YOU NEED TO KNOW: Amy Wright
BY CALEB HICKS, JUNIOR/AG COMMUNICATIONS
Meet Amy Wright, the interim associate dean for instruction for the College of Agriculture. Wright grew up in Blacksburg, Virginia, and attended Virginia Tech for both her undergraduate degree in chemistry and master’s degree in horticulture. Wright’s father was a professor of horticulture for 37 years at Virginia Tech, inspiring her to follow in his footsteps.
After finishing her master’s, she pursued a Ph.D. in horticulture science from North Carolina State University. Wright came to the College of Agriculture in 2002 as a professor in the Department of Horticulture and still assists undergraduate and graduate students in research projects as interim associate dean for instruction.
In her spare time, Wright’s favorite hobby is cooking.
“I always helped with cooking growing up, but I really got into it in grad school,” she says. “I don’t mind cooking from a recipe, but I prefer to cook without one and just improvise based on whatever inspiration strikes me. I may base it loosely on another recipe I’ve read, or try to recreate something I’ve had, or just make something totally new.”
What drew you to the College of Agriculture?
When I was finishing up my Ph.D., I saw a position announcement for a faculty position at Auburn. It was in my area of research, landscape horticulture. I had heard about Auburn since I was young, and I knew several people in horticulture who had either gone to Auburn, were from Auburn or who currently worked at Auburn. When I interviewed, I felt like Auburn was a good fit for me, and it was my top choice among all the faculty positions I had considered. The city of Auburn was also very similar to my hometown, so I felt right at home. I was fortunate enough to get an offer. That was in 2001. Fast forward 15 years later, and I’m still just as excited about being here as I was my first day on the job.
What advice do you have for students looking to attend Auburn University and the College of Agriculture?
The faculty in the College of Agriculture do what they do because they love helping students, and they want to do everything they can to ensure student success. They are an excellent source of information on opportunities for internships, jobs, research, student involvement and professional development. The college provides so many resources to help students be successful in their academic programs and their professional careers after graduation.
What is your favorite part of your job?
Working and interacting with students one-on-one and helping them to be successful in their degree program and in their professional career is really rewarding. It’s such a positive experience to see students progress through their program and receive the recognition they deserve for their accomplishments. The other “best” thing about working here are all the great faculty and staff in the College of Agriculture. It’s such a great place to be every day, and that’s all because of the people—faculty, staff and students in the college.
What does a typical day in the office look like for you?
It’s different every day! But that’s really what I love so much. Everyday there are new opportunities to work with different people for the success of others—faculty, staff, and students—and to be a part of a great team. My activities range from issues that are university-wide all the way to an individual student’s needs. On any given day, I might be working on issues related to individual courses, new majors or minors, student professional development opportunities, recruiting, admissions and advising, just to name a few. And all of these require working with students, faculty and staff.
What has been your most exciting moment here at Auburn?
One of the most memorable moments has to be the 2005 Sugar Bowl between Auburn and Virginia Tech. My two favorite college football teams were playing each other at the Super Dome in New Orleans. It doesn’t get much more exciting than that! Auburn was ranked #3, and VT was ranked #9. Auburn ended up winning 16-13. It’s difficult to describe the feeling of watching the team from your hometown of 28 years playing the team from your new hometown, one that you know you might very well be in for the next 28 years or longer! I doubt many people have had that experience, and it’s one I think of often.