November 16, 2020
COVID-19 UPDATE
For the most up to date information from West Texas A&M University and the Texas A&M University System about COVID-19, visit the University's COVID-19 Information Page.
2020 Intern of the Year
Kylie Scott 
Senior, Plant, Soil and Environmental Sciences 
Corteva Agriscience / Plainview Research Center 
Congratulations, Kylie!
Keep up with Current Internships
Adriana Rademacher, SR. Environmental Sciences is currently completing her internship through the National Weather Service in Amarillo, TX.

What you do day-to-day in your internship? On a regular day I'll typically work on a research project that has been assigned to me, which is currently the occurrence of land spouts with the last 15 years, or any training modules over specific weather events. During active weather days I'll "follow" a meteorologist while he or she explains the process of issuing warnings or looking for certain events on satellites or Skew-T plots. Currently, I am working towards my Upper-Air certificate, which allows me to launch weather balloons for the station. On any given day, I could be learning or experiencing something new which will further my understanding of the station's purpose.
How your internship will prepare you post-graduation? I plan on applying to graduate school and earning my master's degree in Atmospheric Science or Meteorology once I graduate from WT with my bachelor's degree in Environmental Sciences. This opportunity allows me to gain knowledge and experience that I would have not been able to achieve without this internship as well as an understanding of how the National Weather Service interacts with the public and other atmospheric associations. Lastly, if I choose a career within the NWS, I will have an understanding of how it functions and the expectations they have. 
WTAMU Soil Judging Team
Awarded at Regional Contest
The 2020 Region IV Collegiate Soil Judging Contest was held virtually on October 20, 2020. In each portion, participants were provided with a series of soil profile and landscape images and tasked with identifying, evaluating, classifying, and describing the soil profile. Characterizations were compared against descriptions provided by professional Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) soil scientists and awards were given for the individual, team, and overall categories. Coached by faculty member Ms. Lauren Selph, members are designated for the overall (sweepstakes) team members include: Frey Diaz, JR. Plant, Soil and Environmental Sciences, Trey Livingston, SR, Plant, Soil and Environmental Sciences, Michaela McClenney, JR, Animal Science, Abbie Wardlow, JR, Animal Science, Pre-Vet. Alternates: Sebastian Briseño, JR, Plant, Soil and Environmental Sciences, Katelyn Cossey, SR, Plant, Soil and Environmental Sciences, Ashley Danforth, SR, Plant, Soil and Environmental Sciences. This was the first time in nearly a decade that WTAMU has had a soil judging team and participated in a judging contest. The WT team placed 1st in the team pit competition and 2nd overall behind the University of Arkansas! Team member Michaela McClenney placed 4th overall in the individual competition and two other team members, Abbie Wardlow and Frey Diaz, placed in the top 10. In a normal year, their placing would have earned them a spot in the National Collegiate Soils Contest. Well done, and congratulations!
Paul Engler Presents $1 Million to WT as Part of Largest Gift in University History
Pictured from left to right: David Terry, CEO of the Paul Engler Foundation, Dr. Kevin Pond, Dean of the Paul Engler College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences, Mr. Paul Engler, Dr. Amjad Abdullat, Dean of the Paul and Virginia Engler College of Business, Dr. Neil Terry, Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs.
Paul Engler presented the checks for $500,000 each to the Paul Engler College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences and the Paul and Virginia Engler College of Business during a COVID-conscious presentation at 10 a.m. Nov. 6 in the Stan and Gerry Sigman Grand Lobby in the Happy State Bank Academic research Buildin. The event was live-streamed on WT’s Homepage to keep attendance low, and face masks and social distancing were required of those present.

“Paul believes strongly in quality education as a driver for success in business and in life,” said David Terry, the new CEO of the Engler Foundation. “The most excited I see him is when he reads the notes and letters from student scholarship recipients. He enjoys seeing the impact of his gift. He worked hard to build a solid business that created wealth for so many. Now, the Foundation and his legacy of investment and giving lives on through eager students and quality faculty and staff.” Read the story...
How has COVID-19 Impacted your Research?
Dr. Chris Baird, Assistant Professor of Physics
As a computational physicist researching quantum cascade lasers, my research team builds complicated computer codes that numerically solve the equations of quantum electrodynamics. This enables me and my research assistants to build and run virtual experiments on computers without needing any experimental equipment. Fortunately, because of the computational nature of our research, the COVID-19 pandemic has had minimal impact on our ability to so research.

My research assistants and I have been able to continue forward with our research from home during the pandemic, using our home computers to build and run the computer code. We have been able to communicate over the internet by exchanging ideas, guidance, and data via email. In this way, we have continued to make progress with our research. In fact, my research assistant that just graduated was able to present a research poster of our work during the pandemic at a virtual research conference held at Texas Tech University. There has been some negative impact on our research from the pandemic. Teaching classes remotely and mentoring students remotely in an effective way has required far more work hours every week than when these classes were in-person, leading there to be fewer hours every week left to do research. This has caused our research to proceed at a slower rate than normal. However, we are hopeful that the situation will soon improve!
2020 Faculty Alpaca Show
From left to right:
Dr. Dan Posey dressed as Robert Plant, (Led Zeppelin), Mr. Zach McMeans dressed as Joe Exotic (Tiger King), Dr. Kevin Pond dressed as Albert Einstein, Dr. Loni Lucherk dressed as "The Baconator", Dr. Tanner Robertson dressed up, Mrs. Rebekah Bachman dressed as Carole Baskin (Tiger King), Dr. Nate Wolf dressed as Dale Brisby, Ms. Lauren Selph dressed as a lamb, Dr. Bridget Guerrero dressed as Monarch the Butterfly, Dr. Mallory Vestal representing Fashion Posse, and Mr. Preston Lawrence dressed as a Princess.
Dr. Kevin Pond, Dean, took home the big trophy win! Thanks to all the faculty for participating, Double Diamond Ranch for the use of their alpacas, and to the Block&Bridle Club for hosting!
"Don’t follow the path, rather leave a new trail."
~Unknown