Tonya Mueller didn’t want to leave Mizzou. She earned her bachelor’s degree in agronomy in 1994, and she never left.
“I love the beauty of the campus, the knowledge and hearts of those I work with and collaborate with,” Mueller said. “I also love the freedom in my job that has allowed me to offer full service IT support to the Division of Plant Sciences.”
During her undergraduate years, she met her future husband, Michael Mueller. After dates working on USA Today crossword puzzles and studying late in Brady Commons (now the MU Student Center), they became engaged. She decided to stay at Mizzou and to pursue a master’s degree in agronomy, which she earned in 2000.
As she worked on her master’s, a faculty member helped her get a graduate assistantship doing agronomy field work and assisting managing web and email servers in Waters Hall. Eventually, the Plant Sciences Division Director turned it into an official IT job for her, and she has been a full-time employee ever since.
After a couple of decades at Mizzou, Mueller’s biggest piece of advice for new and current students is to get involved in campus groups and activities. Meanwhile, she says parents need to give their kids space and let them make mistakes, learn, grow and become fully independent adults.
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