YOU NEED TO KNOW: Dr. Christy Bratcher
BY Wil Moorhead, Senior in Animal sciences
Dr. Christy Bratcher is an associate professor in the Department of Animal Sciences where she teaches meat science. Although Dr. Bratcher never attended Auburn as a student, read on to find out why she loves Auburn, the Auburn Family and the College of Agriculture.
What drew you to Auburn University and the College of Agriculture?
Alabama is home for me. I was born in North Alabama and lived there until I was 11. I’ve always considered it home, even though I spent half my childhood in Florida. Because I am from the state and I wanted to come home, I looked into attending Auburn for my undergraduate degree, but with a full scholarship at the University of Florida, it made sense economically to stay in Florida. Then, I was still attracted to Auburn and wanted to get my Ph.D. here. But God already had my life figured out, and it did not work out for me to be a student here, again for economic reasons, so I went to Missouri. After I had my Ph.D. and was working in industry, a faculty position opened in Auburn’s College of Agriculture. Needless to say, I was pretty excited. Auburn University and especially the College of Agriculture have something special. It’s not one thing; it’s a lot of things. It’s the community, the camaraderie, the family.
What advice do you have for students looking at Auburn University and the College of Agriculture?
Embrace the college experience. Life goes by so fast, and you will always remember those things that you did “back when you were in college.” Your college friends are the ones you lean on for the rest of your life. The College of Agriculture is a great place to learn to spread your wings. We have so many clubs and activities and a camaraderie that makes us special. Embrace it, take part in it, and enjoy it. Get involved and learn everything you can. The majority of the faculty would tell you the favorite part of their job is working with students. We love to spend time with students, mentor them and see them develop into outstanding candidates for their chosen career. Get to know the faculty; they want to help you succeed.
What is your favorite Auburn tradition? What has been your most exciting moment here at Auburn?
Tailgating and all the traditions associated with Auburn football have to be my favorite. The eagle, the oak trees, Toomer’s lemonade, Aubie, etc., all make for the best football Saturdays in America. There are also many exciting moments that I’ve had at Auburn. Of course, being tenured ranks at the top. To me, that means that my colleagues and the Auburn University administration think I am worthy of representing Auburn as a faculty member and have achieved the level of success it takes to stay here. Telling the summer 2014 graduates to “turn their tassel” and welcoming them to the Auburn alumni family as the emcee for graduation was pretty exciting. Of course, the 2010 National Championship is a fond memory. There are also many memories where I have seen the Auburn community bond, sometimes for devastating reasons, but that solidifies the unique Auburn Family.
How does Auburn compare to other universities where you have attended or instructed?
I have only been a student at other universities, not a faculty member, so my viewpoint is probably a little skewed. I love the community Auburn has. I went to the University of Florida (Go Gators!) for my bachelor’s and master’s degrees. The thing about UF was that it was so big, and the animal science buildings were not right on main campus, so it seemed disconnected. Here at Auburn, Ag Hill is a close community. Everybody knows everybody. Students across majors are friends both on Ag Hill and across campus. Professors and support staff really care about students here at Auburn, and I have been to many activities, not school related, at which students and faculty were present. There are generally students at the tables of some faculty at holiday meals.
What made you choose your career as an animal sciences instructor?
Passion. I am passionate about meat science and agriculture and want the world to know. I see how students are completely changed when they realize what their passion is, and it makes me happy. I want to have an impact on the lives of students like one of my mentors had on me. I want students who don’t come from families with a lot of money or a farm to inherit or without college-educated parents to fulfill their dreams. I came from a lower-middle class family. My parents and grandparents didn’t have a college education, but they have always supported what I wanted to do because they wanted to see me succeed. I want to be that support system for other students.
Wil Moorhead is a senior studying animal sciences/equine and is originally from Beech Island, South Carolina. After graduation, Wil hopes to study veterinary medicine and work in a private practice.