I graduated with a BS in Biology in 1992 and immediately accepted a position as a Research Specialist/Lab Tech in the lab where I had been conducting undergraduate research. I worked alongside Dr. Charles G. Miller, his post-docs and graduate students for 8 ½ years, learning some exciting research techniques in molecular microbiology, honing my organizational and leadership skills and helping with lab manuscripts.
After having a baby in 1999, I began looking for something with a bit more flexibility and took a step back to work as a Lab Prep Technician for what is now MCB 301, Experimental Microbiology. It had been my favorite course as an undergraduate and I was excited to work with the professor, Dr. Charles Pratt, again. He had actually been instrumental to me finding research as an undergraduate. As I would go through my day prepping for the lab, I found myself assisting the TAs with demonstrations and answering student questions. This brought me a great deal of satisfaction and lead me to enroll in the Ed. M. program in Education, Policy and Organization with a concentration in Higher Education. I continued taking on more responsibility in the teaching lab and eventually spent some time teaching the non-majors version of the microbiology lab, which I loved.
In the fall of 2003, I was asked to fill in for an academic advisor who needed to take medical leave. I learned a lot about the profession and loved the one-on-one interactions with students. When the Schools of IB and MCB decided to split the joint advising office in 2006, I was asked to head up the transition and coordinate MCB advising. I have continued to grow as a professional learning more about the university and our students every day. This is not the career that I planned for, but it has been extremely rewarding and am grateful for all of the people who helped guide me and prepare me to get where I am today. Never underestimate the importance of mentors and don’t be afraid to try new things. You never know where it will lead you.