AATS Staff Spotlight: Patty Davis
Posted on May 1, 2018 by Anna Traylor
Ms. Patty Davis is the Associate Director of Academic Advising and Transfer Services. She advises pre-health students in their third and fourth years. Ms. Davis is married to Dr. Jim Davis in the Chemistry Department. They have three lovely children: two daughters and one son. Originally from Maryland, Ms. Davis moved to Alabama about twenty years ago from Boston.
What is your educational background?
My undergraduate degree is a B.A. in Chemistry from Rosemont College in Pennsylvania. Ten years and two young kids later, I got my M.S. in Genetic Counseling from Brandeis University in Massachusetts.
What brought you to South?
My husband applied for a teaching position, and I came along for a ride. I worked as a genetic counselor when we first moved here. I started teaching part-time in chemistry and really enjoyed the classroom. I became full-time faculty when the position was offered. The rest is history.
How did you transition from teaching chemistry to becoming the Associate Director of AATS?
I went from instructor to senior instructor. I missed the counseling side of my background, and advising fit that. When the First Year Advising Center opened, I was asked to continue pre-health advising but to do so in the First Year Advising Center. After around a year, the Associate Director position became available, and I was asked to apply. I jumped at the chance. The First Year Advising Center was renamed Academic Advising & Transfer Services.
How did you become a pre-health advisor?
I was active in helping out on the GEMs program which is a one-day program for girls to learn about STEM fields. I participated in the first one and got to know Cindy Stanfield, the pre-health advisor. When pre-health began looking to bring a faculty member on, she asked if I was interested. I was.
What is the best piece of advice you have for a pre-health student?
Stay true to yourself. Choose a major based on interest and not what everyone else is doing. Be open to opportunities as they come, and work hard. Keep in mind there are lots of ways to be involved in pre-health, not just medical or dental school. Explore different avenues. Also, make sure you meet regularly with your academic and pre-health advisors. Don’t wait until the last minute to plan things. Make sure you meet with Career Services to have a parallel plan in case things change.
How do you define success?
I think success is going home at the end of the day knowing you’ve done a good job and gave it your all regardless of the outcome. Sometimes success is treated as something enormous when really it can be you made someone smile who normally doesn’t. Success is being happy in what you’re doing; it’s following your own calling and not just doing what others want of you.
What is your biggest achievement to date?
My biggest achievement is having a wonderful family. Work is great, but the bottom line is that I have a life outside of work. I’m very proud of my children and my husband.
What are your hobbies?
I love to sew and do embroidery. I really enjoy any kind of needlework. I sewed all of the girls’ prom dresses and made lots of their clothes. I’ve also made several wedding outfits. I’d sew all the time if I could.
If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
I would love to go to Morocco. It seems so exotic, and the colors are incredible. I imagine it’s a place that would satisfy all senses.