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.