Dr. Stefaniak is a Researcher 5, Breeding Specialist in the Department of Horticultural Science. He is a plant breeder by training focusing on the development of new high yielding cultivars with improved disease tolerance and better quality. He began his career in plant breeding at the age of sixteen as a student assistant in his home town at the University of Kentucky. Thomas earned his B.A. from Michigan State University majoring in humanities, and his graduate degrees from the University of Kentucky majoring in Crop Science, minoring in plant physiology. He completed his education as a post-doctoral researcher at Texas A & M under the supervision of Dr. Bill Rooney. Crops that Thomas has worked with throughout his career include soybean, melon, dry bean, tobacco, bermudagrass, sorghum, pea, lentil, chickpea, and now potato. Thomas enjoys tennis, exercise, reading, and streaming movies and television.