Being Faculty Statement

Research, extension, teaching, mentoring… all of these are tasks that faculty members may take on as part of their job at a university. For myself, I would like to be a teacher primarily, and would like to do either community-based research or extension. I have a passion for nutrition efforts for children, especially in schools.

I thoroughly enjoy mentoring. I want my students to know me by my first name and feel comfortable discussing personal matters with me as well as academic interests. I think that a separation of personal and work life is a nice idea, but it’s simply not feasible. Personal experiences shape who you are, and this diversity enriches the workplace. My advisor, Dr. Elena Serrano, encompasses this idea and has inspired me to be much like her in my future faculty role. She evaluates each student’s goals individually and gives them ideas of small steps they can take to achieve their goals, while understanding hardships that evolve in personal lives.

As a teacher, my role is not only to share information pertinent to the class, but to also create an environment where students feel encouraged and safe to provide their input about the material. I want to maintain a culture of respect, both between students and myself, but to also be inviting to diversity. Student should feel that they can share personal experiences and make connections in my classroom. Community is paramount.

Research is also important, but I foresee my position as a faculty member primarily focusing on the students, not the publications.

 

Formality in the digital age

Technology: blessing and a curse. Students are very familiar, or too much so, with social media and the age of the “instant”. Instant replies, for everything. Patience is lost, and so is formality. The lovely comic posted below is intended to be funny, which it certainly is. The sad part… I’ve gotten an email like this from a student. The art of the formal mail has died.

Special thanks to the insanely funny and creative folks at http://www.phdcomics.com

Higher Ed… what are we doing here?

What would I change about higher ed?

Well, a lot. I would change the tenure process. It’s complicated, narrow-focused (generally), and it doesn’t necessarily make sense to me. How would I fix it? I honestly couldn’t say.

I would love to see more access of higher education for free. Oh yes, you heard me right, FREE. I said(wrote) it. I have been very blessed to attend college in Georgia, my home state and source of HOPE scholarships. What does that mean? If I kept my grades up I got to go to school for FREE. I graduated without debt, I could choose what school I wanted to go to for graduate school without worrying about recovering from debt. Debt is far too common.

I would make our universities more accessible to the public. We shouldn’t be in ivory towers, nor seen as being in such. Extension should have a greater presence. Many students don’t even know what extension is!

“That I may serve”. Not ourselves, others. We should be focusing on higher education for the greater good, not just a piece of paper with a fat salary and a fancy frame to stick on the wall.

Thinking about thinking.

Recently while working very hard on my research, *cough* was on *cough* facebook, I stumbled upon this gem posted by a high school teacher of mine.

How often do we, even as college students, have this reaction? “OH NO I HAVE TO THINK?!”

It’s something to think about.

Open Access

After hunting for some nutrition related journals I found an appropriately titled Food and Nutrition Research journal.

This journal doesn’t seem to have a specific location, but the publisher,┬áCo-Action Publishing, is responsible for more than 30 open access journals and is located in Sweden.

The journal aims to act as a place to exchange ideas in original papers and reviews between both academic and private users. The journal notes that nutrition topics of the journal would be of interest to “Dentists, Dieticians, Medical doctors, Nutritionists, Teachers, Journalists and Manufacturers in the food and pharmaceutical industries”, a wide array of readers.

It appears the journal is rather new or unrefined, as many areas on the site are under construction. The journal notes that the open access policy means that the journal is available directly via their website, through Google Scholar and on the directory of Open Access Journals. The journals views seems to align with the idea of open access, as does the ideas of the publishing company, which has many journals that are open access.