We asked several CAHNRS Ambassadors, excellent students who love WSU and their college, to name their favorite or most influential professors. And now we’re featuring those nominated educators in this weekly series, which runs through the summer.
Today we’re showcasing Kris Johnson, professor and interim chair in the Department of Animal Sciences. Here are her answers to a few questions:
Where are you from?
Where did you go to school?
University of Connecticut (Bachelor’s), & Michigan State University (Master’s & Ph.D.)
How did you become interested in your field?
I enjoy the science of nutrition and working directly with animals.
Why did you want to become a professor?
It allowed me the freedom to pursue the research area I wanted to work in and to make a difference to people in agriculture by solving problems. It also allowed me to interact with students in a teaching capacity.
What is your favorite thing about working with college students?
My favorite things about college students have to be their interest in learning and applying new knowledge. Also their skepticism, which results in enthusiasm and fresh ideas about things. It is not possible to get stagnant with that kind of probing energy around.
What advice would you pass along to students?
Keep yourself open to all sorts of new experiences and meeting new people. You never know how a random conversation can help you years later solve a problem or open a door. One of my biggest research successes to help livestock producers was a result of a meeting with atmospheric chemists and an astrophysicist. Who knew astrophysics could solve animal science problem!