Kansas State University


Food Science Institute

Row Hard or Row Home

By Morgan Wolfe


An early seven a.m. cardio workout before class is a normal everyday routine for four food science students. In fact, they also attend weight training every afternoon. Taylor Flowers, Cassidy Haufler, Samantha Samskey and Johari Snell are all teammates on the women’s rowing team who balance their busy schedules between school and sports and have a significant interest in food science.

This season the women have participated in two fall races that took place in October. At the Head of the Oklahoma Race in Oklahoma City, their boat placed 8th out of 24 boats, and at the Jayhawk Jamboree in Lawrence, their boat took 10th out of 22 boats. Their remaining season will resume in April after the winter months pass, but their training will continue regardless of the weather.

Two seniors on the team, Sam Samskey and Taylor Flowers both declared a food science major after taking Dr. PhebusIntroduction to Food Science class. Samskey changed from animal science, and Flowers was previously undeclared. From their underclassmen years to now, these two have been living a near identical schedule between rowing practice, class, labs and races; but both agree that their contribution to the rowing team has been well worth the hard work.

“I hold myself accountable more,” Samskey mentioned. “I’m more motivated.”

“Rowing is such a mental sport,” Flowers added.  “It’s made me mentally be able to focus and set tasks aside and know when to do things. Mind over matter, no matter what.”

As seniors, Flowers and Samskey now have to act responsibly as leaders to the younger girls on their team and show a good example.

“Rowing is definitely overwhelming at first,” Samskey said.

“60 girls come in, you’re all there and no one knows what they’re doing,” Flowers added. “We were scared. But you pick up fast. Coach will come in and say, ‘you need to improve, someone will take your spot, things like that. It’s very competitive.”

Flowers and Samskey have learned to take that ambitious attitude from sports and apply it to their academic career as well. Flowers and Samskey are diligent students who both are in the process of figuring out the next step after graduation.

“I like being in the lab and learning the science behind all the food,” Flowers explained.

“I like the dairy side of things. I’m not sure what I want to do with my degree after college right now, but I’m currently looking for an internship,” Samskey noted. “It’s hard to leave when all the professors are great. Dr. Schmidt is always so upbeat and excited to teach everyday.”

“Yes, all the professors are great,” Flowers added. “They know what they’re talking about and they’re all very passionate. They really care about what they teach.”

The Food Science Institute is grateful for all of the girls’ hard work and contribution throughout their time at K-State. The rowing women are strongly committed to the success of their athletic and academic careers, and we wish them the best in their futures!


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