We asked several CAHNRS Ambassadors, excellent students who love WSU and their college, to name their favorite professors. And now we’re featuring those nominated educators in this weekly series.
Today we’re showcasing Arron Carter, professor and director of the WSU Winter Wheat Breeding program. Here are his answers to a few questions:
How did you pick this as a career?
I have always been interested in plants and sciences like biology and chemistry. So when I went to college, I enrolled in a Plant Science degree. I started working in a plant breeding program as an undergraduate and fell in love with it.
What is your favorite thing about teaching college students?
The interaction with the students and giving them a little piece of knowledge that I am passionate about. Most people don’t directly think plant breeding affects them, although it surrounds everything we eat. It’s fun to help them make that connection.
Why do you love what you do?
I love what I do for many reasons. There is a diversity of activities (fieldwork, greenhouse, molecular, etc). Also, I work with an interdisciplinary team, so I get to learn a little about multiple programs (cereal chemistry, plant pathology, weed science, soil science, statistics, etc). Probably the most important part is I get to make a product that I can see go into application in the farmer’s field and make a difference, not only to them, but the end consumer as well. It’s fun knowing that a cultivar you have developed is leading to a more sustainable environment and production system.
If you could provide any tips or advice for your students, or WSU students in general, what would they be?
Try to get experience in the field you are interested in working in. Reach outside your comfort zone and take courses that will challenge you. This is really the only time you will get to take courses and gain this type of knowledge.
Any other words of wisdom you’d like to pass along?
Interdisciplinary teams are becoming important in many disciplines. Learn how to communicate well on many subjects. Be passionate about what you do, but also be open to new perspectives and ideas.