August 31, 2020
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.
Great first week, Buffs!
Eric Koennecke
Thoughts on Mask Requirement
"As a graduating senior from the Department of Agricultural Sciences, I am absolutely on board with the mask requirements on WT’s campus. We all want to have an enjoyable college experience, from the new arrivals on campus up to the seniors who are graduating this semester and next spring. An enjoyable college experience is dependent upon good health, which the masks help us maintain. We’re a family of Buffs. Let’s be Buff Strong and Buff Smart and wear our masks this academic year!!"

Great job this first week! Let's keep it up, Buffs!
See you tomorrow!
National Wellness Month
West Texas A&M University 2018 B.S. Biochemistry and Biology alumna Mikaela Brentlinger is currently working on her MD at The Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Paul L. Foster School of Medicine in El Paso. Mikaela is working on glioblastoma cancer research, and is set to graduate in the spring of 2023. She then plans to pursue residency training to become a board certified physician.
"My advice to students who want to major in the same things would be to not be intimidated by the material. Remind yourself that most things in life are a lot more simple than they sound, and be brave! Ask all of your questions! Seek out research projects that your are passionate about with a professor in order to better understand your field. Get involved with organizations you have a passion for, even if you think they are not directly related to the field. Those experiences will end up serving you more than you expected. Don’t just develop your career, develop yourself. For example, I never expected to use my high school Spanish skills, but now I am actively striving to learn Spanish so I can communicate with patients.
To students who want to go to medical school I would say this: ignore the intensity of the competitive environment. Never compare yourself to others, just focus on yourself. Have the courage to throw away traditional study methods that give you the illusion of control, and do what truly works best for you. You don’t have to be a genius to be a doctor, but you do have to have resilience and endurance. Immerse yourself in experiences that will teach you about medicine and cultivate your own leadership skills, especially confidence and public speaking. Never underestimate the power of self care. I know several people who have not had mental health struggles until they started medical school, myself included. Find ways to effectively manage stress now before you enter."
Southwest Meat Association Foundation awards scholarships to WT students
Becca Grimes (left) and Chandler Dockray (right), both graduate students in the Meat Science program, received a $1,250 scholarship award presented by the Southwest Meat Association (SMA) Foundation for the 2020-21 academic school year. Their applications were selected from a large group of outstanding students from multiple universities. They would have received free admission and partial paid travel to the Southwest Meat Association Annual Convention in San Antonio, however due to COVID-19, the convention was moved to a virtual format and they were recognized there.  The SMA Foundation was formed in 1987 using donations from SMA members interested in assisting students pursuing meat industry careers. Through the generosity and support of many contributors over the years, the Foundation’s growth enabled it to award over $80,000 in scholarships during 2019. The Foundation Scholarship funds are generated by donations and proceeds from the Foundation’s annual golf tournament.
Dr. Maha Shrestha
Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Department of Chemistry and Physics
Dr. Maha Shrestha joins us from Kansas Polymer Research Center, and the Department of Chemistry at Pittsburg State University. She will be teaching Organic Chemistry and continuing her research on bio-based materials, methodology and multi-step organic synthesis. She is excited to be in Texas!
Welcome, Dr. Shrestha!
Dr. Peter Scott
Assistant Professor of Biology
Department of Life, Earth, and Environmental Sciences
Dr. Peter Scott joins the WT family from UCLA, where he completed his doctorate. He will be teaching: Genetics, Evolutionary Biology, Conservation, and Conservation Genetics. "My research focuses on combining field-based research with genomic sequencing and high performance computing to answer fundamental and applied questions in evolutionary and conservation biology. For example, working to understand how a population's genes are adapted to a specific habitat and how we can use that information to improve conservation management of that species." In his free time,
Dr. Scott enjoys hiking, and wildlife photography of amphibians and reptiles. Welcome, Dr. Scott!
Mr. Thane Peterson
Department of Agricultural Sciences
Nicholas (Thane) Peterson is WTAMU's newest Meat Lab manager joining us after 14 years in the industry. He enjoys the learning, science, and research aspects that come with the college atmosphere. "I am excited to a part of the Agricultural Sciences Department and a member of the WT Meat Science family." Welcome, Thane!
Mr. Filiberto Polanco
Department of Agricultural Sciences
Fil Polanco is proud to serve as manager of the WTAMU Research Feedlot. He has been in the cattle feeding industry for the past 10 years. He and his wife, Veronica, have two beautiful daughters, Emma and Elena. In his free time he enjoys backpacking, woodworking and working with horses. 
Welcome, Fil!
There is a method to being successful.
First, you have to learn the rules of the game
and then you have to play better than anyone else.