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Haley Rosson

Haley Rosson and her son


I focus on women in ag. and extension education looking specifically at some of the challenges and opportunities that women in our profession experience. Part of my appointment is also with WVU Extension – one of the big areas I look at is ATV safety training effectiveness.

With the women and ag. research, it’s something that I started with a colleague while I was still completing my doctorate at Oklahoma State. We actually had decided to replicate a study. At the time we were conducting it, the original had been 15 years prior. We were really interested to see if women in our profession were still experiencing the same challenges and opportunities. We predicted that things would be a little bit different 15 years down the road. We were actually pretty surprised that women were still facing similar challenges they had been 15 years prior. There were also a lot of questions and new things related to work/life balance. It would be really interesting to continue looking at this question especially in light of COVID and how things have changed. It was a nationwide survey so we looked specifically at faculty, but we also looked at female graduate students, which was a new dimension.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I grew up as the county extension agent’s kid, so I was always very involved in 4-H. I was always going to the extension office with my mom and going to meetings all over the place with her - county fairs and all the different things that an extension agent does on a daily basis. That was always something that I came back to. At one point, I went and worked with my orthodontist for a summer. I thought I wanted to do that. I also thought I wanted to be a food scientist and come up with amazing ice cream flavors. Extension was something I just always came back to. I really wanted to become a county extension agent and work with 4-H students and that’s ultimately what I did. At the same time, I always saw myself eventually serving extension in a bigger capacity. That’s why I eventually decided to pursue a doctorate. I really wanted to influence that next generation of students who might want to seek a career in extension.

What year in school was your favorite and why?

I was that kid that could not wait to get to college. I remember walking in freshman year of high school thinking, “I only have four years of this and then I can go to college!” I loved my whole college experience. I think I really had the most fun during my master’s program. I was part of a really great cohort group. We had a fantastic grad. student organization. We were all in an office together and would just bounce research ideas off each other. I really, really enjoyed both of my graduate programs.


What is something new you're learning?

I always used to exercise a lot in high school and was really active. During COVID, I feel like a lot of us probably did this: I started exercising a lot again. I got a spin bike. I’ve been learning a lot about my physical health and fitness and different workouts. I don’t have a Peloton bike, but I use the Peloton app. Doing all the different spin classes and learning all the different types of workouts has been really interesting.

If you could go back to school, what would you study?

At the University of Texas, there’s a program called foodways. It’s basically the social science equivalent of studying food: the history of food and all the culture that surrounds food. Researchers in that discipline conduct interviews and focus group sessions and travel all over the place learning the history of food and all the culture associated with it.

What's one class you wish you had taken in college?

A wine tasting class. It sounds awesome because I would just love to learn more about different types of wine and the tasting notes. I feel like I don’t know much about it and, of course, the tasting part of it would be cool, too.

What's a dream you have?

One of the things my husband and I have always talked about is having a taco stand and it would be called the One Night Taco Stand. It would be on this lake we go to in Texas. It would be on a floating boat and we would only do it on super busy weekends.

What did you learn from 2020?

I learned to be grateful to just take time to slow down a little. To be thankful to be here with my son and my husband. Taking time to reflect on having that concerted time with each other - even though there were definitely times we were driving each other batty and had to go to separate corners of the house.



Just for Fun

A book you've always wanted to read:  Ancient Greek philosophers

Most adventurous food you've tasted: Foie gras

Favorite band in college:  Reckless Kelly

Dogs or cats? Dogs. My welsh corgi, Maggie