Alumni Profiles - Meet Kristen Robbins Junker
Hometown: Ankeny, IA
Years of Graduation: 1999, 2001
Major: Food Science
Minors: Chemistry, Biology
Undergraduate Campus Involvement:
Varsity Women's Cross Country, Indoor Track & Field, and Outdoor Track & Field, Honors Program, Food Science Club, Intervarsity Christian Fellowship
Current Position of Employment or Education:
Assistant Manager of Research & Development, Kemin Food Technologies, Inc.
Describe your best Ag experience:
Participating in Coast Day and Ag Day was a great experience for the Food Science Club. These fundraising events also gave us the opportunity to educate the community about food science.
Which Ag course was your favorite and why?
Food Chemistry, because it taught me how the chemical components of food ingredients interact to influence the flavor, texture, and shelf life of foods.
Tell us about your current position or program of study and what led you to that field.
I chose food science because I was interested in chemistry, and wanted to pursue a career centered around things people use every day.
How did your College of Ag experiences prepare you for your current job or post-graduate education?
The small class size in food science was very beneficial because it provided many opportunities for us to deliver oral presentations, poster presentations, and complete writing assignments such as detailed lab reports or longer term papers. I use these skills on a daily basis in my career, and I am surprised that my colleagues from food science programs that are larger than UD often have substandard skills in these areas. I think that the coursework at UD was more rigorous because the class size was smaller, and the professors were committed to preparing us for our careers.
What advice do you have for students interested in your field?
Food science offers a high degree of job security. While it requires a strong foundation in chemistry, microbiology, and general scientific problem solving, graduating students are generally more marketable than those with a general chemistry or biology degree.