Staff Spotlight: Mary Scott-Toepfer

What do you do at Kent State’s College of Public Health?

I am the assistant director of academic advising and student services. 

Why do you like working at Kent State (and in CPH)?

I am surrounded by the most caring students, staff and faculty at Kent State. I jokingly refer to the College of Public Health as the "college of do-gooders.” Their dedication to the well-being of others is truly inspiring. 

What is your favorite part of your job?

I have the privilege of discussing what students care most about and what they want to do with their life. There is no greater joy than watching someone’s face light up while discussing an issue that is important to them.  

What do you like to do to unwind after a busy day?

I meditate using the Calm app. I’m a huge proponent of meditation. It doesn’t take much time and has greatly improved my well-being. 

What is the last TV show you watched or book you read?

All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doeer. I cannot recommend it enough. 

What do you do to stay healthy?

I’m a firm believer in choosing activities I enjoy because I know I am more likely to stick with them. I jog on the nearby hike/bike trail because I love spending time in nature. I also do yoga. On the weekend, I food prep so it is easier to eat healthy throughout the week.  

If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

Speak more languages.  

If you could travel anywhere for one day, where would you go?

A national park such as Banff or Yosemite. 

What is a quote or motto that best describes you?

“Be the person you needed when you were younger.” Like many at Kent State, I was a first-generation college student and struggled during those years. Challenges are an important part of life, but I don’t want our students to feel they are facing them alone. 

Tell us one fun fact about yourself that others might not know about!

I love art and the creative process. I write as a hobby and have completed four novels. I encourage everyone to find a passion that allows you to lose yourself in the best way.  

What is something that you’re looking forward to, personally or professionally?

I always look forward to Destination Kent State in June, when we meet our incoming freshman for the first time. Personally, I am looking forward to my oldest son graduating high school next year and going through that process. It will be a bittersweet time as a mother, but I am excited for him to begin the next chapter in his life. 

What advice would you give to CPH students?

There is a saying that “worry gives a small problem a big shadow.” Most student issues are much more manageable than they realize, if only they outreach to their faculty or advisor. However, there are more options the sooner a problem is addressed. Please don’t hesitate to ask for help out of fear or embarrassment. Many of us in higher education do this job because we genuinely care. 

POSTED: Monday, March 18, 2024 03:16 PM
Updated: Monday, March 18, 2024 03:16 PM