’m majoring in Animal Science.

Why did you choose WSU?

My parents met here and I was born a Coug. WSU has one of the best Animal Science programs in the nation so it really was a no-brainer for me.

What is special about being a CAHNRS Coug?

As Cougs we are already members of the Coug Family. As a CAHNRS Coug, another layer of friendship and love is added to your life and college experience!

What is your favorite CAHNRS class so far and why?

Companion Animal Nutrition was my favorite because Animal Science is very farm/agriculture animal oriented, so it was a good change for a small animal vet prospective student like me.

Who are influential professors that you’ve had, and how did they impact your life?

Nancy Irlbeck is funny and a genius!

Martin Maquivar made 101 exciting and made me excited about Animal Science!

What extracurricular activities are you involved in besides ambassadors?

I am an intern in the VTH and I am part of a tabletop gaming club!

What is a fun fact about you?

I am a Comic Convention and Shih Tzu enthusiast!

What advice would you give an incoming freshman/high school senior to help them adjust to college?

Make time for yourself. Walk around campus and find your favorite places to unwind. College is stressful and your mental health is important. Don’t worry too much.

Favorite item/flavor at Ferdinand’s?

Cougar Gold Cheese and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough are tied.

CAHNRS Coug Connections: Elizabeth Warren

Each week, we showcase one of our CAHNRS Ambassadors, a student leadership organization that encourages students to pursue higher education and serves as a liaison between the college and the greater community. This week, we’re featuring Elizabeth Warren, a junior from Rochester, Wash.

Formal portrait photo of Elizabeth Warren
Elizabeth Warren

What are you studying?

I’m majoring in Agriculture and Food Security.

Why did you choose WSU?

I was interested in several WSU majors, but it became my top choice when I realized how many incredible people in my life were Cougs. Getting a degree and being surrounded by great people was a no-brainer!

What is special about being a CAHNRS Coug?

CAHNRS really tries to connect with all of its students in a manner that attracts individual interests. It doesn’t matter if you’re interested in research, outreach, or global innovations because CAHNRS will not only provide the opportunities to do so—they will support you in any way possible.

What is your favorite CAHNRS class so far and why?

I have enjoyed my AFS classes, especially AFS 101! The classes are stimulating and engaging with a blend of projects, lectures, and opportunities. They explore topics you are interested in all while learning about agri-food systems on a global scale.

Who are influential professors that you’ve had, and how did they impact your life?

Jeb Owen was definitely a favorite! He is a very well-rounded man who is willing to do what he needed to help students succeed. I was never bored or lost in his class.

What extracurricular activities are you involved in besides ambassadors?

I am involved in my sorority, the Aspiring Teachers and Leaders, Honors College, and the Alhadeff Future Teachers of Color.

What is a fun fact about you?

I am a published poet!

What advice would you give an incoming freshman/high school senior to help them adjust to college?

Take positive risks! You are in an environment in which exploring who you are, what your future looks lie, etc. are all open for exploration. Don’t be afraid—the worst that will happen is something won’t work out!

Favorite item/flavor at Ferdinand’s?

Not even lactose intolerance can keep me away from Apple Cup Crisp!

CAHNRS Coug Connections: Claudia Kightlinger

Each week, we showcase one of our CAHNRS Ambassadors, a student leadership organization that encourages students to pursue higher education and serves as a liaison between the college and the greater community. This week, we’re featuring Claudia Kightlinger, a junior from San Diego, Calif.

Formal portrait photo of Claudia Kightlinger
Claudia Kightlinger

What are you studying?

I’m majoring in Wildlife Ecology & Conservation Sciences with a minor in Zoology.

Why did you choose WSU?

My major offered a lot of opportunities for hands-on experience early on.

What is special about being a CAHNRS Coug?

The facilities and opportunities we have are fantastic.

What is your favorite CAHNRS class so far and why?

NATRS 435—Wildlife Ecology because I get to learn from a professor with real world experience doing what I’m interested in, with the animals I want to specialize in. He’s also teaching us how to make an impact in conservation using fact-based science and research.

Who are influential professors that you’ve had, and how did they impact your life?

Lisa Shipley—enthusiastic and the first professor I interacted with; I worked with her for my IGNITE internship.

What extracurricular activities are you involved in besides ambassadors?

I volunteer at the WSU Bear Center, and I also tutor.

What is a fun fact about you?

Interned at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park working with cheetahs primarily, but had the most amazing summer and gained a bunch of real-world animal experience.

What advice would you give an incoming freshman/high school senior to help them adjust to college?

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, or have too high expectations. Everyone has a different path so don’t worry about your progress compared to others.

Favorite item/flavor at Ferdinand’s?

Tin Lizzy

 

CAHNRS Coug Connections: Megan Russell

Each week, we showcase one of our CAHNRS Ambassadors, a student leadership organization that encourages students to pursue higher education and serves as a liaison between the college and the greater community. This week, we’re featuring Megan Russell, a sophomore from Renton, Wash.

Formal portrait photo of Megan Russell
Megan Russell

What are you studying?

I’m majoring in Apparel Merchandising.

Why did you choose WSU?

I wanted to come to WSU for the community feel and the school spirit.

What is special about being a CAHNRS Coug?

It’s special to get to know all different kinds of students and represent something bigger than myself and share my passions.

What is your favorite CAHNRS class so far and why?

Visual Merchandising has been my favorite because of the industry experience and discovering my future career path.

Who are influential professors that you’ve had, and how did they impact your life?

Patrick Brown-Hayes has been the most influential professor due to his commitment to preparing students to be ready for industry. He pushes us to our limits to benefit us now and in the future.

What extracurricular activities are you involved in besides ambassadors?

I am in a sorority where I currently hold two positions, and I am also a PINK campus representative.

What is a fun fact about you?

I have played soccer since I could literally walk.

What advice would you give an incoming freshman/high school senior to help them adjust to college?

Treat it like a 9-5 job. I got told that by my advisor and it has made such a difference in my attitude about school.

Favorite item/flavor at Ferdinand’s?

Chocolate with Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough!