Beitz: Caring Mentor, Contagious Positive Spirit

Alumni on Beitz: Caring Mentor, Contagious Positive Spirit

Steve Johnston

Steve Johnston (’90 ag biochemistry , MS ‘91 biochemistry biophysics), professor and chair of biology, and the Roger and Nadeane Hruby Professsor in the Liberal Arts and Sciences, at North Central College, Naperville, Ill.

“Many years ago, Don and I were traveling to a meeting in Florida in the middle of winter. The weather was terrible. We ended up spending all night either in airports or on airplanes. Instead of arriving in early evening, we arrived in Florida at dawn. I complained that I felt greasy and needed a shower. Instead of joining my complaining, Don wondered aloud what lipids we had secreted that we were now feeling on our skin. Even when exhausted, Don never stopped being amazed by the natural world. And he never stopped passing that enthusiasm on to his students.”

Andrew Brown

Andrew Brown, (’07 ag biochemistry), postdoctoral fellow, Molecular and Cellular Pathology and Nutrition and Obesity Research Center, University of Alabama, Birmingham.

“Dr. Beitz has a knack for finding the mentoring strategy a student needs to grow. His mentoring provided a unique, strong foundation for my personal and professional lives. He helped me learn a deep, broad understanding of biochemistry with an integrated, physiologically relevant focus. He is open and honest, with a caring attitude. One way he helped me grow was by sharing some of his personal and professional mistakes so that I would not make them myself. Even today, he provides mentoring for me.”

Kimberly Buhman

Kimberly Buhman, (’92 ag biochemistry), associate professor of nutrition science, Purdue University.

“Dr. Beitz’s ‘can do’ positive spirit is certainly contagious. When I was a freshman, I wasn’t sure what to major in. Between classes one day I decided to stop by and visit Dr. Beitz to see if he had any advice. His door was open and he welcomed me in. He told me about a major and field of study I really knew nothing about, but certainly fit my interests and goals. I ended up choosing agricultural biochemistry and couldn’t have been more fortunate to have Dr. Beitz as my academic and honors project advisor. This was really the beginning of a professional relationship that continues today.”

Back to story: Beitz Knows in Student Advising, One Size Does Not Fit All