Peggy Mayo - Columbus State Community College 50th Anniversary

Peggy Mayo can't remember a time when she didn't want to be a teacher.

She earned her associate degree in Medical Laboratory Technology from Columbus State in 1976. After a short stint in the clinical laboratory at Columbus Children's and Riverside hospitals, she was soon back at Columbus State as a teaching assistant.

She took the opportunity to earn a bachelor's degree and a master's degree, which allowed her to become a fulltime faculty member in the Multi-Competency Health program. She taught a variety of courses, such as hematology and phlebotomy, and retired in 2013.

"I knew I wanted to teach, but what influenced me was being able to watch the great teachers that I worked with as a teaching assistant"

"I knew I wanted to teach, but what influenced me was being able to watch the great teachers that I worked with as a teaching assistant," Mayo says.

Mayo's Columbus State career covers a large swathe of college history. Her Medical Laboratory class was tasked with moving supplies into the then-new Union Hall in 1975, and in 2010 she served on a committee planning an expansion and renovation of that same building.

She's taught uncounted students. Whenever she visited a student in a clinical experience at a hospital, she was always amazed at the number of former students she would see working in the laboratories.

She's seen learning styles change. Instead of the teacher up front and lecturing, nowadays she's more likely to be found working alongside students. The emphasis isn't so much on memorizing facts (you can Google facts) as it is on problem-solving, critical thinking and professionalism. In health care – much like teaching – a lot comes down to "bedside manner."

"Every student that I ever encountered was unique," Mayo says, "so every way of reaching them had to be unique."

Images: A Year in the Life of Columbus State