In the third grade, Dr. Mary Galvin said, she was told that she was not college material; last month, she succeeded Dr. Gregory Crawford as the William K. Warren Foundation Dean of the College of Science.A chemistry major who spent her undergraduate career at Manhattanville College in Purchase, New York, Galvin said she tried graduate school for chemistry but left and decided to study polymers and materials science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Though her interest in science began in high school, she said MIT cultivated her love for the subject, specifically for materials.“It was … at MIT that I realized science was very interdisciplinary,” Galvin said. “It involved communicating with people, going to meetings. … I liked that aspect of science that people are unaware of. You really meet people from across the globe, and science unites you.”Galvin said her favorite aspect of science is that it is open to everyone.“I grew up very poor, one of seven children. My father had not finished ninth grade, but they wanted all of us to go to college, and we did,” Galvin said. “And science is an area that you can come from any background, and if you work hard and have talent, you can go really far in science. … There is a meritocracy in science that to me is very attractive.”Galvin took at job at Bell Laboratories after MIT and stayed there for 14 years, she said. From there, she spent eight years developing a materials science department at the University of Delaware. She has also worked for Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., and the National Science Fund.Galvin started the next phase of her career Aug. 17, as Dean of the College of Science at Notre Dame.“This a special place,” Galvin said. “I was impressed with the University’s commitment to science and to engineering and to research and how that can enhance undergraduate education, how it can make a difference in solving many of the problems we face in society from health to energy to sustainability.”Galvin said she believes she is a good fit for the dean position because she has dealt with different disciplines that fall under the College and that she hopes she can use the position to have a positive effect on students and faculty.“Really what I want to do is work with the faculty, who are very talented, to allow them to reach the dreams that they and the administration have set for being a really top research university,” she said.Tags: College of Science, galvin, mary galvin
Women own 13.6 percent of America’s active farms and their farms produce almost $13 billion worth of goods each year. Just like male farmers, they need access to business and technical information to help make their farms successful. But while many pride themselves on not needing a “women’s only” class on how to work the land or run a business, many other women simply feel more comfortable learning around other female farmers. That’s one of the motivations behind a recent series of female-centered classes offered by University of Georgia Cooperative Extension. These programs will expand in 2016, but started this fall with a series of farm business classes based on the Annie’s Project curriculum as well as a hands-on equipment and cattle handling class. “Women in agriculture is such a hot topic, but, in reality, women have always been vital to farm families and agriculture as a whole,” said Laura Perry Johnson, associate dean for UGA Extension. “We are so excited to be able to deliver this targeted training and address the needs of this particular audience.” UGA Extension agents in Houston and Dougherty counties used the Annie’s Project curriculum to offer three-day workshops for female farmers in September. Annie’s Project is a program named in honor of Annie Fleck, a woman who spent her life learning to better herself as a business partner with her husband in Illinois. Deborah Murray, associate dean for extension and outreach in UGA’s College of Family and Consumer Sciences, along with Martie Gillen from the University of Florida, secured funding for the project through the U.S. Department of Agriculture Risk Management Agency. The workshop received rave reviews in its first year. “Agriculture, in general, is a male-dominated industry. These sessions were designed to build up their knowledge, build up their confidence, kind of build up a bond between the women. That’s one thing I saw, the women really bonded with each other,” said Charlotte Meeks, UGA Extension county coordinator and Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) agent for Houston County. Meeks is among the UGA Extension agents who have hosted the workshops for female farmers, a collaborative effort between Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) agents and Agriculture and Natural Resources agents. The trainings were spread over three weeks in each county. “They really received a lot of information, on everything from taking a soil sample to growing vegetables to how to balance their farm books,” said Andrea Scarrow, UGA Extension Southwest District FACS program development coordinator. “The women are farmers, farm wives. It’s been amazing to see how they’ve interacted with each other.” In Houston County, one participant told Scarrow, “Being a woman, I go to the various meetings and nobody helps me.” During September’s workshops, approximately 40 women received agriculture-based information designed to further their knowledge. “I’m learning so I can find out what land I want to purchase and where I want to purchase it,” said Sister Karriemah, a participant in Dougherty County. “When I finally make my decision where to purchase the land, I have all this information and this place has the resources for me to come back to.” The women’s backgrounds differed greatly. Some were traditional farmers trying to gain information about production practices, others were widows of farmers looking to continue the family farming operation and others were retired and looking to learn a new trade. Later in the month in the northern part of state, a similar group of women learned a entirely different skill set at Women in Agriculture: A Hands-on Basic Training. Organized by Morgan County ANR agent Lucy Ray and Dade County agent Katie Hammond, their hands-on class focused on practical skills to help the farmers become more comfortable handling cattle and equipment. “It is one of those things where some women feel more comfortable asking questions and learning around other women,” Ray said. “I think the coolest thing about this class is not that it’s geared toward women, but that we’re offering a hands-on chance to practice some really important skills.” The women learned how vaccinate their animals by practicing on fruit, learned how to change the oil on their tractors, to drive newer model tractors and how to choose the correct trailers and field implements. For most women, it was that chance at the low-risk, hands-on practice of practical skills — like backing up a flat bed truck or moving cattle — that drew them to the oversold workshop. “I came just to learn how to change the oil in my tractor,” said Cyndi Ball, who runs an educational homestead farm in Statham, Georgia, and founded a growing national network of skill-sharing groups called “Ladies’ Homestead Gatherings.” “Even after all these years, I’m still taking my tractor in for that.” The class gave participants the confidence they needed to go home and start honing their newly learned skills. For more information about all of the programs offered by UGA Extension, visit extension.uga.edu.