Profile: Jan Odom
For Jan Odom, guidance comes naturally, whether it is helping students select a major or helping animals find a home.
As assistant director of MSU's Academic Advising Center, the Florence, Ala., native assists students in choosing a career path.
Odom has been an academic advisor for 19 years, and her efforts haven't gone unnoticed. In 2010, she was a selection for an Outstanding Advising Certificate by the National Academic Advising Association.
A graduate of the University of North Alabama, where she studied sociology and criminology, Odom also attended graduate school at MSU. She began working as an assistant in the advising center before moving into a staff position.
"I'm where I'm supposed to be, and that's good," Odom said.
Her favorite part of advising is being face-to-face with students. She loves to talk with them and learn about them.
"And as a result, I've found that students tend to come back and ask me questions," Odom said.
"I like hearing from my students who have gone on to bigger and better things."
In addition to helping students, Odom is passionate about helping animals. She volunteers as a foster care provider for Homeward Bound, a program started by Mississippi State veterinary students to place adoptable animals in permanent homes. Without caring fosters like Odom, the program wouldn't be possible.
"Homeward Bound rescues at risk animals," Odom said. "We have rehomed coming up on 4,000 animals now."
"Fostering is fun; it's something I do," she said.
Prior to becoming a student advisor, Odom said she was a full-time dog trainer and breeder.Writer: James Logan | Photo: Beth Wynn
Next week … Mercedes Mendez !