Alumni Spotlight: Gary Sullivan

Gary SullivanGary Sullivan received his B.S. in animal science and international agriculture with a minor in economics from Iowa State in 2005. After receiving his M.S. in meat science from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln, he returned to Iowa State and received his Ph.D. in meat science and food science technology. During his time at Iowa State, he was involved with collegiate FFA, ag council, ag ambassadors, meat science club, and the livestock and Meat Animal Evaluation judging teams.

Today, Gary works as an associate professor in meat science at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln and is a member of the American Meat Science Association, Institute of Food Technologists, and the American Society of Animal Science. He teaches two classes, animal products and meat processing, and also advises students and conducts research. His research focuses on how ingredients, processing technology, and packaging influence quality and shelf life. Gary credits the Animal Science Department at Iowa State for helping prepare him and contributing to his teaching style. “Watching the faculty teach and interacting with faculty and staff helped make me who I am today.” Gary’s favorite class, AN S 270: Foods of Animal Origin, inspired how he teaches his current animal products class.

Gary says the most rewarding part of his job is working with students and helping them find their passions. “It’s exciting when students discover what they’re passionate about and make a connection to their area of interest.” It’s rewarding to watch students discover, succeed, and be excited about learning. He advises students to set goals but remain flexible while working for them. “Have goals you’re actively working toward, but don’t be afraid if they change. One opportunity can redirect your course – and that’s okay.”