Helping Students Pilot Career Pathways

“Teaching is an incredible experience,” says Jennifer Bundy, assistant professor in animal science. “It is so rewarding to observe students when they have those “ah-ha!” moments and get excited about a topic.”

In 2019, Bundy received awards for Early Achievement in Academic Advising from both the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Iowa State University.

“I love being able to watch students grow from their freshmen year, when they are a little lost, to when they are making career plans in their junior and senior years,” Bundy says.

Tyler Loew, a junior, has been one of Bundy’s advisees since his freshman year.

“Dr. Bundy has gone out of her way to help me on multiple occasions. She goes above and beyond her job description to help students and advisees,” he says. Besides personally advising about 100 students annually, Bundy is the department’s academic advising coordinator. She assigns incoming students to a faculty adviser and provides adviser training for new faculty.

Bundy teaches nearly 400 students each year, coordinates the department’s learning community and oversees the transfer student program. She is one of the advisers for Veterinarians Without Borders, an undergraduate club helping improve animal lives abroad.

Originally from St. Louis, Bundy earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science at the University of Missouri. She received her doctorate in 2008 and her master’s degree in 2005 in breeding and genetics from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. After graduate school, Bundy worked for a swine breeding company in West Des Moines. During that time, she decided to teach night courses in statistics at Des Moines Area Community College.

“That made me realize how much I missed the classroom. I was thrilled to find an opportunity to join the Iowa State University animal science department,” she says.

In 2014, Bundy was hired to teach a course in genetic improvement of domesticated animals.

“I was classically trained as an animal breeder so this is my favorite course to teach,” she says. “I want students to understand the technical knowledge, but I also want to get them excited about opportunities within the field.”

She also teaches three other courses—an animal science orientation class required for all incoming freshmen, a similar course covering the unique challenges facing transfer students and a lab that explores the care and use of animals in research settings.

In 2018, Bundy received the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Learning Community Coordinator Award. The animal science learning community is required for all new students. Bundy trains more than 40 peer mentors each year to work with small groups of incoming freshmen. Sarah Orban is a graduate student who assists Bundy with the learning community,
after serving as a peer mentor.

“Dr. Bundy taught me many lessons about leadership, communication, on-campus resources
and dealing with difficult situations that not only helped the incoming freshmen, but also me,” Orban says.

Bundy says advising programs, transfer programs and learning communities all are part of a strategic plan to aid in student retention.

“Students who form a bond with faculty members or peers are more likely to stay at Iowa State,”
she says. “We want to provide every resource for students to make those connections.”