Heather Glennon Professor of the Year
July 27, 2022
Contact: Rhonda Jessup, Director of Public Relations
MOUNT OLIVE –Associate Professor of Animal Science Dr. Heather Glennon has earned the honor of University of Mount Olive (UMO) Dr. Thomas R. Morris Professor of the Year. She was one of two UMO professors to earn the prestigious title.
Glennon joined UMO in 2015. In addition to her teaching responsibilities, she serves as Chair of the Agriculture Sciences Department and as Advisor of the Animal Science Club. In 2021, she earned the Advisor of the Year award for her efforts with that club.
During the summers, Glennon enjoys teaching workshops for agricultural educators and helping with camps for middle and high school students. She also helps manage the animals and the pastures at the UMO Kornegay Student Farm. As the Dairy Challenge Team Coach, Glennon enjoys taking students to different parts of the country to compete.
Born and raised in Pennsylvania, Glennon and her husband, Jay Smithson, now reside in Middlesex, NC with their three dogs, many cats, and 75 goats. Glennon earned her BS in animal science at Delaware Valley College in Doylestown, PA. She received her MS in animal science and her Ph.D. in crop science with a minor in soil science from North Carolina State University.
Prior to joining UMO, Glennon worked as a 4-H/Livestock Extension Agent for Penn State University and as a Research Specialist with the Meat Goat and Forage Program at NCSU.
UMO Director of Public Relations Rhonda Jessup had a Q & A session with Glennon to find out more about her award-winning teaching style.
Q. What does being the UMO Professor of the Year mean to you?
A. I am glad that I am making an impact on students and that they enjoy learning about animal science.
Q. What are your greatest strengths as an educator?
A. My first goal is to challenge my students and push them to excel. My second goal is to have fun. I try to be accessible as possible and respond to students in a timely manner. I try to be organized and efficient with the time we spend in class.
Q. What do you enjoy most about teaching?
A. I enjoy sharing my love of animal science with students. The students’ energy and the funny stories they share motivate me.
Q. What or who inspires you every day?
A. I am very passionate about Agriculture…the industry that feeds the world. The public needs to understand where their food comes from and producers need to provide livestock with the best care possible. These things inspire me.
Q. Describe your teaching style.
A. I try to make my lessons relevant to current events in the agricultural industry. I incorporate hands-on activities so students can master skills needed for a career. I mix lecturing with small group discussions and problem solving.
Q. So many students admire you, how do you make those connections?
A. Starting with the first day of class, I try to learn what interests each student. I enjoy talking with the students in my office or at the farm and learning what makes them tick. This makes it easier to help them find internships or job opportunities.
Q. How do you think your students will remember you or your classes?
A. That I am the crazy goat-lady that brings baby goats into class so everyone can bottle feed or snuggle with them.
Q. How has your personal experience shaped you as a professor – explain?
A. I have been raising all types of animals for over 40 years in many different states, so I can bring a great deal of diverse, real life experiences into the classroom.
Q. How does faith play a role in your job as an educator?
A. I try to model the virtues in the University Covenant and encourage my students to do the same, so we can have a safe, open learning environment. The Covenant includes the following: honesty and trustworthiness; justice and courage: responsibility and gratitude; and caring and respect:
Q. What do you like about working at UMO?
A. The small class sizes allow me to spend time with each student and notice if they are having an off day or are having trouble mastering a concept.
Q. What advice would you give to new educators?
A. Be creative with your lessons. Never stop learning about your subject.
The University of Mount Olive is a private institution rooted in the liberal arts tradition with defining Christian values. The University is sponsored by the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists. For more information, visit www.umo.edu.