Katina Talley

Katina

From the very first time I toured CASNR, I knew it was where I belonged. As a senior in high school, I was unsure of what I wanted to study but knew I had a passion for both food and writing. Although UNL does not have a Food Journalism program, my advisor designed a schedule for me that included both Agricultural Journalism and Food Science and Technology courses. CASNR’s willingness to help me design a program specific to my interests demonstrated their commitment to their students and their personalized educations.

From the very beginning, CASNR was my home away from home. The relationships I built with my fellow students and the CASNR faculty were beyond anything I could have expected. Everyone is so considerate and eager to lend a helping hand. Within the first week, people began recognizing me by name and striking up conversation in passing. There was no such thing as a stranger on campus. And by the end of my four years, CASNR felt just like family. From my experience, being known by name is a rare quality, and CASNR allows individuals to be just that. Being able to walk back on campus and know you will be welcomed with a handshake or hug is why I love CASNR.

Living in Burr Hall my freshman year was one of the best decisions I made. Between movie nights, intramural volleyball and pick-up games of Capture the Flag, I was always meeting new people and making lifelong memories. One of my fondest memories from my time as a student was attending Husker football games with the entire Burr Hall crew. From carpooling to Memorial Stadium while blasting “There Is No Place Like Nebraska” to cheering so loud we lost our voices, Saturdays in the fall were never disappointing. I am the third generation in my family to attend UNL, and every time I return to campus it feels, in many ways, like coming home. Prior to college, I was concerned I would never find a support system like I had in my hometown; but that all changed the moment I joined CASNR. I always felt like the entire faculty really cared about my success. My professors were always generous with one-on-one help, and Dean Waller and the rest of the CASNR staff made sure to get to know me personally. In CASNR, every student is a name and not just a number. Regardless of where in the world life takes me, I know I will always have friends at UNL and CASNR. The faculty, students and spirit of the university have shaped my life in countless positive ways.

I never came across a professor that was anything short of knowledgeable, caring and invested in my education. Each had their own way of making class more than a lecture and showing us how our learning directly applied to our future careers. It was always very apparent that they cared about their students as individuals and enjoyed being a part of their intellectual growth. Even outside of the classroom, my professors were always available to answer questions and serve as mentors

As a junior, I was encouraged to attend the East Campus career fair hosted by CASNR where I spoke with Conagra Brands (formerly ConAgra Foods) about their internship program. Following an on-campus interview, I was selected for a summer internship in Research and Development with ConAgra Mills, which led to a full-time job offer and an incredible first post-grad position in product development with Conagra Brands. The courses I took in CASNR truly gave me the hands-on experience I needed to be successful in my role as a Food Scientist. From participating in industry tours to interactive lab courses, each class I took helped me build the knowledge base I needed to excel outside the classroom. After 5 years at Conagra, I decided to follow my longtime dream of owning a bakery and entered the world of entrepreneurship. This career change made me grateful for the well-rounded education I received within CASNR, specifically for the opportunity to take courses in Food Marketing and Business in addition my core Food Science curriculum. And while my job now differs greatly from my years as a scientist, my knowledge of food chemistry, recipe formulation and recipe scaling is still invaluable.

UNL and CASNR provided tons of opportunities to be involved on campus outside of the classroom. During my time on campus, I was a member of the Food Science Club and served as the club’s Ice Cream Sales Manager for two years. The club was an excellent way to build relationships with my classmates and get involved in the greater Food Science community. We often traveled to surrounding states for industry tours and IFT meetings where we could expand our learning outside the classroom. I couldn’t have asked for a better student experience and I owe a large part of that to CASNR. The atmosphere and people on campus have a charm unlike any other. Any student who chooses CASNR can count on getting a top-notch education while building lifelong friendships and professional relationships. CASNR is an awesome place to call home and will absolutely steal your heart.

Major:  Food Science & Technology
Year:  2012 Alum
Current Employer:  Self-Employed
Notable Activities:
  • ConAgra Foods, Inc. Research and Development Intern
  • East Campus Visitors Center Employee
  • Food Science Club Ice Cream Sales Manager
  • UNL Ambassador
  • Honors Program Ambassador
  • CASNR Ambassador
  • Intramurals (volleyball, softball)

Katina Talley
Katina Talley
Katina Talley
Katina Talley
Katina Talley
Katina Talley
Katina Talley