Catching up with an alumnus

 Randall Mullen
Ph.D., LRES/Ecology & Environmental Sciences, 2012

Supporting graduate education is a win – win situation for you, the community, and the students who are helped. There are few endeavors in life that give so much to both an individual and society as making graduate education more accessible for every student that has the desire and the aptitude.”

Education History: M.S. Statistics, University of Alaska, Fairbanks
B.S. Zoology, University of Washington

Current Employer:  E&J Gallo Winery


What are you doing today? How did your graduate degree prepare you for life after school? I am a statistician and researcher for E&J Gallo Winery focusing on environmental models that relate soil, climate, weather events, and management to grape quality. I also help with the analysis of gene expression data, (mRNA sequencing) as well as analysis of wine chemistry, and how chemistry translates into sensory perception. Grad school at MSU was essential in gaining publishing and research experience that  helped me land a great job in a fun industry. I am constantly leaning on what I learned while in LRES; project design, scientific inquiry, analysis, writing, and coding. Gaining the experience in modeling environmental variables across a large landscape was invaluable, and paramount to my current job as viticulture is tied closely to the environment.

 What is your advice to future graduate students? Ask a lot a questions about the programs and the labs you are considering. While finding a project you will enjoy is important, it is just as important to be in a work environment that aligns with you and your personality.