Saturday, April 28, 2007

Professor Aunt Susie

Yesterday, I achieved a professional milestone. I found out that I received promotion from the University of Maryland (College Park). In fact, it was the Dean who called and told me. I missed his call, but he left a message on my voice mail. I was pleased, too, that my two colleagues (at WMREC) also received the same promotion.

In extension lingo, it was promotion from Senior Agent to Principle Agent. In university lingo, it was the equivalent of promotion from Associate to Full Professor. Whatever you call it, it's a good thing. Usually, there's a raise associated with it. And of course, the privilege to serve on more committees (yikes!).

It was a long process. I submitted my paperwork last July. I think my CV was a half inch thick! I worked hard on it. I was fortunate to have good external reviewers who were very familiar with me and my work. My package had to be approved by committees at the department (extension), college (agriculture), and university levels.

I've been kidding all my colleagues, telling them that now I'm a full professor/principle agent, I'm going to speak up more and tell people what I really think. They laugh at me because I've been doing that for years. I may have been shy as a child, but as an adult, I tend to speak my mind. I respect other people who do the same.

I told the sheep and pets that I got promoted, but they didn't seem to care. Max didn't even lift his head when I told him. Zak did raise an eyebrow. One of the lambs chewed on my nose. I haven't celebrated yet, but I do feel good about it all. It's nice to know that your work is valued by your peers.

A couple of years ago, I became certified as a Professional Animal Scientist (sheep and goats), allowing me to put the letters P.A.S. after my name. Nobody knows what the letters mean. But instead of telling them "Professional Animal Scientist," I'm going to say the letters stand for "Professor Aunt Susie." My niece has always called me Aunt Susie.

Maryland Day
Today, my parents and I went to Maryland Day at the University of Maryland College Park. I judged the student sheep show. There were five classes of students, who tried their hand at showing lambs. I was impressed with their abilities. I "retired" from judging this year, after more than twenty years, but this was a different kind of show, and I didn't mind helping out.

My mom says she took us to Maryland (Ag) Day years ago when we were small. Today's event was very impressive. While we stayed in the Ag area, there were activities all over campus. I enjoyed the day. Parking and traffic weren't too bad, considering where we were at. Even the traffic on I-270 was free-flowing. All in all, a good couple of days.

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