Meet Your ASAS Western Section Graduate Student Representatives!

Stacia Prosser, Senior Representative

Hometown: I don’t really have a designated hometown; I was born in Jacksonville, FL and grew up in different states all along the east coast. Most recently, I hail from Milford, CT.

Education: BA, English, Southern Connecticut State University; BS, Animal Science, University of Connecticut; MS, Animal Science, New Mexico State University

Current position: PhD, Reproductive Physiology & Molecular Biology, New Mexico State University

A tip for surviving grad school: One of the best myths about graduate school that I have ever heard has been that “the researchers around you know exactly what they are doing.” Success in graduate school lies on grit, indomitable spirit—accepting failure and moving on in spite of it. Each time you troubleshoot and have a moment where “AHHHH IT WORKED!” will bring you one tiny, miniscule step away from crushing uncertainty.

Past agriculture experience: I was a late bloomer in the world of agriculture. Coming out of high school, I majored in English and spent most of my time in the darkroom processing photographs, but after graduation became more interested in where my food came from. I quit my job, pursued an apprenticeship at a farm in Shelton, CT, and ultimately decided to go back to school. At UCONN, I worked nights milking at the dairy barn and spent days working at the beef, sheep, and poultry units and taught undergraduate students how to show poultry for the yearly Little International Livestock Show. In addition to this, I spent my senior year managing a small beef herd at a family farm near campus.

Hobbies: I absolutely adore hiking and generally anything to do with the outdoors. One of my goals when I finish my program is to thru-hike the Pacific Crest Trail from the United States-Mexico border to the Canadian border. It’s 2,663 miles and takes about six months.

Favorite foods: Pizza! Pepperoni and green chile, to be exact.

Goals for her coming term as a graduate director: My main goal for this term is to cultivate and maintain communication channels—we will seek to communicate with graduate student members through social media and WSASAS email distributions and ensure that the WSASAS Executive Committee hears student ideas. WSASAS has some excellent and well-established student programs but, in order for these programs to be continuously successful, we must always keep students’ needs in mind.

Contact information: We are here to represent YOUR interests! Email with anything you want to experience at future WSASAS meetings, and we will do our very best to accommodate.


Kathryn Smith, Junior Representative

Hometown: Pittsburg, TX

Previous Education: B.S. Animal Science, Production Option, Certificates: Equine Science and Meat Science; Texas A&M University

Current position: M.S. Animal Science (Rumen Microbiology); New Mexico State University

A tip for surviving grad school: “Graduate school is not about what you know coming in, but knowing how to learn and look up what you do not know.”

Past agriculture experience: I was raised on a family owned and operated cow calf ranch located in East Texas. Growing up I was heavily involved with 4-H and showed numerous animals including, horses, goats, swine, and poultry. After showing goats for a few years, I started breeding and selling show goats for other 4-Hers. In high school I was a member of FFA and competed in Horse Judging. As an undergraduate I was involved in equine nutrition research during my senior year.

Hobbies: Does graduate school count as a hobby? Growing up my hobbies were dancing (15 years) and showing horses in Western Pleasure and English events. Today my hobbies include buying makeup and cooking. It’s way cheaper than horses!

Favorite foods: I do consider myself a “foodie,” but my favorite food is still peanut butter and jelly. A PB&J was in my lunchbox everyday of high school. The obsession is real.

Goals for her coming term as a graduate director: Western Section is known for developing graduate students due to the highly competitive Graduate Student Paper Competition. I would like to continue preparing graduate students for future careers by providing programs for Lunch and Learn to better prepare them for industry or academic careers. Increase communication to graduate students within WSASAS throughout the year to increase involvement in activities, award and networking opportunities. I would also like to increase undergraduate involvement and interactions with graduate students and provide Lunch and Learn programming that can benefit undergraduates as well as graduate students.

Contact information: Don’t hesitate to contact me at

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