Cathleen Kovarik learned a lot from mentors over the years. As an undergraduate, Kovarik worked under a mentor who helped her understand the scientific process and realize that she really liked it.
Kovarik came to Mizzou in January 2005. She started working with undergraduates through the EXPRESS program.
“I think one of the most important aspects of being a mentor is to help an individual understand just how important their work is, and give them the confidence to succeed,” Kovarik says.
Kovarik received her PhD from Iowa State and her DVM from Colorado State University. She is an assistant professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine.
What students say about Kovarik:
“I was truly amazed at Dr. Kovarik’s dedication to undergraduate research when she offered me the opportunity to work on my own research project. Though this may not seem unusual, her suggested project for me would require a radical shift to outfit the lab with equipment and supplies for molecular biology. But this steep order did not dissuade Dr. K, and she ordered everything that I required.
No matter how many things went wrong in my research, Dr. K motivated me to keep going and keep trying again.
Dr. Kovarik, and my research for her, have honestly changed my life and permitted me to broaden my experiences.”
— Sarah Hackman
“I know that the process of incorporating me into the lab, as well as helping me start my own project (immunocytochemistry), took an extensive amount of time and effort on her part.
She participates actively in every experiment while still managing to do her own research and teaching classes in the veterinary medicine school. She makes herself readily available to act as a sounding board if and when our experiments encounter a problem. She gives us ideas of how to fix the issue, but still allows us a pivotal role in deciding how we should proceed.”
— Michelle Mooney
“She was never too busy to explain things and was always willing to stop what she was doing to show me how things worked.
Not only is she always concerned about making sure you are learning things and having fun in the lab, but she also cares about your life outside of the lab. She was always willing to lend an ear about classes, family, friends and just how things in your life are going. I always looked forward to going to work because of the wonderful environment she helps create within the lab.”
— Danielle Moore