On Wednesday April 5th, 2017 we heard very insightful advice from some of UH Mānoa’s faculty! Dr. Brent Sipes and Dr. Jenee Odani shared about their college experiences, gave perspective on college as a member of the faculty and shared advice about how to gain the most from higher education.
Dr. Brent Sipes a professor in the Department of Plant and Environmental Protection Sciences earned his Bachelor’s at Purdue University and his Master’s and Doctorate at North Carolina State University. From early on Dr. Sipes knew he wanted to be a professor or scientist and through his extensive education, is now a professor who conducts research at UH Mānoa. As a first-generation college student, Dr. Sipes felt as though it was hard to explain what he had learned to his parents because college was a “different” concept. His major had no application outside of academics, further encouraging him to become a professor and conduct research in his field. Dr. Sipes encourages us to “be a real participant in life” and that starts with joining clubs and exploring your academic environment. He emphasized that success in college is engaging with your professors because they are just as willing to learn from you as you are from them. Dr. Sipes wants students to be proactive in their endeavors whether that be academic or extracurricular.
Dr. Jenee Odani is an Associate Specialist for the Veterinary Extension and a Pre-Veterinary Medicine Program Advisor working in the Department of Human Nutrition, Food, and Animal Sciences. For some time during her college education she wanted to be an engineer and after doing poorly in her calculus course Dr. Odani rethought her academic path. She thought back to what she wanted to be when she was a child, a veterinarian. On her path to obtaining her degree in Zoology at the University of Washington Dr. Odani felt overwhelmed and was not sure if she had chosen the right path, however, by reaching out to the Dean of her department she felt more at ease with her decision. She encourages students to talk to their professors and ask questions when you are feeling concerned about your path. Dr. Odani encourages students to prioritize their education like you would a job because there is so much to learn in the four short years you spend at the university. Joining clubs and expanding your social circle within education is important too because being involved can help shape your career path. Like Dr. Sipes, Dr. Odani wants students interact with heir professors because that is where outstanding letters of recommendation can come from. Dr. Odani wants students to think about the future because if you have a plan for where you want to be in life then you can act now to achieve what you want.