Graduate Student Profile: Kalyanna Williams

Please briefly describe your research. 

I am currently working on a project titled “Effects of diet energy level and genomic residual feed intake on dairy heifer performance.” The objective of this study is the determine growth, feed intake, and feed efficiency of dairy heifers with different genomic residual feed intake (RFI) predicted as a lactating cow while offering diets differing in energy density.

Why did you choose to attend UW-Madison for graduate study? 

I chose to attend UW-Madison for graduate study because of its’ amazing dairy science program. I initially came across the school on Google after searching “dairy science graduate programs.” UW-Madison was the first school on the list so I researched the professors that I would be interested in working with. Once I had made a list of prospects, I contacted each of them to gather more information about their research on campus. All of the professors that I emailed responded in 24 hours or less. That made me feel like my email was a priority to them and wasn’t just piling up with other emails. Dr. Weigel allowed me the opportunity to come visit the dairy science department where I had the pleasure of meeting with faculty and students to discuss their research on campus. I felt right at home on my tour and knew that this was the place for me.

What resources have proven invaluable to your academic success at UW (e.g. campus, departmental facilities or staff, the state’s dairy industry)? 

At Madison, I have found many invaluable resources that offer continuous support to my academic success. First, the staff in the dairy science department and dairy facilities (Marshfield to be specific) are phenomenal! Most of them have an open door policy and are available to talk to you whenever. I have had the opportunity to converse with many of them about academic affairs and have been resolved whatever issue I had. They are available for advice, research assistance, classwork assistance, and just overall academic help. I am so involved in organizations on campus, I am the president of Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences (MANRRS), and the external vice president of the Black Graduate and Professional Students Association (BGPSA). These organizations offer great academic support for me as well as a way to connect with other graduate students across campus. 

In your own words, how would you describe the academic environment at UW? 

The academic environment at UW is challenging, but invaluable. In such a short time here, I have learned so much both in class and through research. The courses that I have taken have all benefit me in my research and career goals. Although the courses are tough, I know that my professors value me success. They have all actively helped me to not only learn the information being put forth, but also ways to apply it in the field.

What are your post-graduation plans?

Currently, I am a Masters student, but would like to continue my education at UW-Madison and gain a PHD. Upon graduation, I hope to become a professor, maybe even here at UW!