Suzanna Long: An ‘80s alumna remembers

Engineering management Chair Suzanna Long, who holds four degrees from the university, recalls her arrival to campus in 1982.

Audio transcript

When I first came to the Rolla campus in 1982, I will confess, I grew up in a tiny little town, De Soto, Missouri, about 90 miles away from here. And Rolla seemed huge to me. It was probably two to three times larger than the small town where I grew up. And so I was so impressed with all the restaurants, all the stores, but the thing that really made a difference from my life was that it seemed like a magic land of scholars. Those who were doing truly interesting work. And for me, this was exactly what I had been searching for. Because my family was really short of money, then I qualified for work study. And I had what I referred to as a defining moment of my academic career, because I had a chance to meet Dr. Barbara Hale in the department of physics. I was a physics student and she wanted to hire physics undergraduates so that she could mentor them and help them see the beauty of research. And she gave me a chance. And I must honestly say that it was amazing working with her. Getting to see a keen mind, such as she had, really opened my eyes to the possibility of good research of the things that can be done if you’re willing to work hard and to stay focused. One of the things I have always been incredibly proud of is that we started with her as a mentor and as a supervisor. And now, however many years later, we’ve ended as dear friends.

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