Getting to Know Your SPA Professors: Mary Guy

Connecting with your professors can benefit you in the classroom and beyond.  Read this series to dive deeper into the minds of our professors and get answers to some fun and interesting questions. We asked professors to reflect on their career, advice for students, non-academic hobbies and interests.

Sprong KatzWhere does your passion/inspiration for your work come from? Is it why you entered your field?

I grew up in a farming community where, when neighbors needed help, everyone chipped in. That’s the way it was then, and that’s the way it should be now. So when I was in college and considering careers, I knew I was interested in public service. To my mind, living is all about finding worth in each day, carving a path that ensures quality of life, and beating down the obstacles that get in people’s way. This has always been, to my mind, the reason that we study, live, work, and look to tomorrow.

What’s your favorite quote?

“You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” Said by Eleanor Roosevelt, who became one of the most consequential women in history because she made herself do what she thought she could not: She overcame her shyness to speak persuasively to audiences around the world as she shared her commitment to a more humane world. In the process, she helped to institutionalize the Declaration of Human Rights. Her legacy is that of a staunch advocate for women’s rights and a firm believer in collaboration and the value of diversity.

Sprong Rip

What is your research/teaching philosophy?

In research, my mantra is “Ask questions that you care about. Pursue projects that make a difference in people’s lives.” In teaching, my goal is to go beyond giving facts to help students learn how to learn throughout their lives. My goal is to help students reach deep into their pockets and discover strengths they did not know they had.

If you were not a professor, what would you be?  

I cannot imagine NOT being a professor. I love what I do. It’s the best job in the world!

What is your favorite non-academic reading/interests?

For my reading pleasure I like whodunits: mysteries that have plenty of suspense and make me think around corners. And my hobby is showing dogs. In fact, I strongly recommend a hobby to everyone: it keeps a healthy balance to life.

Where have you lived outside of Colorado?

I grew up in Illinois, then came to know the South through college and work, living in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina, before moving to Colorado.

Sprong friends

What is your ideal vacation? Or where do you like to travel?

I enjoy traveling around the world but I am equally happy taking road trips in the U.S., ducking into out-of-the-way places to learn about people’s lives and to enjoy the immense geography of this country.

What gets you up every morning? Coffee.

What keeps you up at night? Fun, friends, and exciting projects.



Categories: Academics, Features

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