Student Spotlight: Janine Merkle

Meet Janine Merkle, a sophomore food science and technology major from Chaska, MN.
February 13, 2023

Hometown: Chaska, MN 

Major: Food Science and Technology 

Anticipated Date of Graduation: May 2025 

Why did you decide to come to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln? 

I decided to come to UNL because of the great food science program and the impression I had of the school after visiting. As one of the few schools I was able to visit in person, I could really see myself living and going to school here.  

What is your favorite thing about the University of Nebraska-Lincoln? 

One of the things I like the best about UNL is the availability of resources. Any time I run into an issue or do not know how to handle a piece of homework, I know there are resource centers and people ready to help me navigate the crisis.  

What about diversity and inclusion is important to you when you think about your CASNR experience? 

As a scientist, it is really important to look at things wholistically, and be able to see the whole picture. So having diversity and inclusion makes it possible to step back and see things from a wider perspective.  

Exposure to cultural differences is a huge part of college. What activity have you recently participated in that is different from what you are used to in your culture? This could be something you read, listened to, watched, eaten or otherwise taken part in. What did you learn from this activity? 

A recent experience I have had with cultural differences was with the researcher I work in the FARRP lab with. We were able to chat about the differences in our upbringings and schooling and it was really interesting to hear about someone in my same field who grew up in a very different culture.  

What is your favorite class you have taken so far and why? 

I am currently taking Contemporary Issues in Food Science and it is fascinating. I enjoy learning about different issues that affect the food industry and why they do. And we have been able to bring experts in on different topics to discuss how their research affects the industry.  

What are your plans post-graduation? 

I plan to go on to grad school, with the intention of someday going into the industry as a scientist for a food company, designing new products.  

What's life like outside of school? 

When not in classes or working in the lab, I enjoy reading, writing, baking and being outdoors.  

What scholarships, if any, have you received? 

I have received the George Beadle Scholarship, the Husker Heritage Scholarship and the Oak B. Smith Scholarship.  

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