Janet Kavandi on faculty support

Janet Kavandi, who earned a master’s degree in chemistry in 1982, discusses the importance of professors’ interest in student success at UMR.

Audio transcript

Janet Kavandi

I started in the spring of ’81. It was not the size at that time. But a very nice, small . . . it was just a small campus because Missouri Southern was small. And I liked the personal interaction that the students could have with faculty. And I found the same thing here. And Dr. James Stoffer became my advisor and he, of course, is a very wonderful man and is very interested in the success of his students and so, it was very easy to converse with him, which was the same kind of experience I had in my previous undergrad education. So I really liked that aspect of this school. I think that’s why I like the smaller university. Both of my children actually are back at smaller universities as well, because they like the same connection. If you have the ability to face-to-face ask your professor a question, whether it be about homework that you don’t understand or your future career or your research topic; being able to do that in person rather than possibly through an RA or a TA really adds a lot. Because some of the universities, larger universities, while they are very prestigious, and you know the University of Washington was one of the very large ones, it’s . . . you just . . . I think, have an advantage with that personal connection. And there is a bond there, I think, that grows between the professor and the student. Especially if the professors really have a true deep commitment to ensuring that their students do well. Then you can maintain that lifelong relationship.

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