With change, comes opportunity- Jack Welch (Chairman and CEO of General Electric 1981-2001), might just be the mantra for the year. In the midst of COVID-19 pandemic, an exceptional opportunity to join WSU Animal Sciences as Chair was presented to me and with great enthusiasm, I started the position August 2020.
Such a strange time to start with challenges meeting faculty, staff, students and stakeholders but at the same time the utilization of Zoom allowed new strategies to meet and engage without necessarily a day’s travel. While the vibrancy of a bustling campus may have been temporarily restrained, the passion for our mission in teaching, research and Extension remains.
Our faculty and our students adapted to the new online delivery of courses, while we attempted to retain as many opportunities for hands-on learning as we could safely provide. Hands-on experiential learning is, and has always been, integral to the training of our undergraduate students and we enthusiastically await the return to normal post-pandemic.
On the optimistic side, there were new and unique opportunities presented to Animal Sciences including the successful acquisition of one-time CARES funding to improve access to our USDAinspected harvest and fabrication facility, affectionately referred to as our Meats lab. These funds facilitated improvements in livestock off-loading as well as several handling improvements that will allow livestock and especially larger framed cattle to move freely within the Meats Lab.
I have been immediately welcomed into my position by Animal Sciences faculty and staff with clear passion for what they do, and passion for how they serve our mission and address the needs of Washington State. The vibrancy and resiliency of our students has been remarkable. They are the life-blood of our program in the present and the future of our industry moving forward.
To all of you that are passionate about Animal Sciences, CAHNRS and WSU; I hope to meet you, capitalize on your energy, experience and ideas as we strive to remain the best that we can possibly be! While we cannot predict the future, we can prepare for it and the Animal Sciences team is excited for what lies ahead.
Take good care,
Professor and Chair