January is National Mentoring Month! This month serves as a time to recognize the many faculty members, like Tracy Scheffler, UF/IFAS Department of Animal Sciences (ANS) Associate Professor, who serve as mentors to our graduate and undergraduate students. These individuals have a significant influence on students’ experience before and after graduation.
Scheffler conducts research in muscle biology, instructs two graduate courses, and teaches two undergraduate courses. She is an advisor of Gator Collegiate Cattlewomen and the Muscle and Meat Journal Club.
Scheffler’s current ANS master’s student, Elizabeth Chmielewski, has worked with her for over three years. Chmielewski previously worked on researching surface color variation of meat in Angus and Brahman cattle with Scheffler. According to Chmielewski, Scheffler has been an extraordinary mentor through the continuous motivation and guidance she offers.
“Dr. Scheffler teaches that mitochondria are the powerhouse of the cell, but she is truly the powerhouse that is always there to encourage me,” said Chmielewski.
Undergraduate senior, Gina Tran, has worked under Scheffler in her lab for a year. Gina has also worked with Scheffler for her entire undergraduate career as a member of Gator Collegiate Cattlewomen (GCCW). She stated Scheffler encourages students to think creatively and take opportunities outside of their comfort zone. Tran also said Scheffler is always eager to help her students both professionally and personally.
“I am thankful to have a mentor with an easy-going personality, positive attitude, and whit, as it makes it easy to ask her for guidance,” Tran said.
Taylor McKinney, a current ANS junior has been under Scheffler’s mentorship since she joined GCCW in 2020. McKinney was President of GCCW for two semesters, under which she worked closely with Scheffler to ensure the club’s prosperity. She said Scheffler’s welcoming attitude and listening ear are some of the best qualities she has experienced in a mentor.
“I feel that Dr. Scheffler truly wants what is best for all of the students who work under her or are advised by her, and that is evident in the way she interacts with students,” said McKinney.
Find more information about the UF/IFAS Department of Animal Sciences events on our website. Stay in touch with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Any questions or inquiries regarding this piece should be directed toward Shelby Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read more stories like this one here: http://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/animalsciencesdept/.