Sara Masterson: Plant and Soil Science

The sounds of bottles clinking against wine glasses, professors instructing a classroom, and submerging under water in a submarine for three months on a mission are all familiar sounds for Sara Masterson, a student in the Department of Plant and Soil Science with a concentration in Viticulture and Enology.

Masterson obtained a bachelor’s degree in international business from Texas State University. She is currently working on a bachelor’s degree in plant and soil science and plans to apply for a Master of Science in Accounting at the end of the 2023 spring semester. Amongst Masterson’s accounting and viticulture and enology studies, she served in the United States Navy for six and a half years on active duty with an additional year in the reserves.

“I knew I did not want to make the military a lifelong career and decided not to reenlist when the opportunity came,” Masterson said.

Masterson and her husband, Jay, a student in the Texas Tech University School of Veterinary Medicine, were planning their future together and wanted to attend a school where they could each pursue degree plans which would allow them to achieve their career goals, so they landed on Texas Tech University. However, studying enology and viticulture has not always been a path Masterson planned on going down.

“It honestly all started out as a hobby while I was in the U.S. Navy,” Masterson said. “I had the opportunity to try different wines while traveling and became curious about the whole winemaking process.”

After googling winemaking kits and having them shipped to Hawaii, Masterson fell in love with the whole process from growing the fruit to pouring the wine in the glass. When it came down to deciding her next step after service, she was sold on attending Texas Tech when she read Davis College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources offers a concentration in viticulture and enology.

Masterson said her most significant accomplishment during her time at Texas Tech has been assisting in Thayne Montague’s, Ph.D., viticulture and enology research. Masterson is also involved in the Texas Tech Matador Institute of Leadership Engagement (MILE) Program which has allowed her to progress in leadership and professional development over a course of three semesters.

The PSS department does an excellent job shaping students into young professionals and connecting them with industry professionals Masterson said.

Masterson is confident she has been prepared for what lies ahead in her future.  Like wine, Texas Tech continues to get better with age.

“Texas Tech has grown and developed into an institution that inspires and empowers students to achieve their potential.”

Sara Masterson