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    Transfer Student Profile: Kristina Kline

    April 21, 2017
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    As a plant sciences teaching assistant, Kristina Kline works with student Eric Oleson in the plant biotechnology lab.

    A nontraditional student coming back to school after taking a number of years off, Kristina Kline planned on only earning her associate degree from Sheridan College.  “Then I realized it would be easy to get my four-year degree, and it was going to be worth it in the long run,” says Kline, who grew up in Gillette, Wyo. Kline is taking advantage of a pilot 3+1 program that allows horticulture and agroecology students who complete their associate degrees at Sheridan College to then do a year online and a final year at UW to compete their bachelor’s degrees.

    “It’s been really nice,” she says. “I’ve been able to take online classes right now, and then I’ll be heading to Laramie to do my final two semesters of classes.”

    Kline heard about the program through UW Assistant Professor Sadanand Dhekney at the Sheridan Research and Extension Center, where she conducted undergraduate research.

    Last summer, Kline completed a research internship with Dhekney at a grape vineyard near Sheridan College. “Since the summer, I’ve been working more in the biotechnology lab, where we’re looking at salt tolerance and inserting genes into the grapes to make them more tolerant to salt and drought stress,” she says.

    Kline appreciates the opportunities for hands-on learning and applying classroom knowledge to real-world environments. “For me, it’s the way I learn best,” she says. “Plus, I’ve been able to go to conferences and see other research and extension offices and see other people’s research. I’ve been able to meet a lot of people in the field who have similar interests as mine. There are a lot of opportunities.”

    Kline will graduate in fall 2017 and hopes to work in the production setting of a greenhouse. She appreciates the caring faculty and staff from UW’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. “The teachers are wonderful and invested,” she says. “To have that kind of support is really a helpful thing, especially as a nontraditional student.”