Carter Reed combines undergraduate and graduate experience to pursue professorship
As an undergraduate student, Carter took a nutritional science course at Iowa State University to fulfill a requirement for his kinesiology degree. Since then, he knew he wanted to combine his interest in nutrition and exercise for his doctoral degree, and eventually go on to teach for a university.
“I remember sitting in class one day, and I think we were covering exactly what a carbohydrate or fat is, and I was just mesmerized by the complexity of it,” he said.
Now that Carter is working on the next step to his dream career as a professor, he’s glad he took the opportunity to work in a classroom as a teaching assistant for Nutritional Science 265.
“Matt Rowling became a friend more than a professor, and I worked as a teaching assistant for his class twice,” Carter said. “He required his TAs to teach once or twice, but I asked him to teach as much as I could.”
Though the teaching aspect of being a professor interests Carter more than research does, he still thoroughly enjoys his work in the lab. According to Carter, the people he works with make the hours go by quickly.
“You’re in the lab for 8 hours sometimes, but you’re not with people who aren’t talking,” he said. “All three of the labs I’ve been in have had the funniest people in the world. It’s like hanging out, but also solving world problems.”
For undergraduate students who plan to go on to graduate school or teach at a university, Carter emphasizes the value that work and personal relationships can add to the overall student experience.
“Be active during your undergraduate years, get research experience, and start building connections,” he said. “GPA is important, but you don’t need to kill yourself for a 4.0.”