CAFNR Advisor Spotlight: Mary Ann Gowdy

Gowdy serves as an academic advisor for the plant sciences degree program

Photo of Mary Ann Gowdy, in colorful scarf and purple sweater

How rewarding is it to work with students in the plant science degrees program?

Advising and mentoring is immensely rewarding because students begin their college experience as timid students unsure of themselves and graduate as confident energetic young professionals.

How do you assist those students throughout their academic journey?

I encourage them to take calculated risks and to accept unsuccessful events as learning experiences. I stress the importance of learning to accept responsibility for their actions and how important it is to ask for help when needed. My job as their advisor is to be honest with them and that means telling them things they don’t want to hear. I do what is best for them in the long run even if it’s temporarily unpleasant.

What advice would you give to high school students who are interested in pursuing a degree in plant sciences?

Be flexible when entering our program and willing to learn about all types of plants.  Don’t come in with your mind made up that you only want to learn about one area of plant science. Flexibility and adaptability is a key to success.

What is your favorite part of serving as an academic advisor for the plant science degrees program?

Helping the students gain confidence in themselves and their ability to make good decisions and life plans.