At A Glance

Fall 2023 Commencement by the Numbers

New Year, New Faces

New Year, New Roles

Where in the World is Willow Kate?!

Cotton in the Texas Panhandle Highlighted

Agriculture Future of America Advisory Board

Dates To Remember

Jan. 16: Classes Begin

Fall 2023 Commencement by the Numbers

New Year, New Faces

Dr. Christina Chan,

VERO: Clinical Assistant Professor

Dr. Christina Chan received her DVM at the University of Tennessee. She has also completed a small animal rotating internship at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana

as well as a small animal internal medicine residency

at Michigan State University.

She worked in private practice in Florida.

Dr. Chan’s hobbies include hiking, reading, video games

and spending time with her husband and dog!

Mrs. Darci Hess,

Administrative Associate V

Mrs. Darci Hess attended Southwestern Oklahoma State University where she received her Bachelor and Master degrees of Sports Management. However, growing up on a farm in Oklahoma,

she has always been involved in the farming and ranching industries.

Last August, she got married and recently moved with her husband to Canyon from Oklahoma. During her spare time, she enjoys staying active, whether that be working out, golfing, hiking, snow skiing or yard work. She also enjoys spending time with family and friends.

"I am very thankful for this opportunity

and I am excited to be here on campus 

as part of the Paul Engler College of Agriculture & Natural Sciences!

Go Buffs!"

Dr. Michael Kleinhenz,

VERO: Clinical Assistant Professor,

Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences

Dr. Mike Kleinhenz was born and raised in Ohio,

but recently moved from Manhattan, KS where he was on faculty

at Kansas State University and member of the Beef Cattle Institute.

Dr. Kleinhenz received his DVM from Ohio State University and Ph.D. in Physiology from Kansas State University.

He is a board-certified veterinary clinical pharmacologist.

His research interests are the pharmacologic intervention for controlling pain and inflammation in food animals, and the use industrial hemp and cannabinoids as feeds and interventions in animals. Prior to graduate school, he worked as a clinical veterinarian focusing on dairy cattle herd health and management.

Dr. Kleinhenz is married to his high school sweetheart,

Dr. Katie Kleinhenz, who is a veterinary pathologist

at the Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Lab.

Dr. Trent Schwartz

Assistant Professor of Meat Science

Dr. Trent Schwartz is a Wall, TX native and grew up on a farm

that raised a variety of crops and also had a show pig operation. 

Dr. Schwartz received his Undergraduate and master’s degrees

 at Angelo State University. While there, he coached the meat judging team and the meat science quiz bowl team. In December, he graduated from Texas A&M University with a Ph.D. in Animal Science, specializing

in meat science and food safety. His dissertation research evaluated 

the role beef liver abscesses have on the glycolytic pathway postmortem and the associated lean color. T

rent is married to Courtney Schwartz; both grew up in West Texas

and look forward to experiencing all that the Panhandle has to offer.

Mr. Don Scroggins,

Instructor of Biology

Mr. Don Scroggins has been teaching science since 1981.

More recently he was the Science Coordinator at Western Oklahoma State College teaching Anatomy and Physiology. He was the Division Chair for Science and Math at Clovis Community College.

For the last three semesters, he has been teaching Anatomy

and Physiology at WT as a part-time instructor. Don, and his wife, Katy, are avid rock and mineral collectors and love bird watching. Additionally, you can find evidence of his favorite hobby

on just about any music streaming site. 

He loves to play my guitar and compose music. 

“I love to teach science. I look forward to each teaching day

and the opportunity to interact with my students.

I sincerely hope to help each of them maximize their learning

and achieve their educational goals.”

Mrs. Ellis Vidmar,

Instructor of Agricultural Media and Communication

and Events Coordinator

Mrs. Ellis Vidmar is an Instructor of Agricultural Media

& Communication and Events Coordinator for the Department of Agricultural Sciences. She is ecstatic to be back at West Texas A&M University. She is an Almuna, (’19 & ’22) and has spent the last year doing media and event planning for Colorado State University Extensions Colorado AgrAbility project.

She is excited to help shape the next generation of ag communicators! 

Outside of work, she likes to travel, craft,

and spend time with her husband. 

Mr. Brandon Winters,

Facilities Operations Specialist

Mr. Brandon Winters is a native of Bushland, Texas and a 2014 WTAMU Alumnus who has returned to the Canyon area after living the past seven years in Kansas. He earned his B.S. in Plant, Soil, and Environmental Science and worked several years in farming and farm services where he discovered that his passion for maintaining machinery and managing complex systems translated well to facilities management. Most recently, he served as the Director of Facilities and Construction for four years at a Kansas hospital. Mr. Winters has a passion for maximizing the efficiency and usage of the built environment and making things run more smoothly. He is married to fellow Buff alumna Jayce, and they have two children, Benjamin and Adaline. In his free time, he enjoys snowboarding, hiking, fishing, and going on new adventures with his family.

New Year, New Roles

Dr. Brock Blaser,

Associate Dean of Academics

of the Paul Engler College

of Agriculture and Natural Sciences

Dr. Mallory Vestal,

Assistant Department Head of the Department of Agricultural Sciences

Where in the World is Willow Kate?!

Dr. Sara-Louise Newcomer, Dr. Russell and Natrelle Long Professor

and Director of the Companion Animal Program,

and Willow Kate, AKC Labrador Retriever, are a registered therapy dog team

through the Alliance of Therapy Dogs (ATD).

In December, Dr. Newcomer and Willow Kate visited the VERO students as they started

final exams to provide comfort and encouragement during their “Pet the Stress Away” event. Willow Kate has been a participant in some of the students' hands-on labs,

so the students enjoyed seeing her outside of class and she was equally as excited

to visit with them and receive treats and kisses. 

The students were certain that their cortisol levels dropped

as they interacted with Willow Kate.

Highlighted in the North Plains Groundwater Conservation District Newsletter

Emily Brorman, M.S. Plant, Soil, and Environmental Science,

recently had research published

in the North Plains Groundwater Conservation District Newsletter.

Emily's research is about cotton maturity in the Texas Panhandle.

View the Newsletter Here

Agriculture Future of America Advisory Board

Alexis Camara, Sr. Animal Science, was recently selected as a member

of the Agriculture Future of America (AFA) Leader Advisory Board!

Alexis will play an active role in planning

the Agriculture Future of America Leaders Conference

for approximately 1,000 college students to attend later this year.

AFA is a nationwide organization that aims to build a bridge between college students and the agricultural industry. By partnering with companies such as CHS, John Deere, Cargill,

Tyson, Bayer, Corteva, Land O Lakes, Merck, and dozens of other small and large companies,

they provide several opportunities for students to network, get involved in the industry,

and stay involved and connected as they move through their careers.

Alexis was first introduced to Agriculture Future of America through their scholarship program as a high school senior and attended her first Leaders Conference in 2021.

She continued her involvement with the organization by becoming an ambassador

for Northeastern Junior College, where she got both of her associate degrees, in 2022.

Alexis is honored to be a part of the 2024 Student Advisory Team

and is excited for the year to come!

A Moment with Mrs. Bachman

While this video is two years old, this message remains very relevant for the new year!

Pond's Ponder

The Spring semester starts this week.

It is appropriate to repeat the words of Mahatma Gandhi:

"Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever."

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