Bridging the Gap: with Professor Schillo

Lauren D’Arco, Contributing Writer
Dr. Keith Schillo is a passionate and dedicated anatomy and physiology professor here at SUNY Oneonta. A native upstate New Yorker, professor Schillo received his bachelors of science in animal science from Cornell University. He then completed his master’s degree at Purdue University, receiving a degree in environmental physiology. He received his PhD in endocrinology and reproductive physiology from the University of Wisconsin Madison.
Adding to Schillo’s impressive resume, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Illinois, specializing in neuroendocrinology. He recently received a grant of nearly $200,000 from the National Science Foundation, which will help to fund projects he plans to complete here on campus.
Schillo began his career at the University of Kentucky in Lexington as a professor of animal science physiology. He was drawn to teaching higher education because he envied his past professors’ abilities to shape young minds and was intrigued by the research opportunities it presented. After 25 years at the University of Kentucky, he grew tired of the area and decided to return to his home state. This move back allowed him to begin focusing more on human biology physiology. Schillo confessed he likes to make his students a little nervous, just enough to motivate them. He wants to get his students excited for their career choices and wants them to feel like they’ve accomplished something. He hopes his methods will give them confidence as they enter the future. He believes a professor should not just lecture his/her students, but aid in their intellectual development. He wants his students “not to just rely on the knowledge and information they receive, but to take ownership of it, to think about it and make it meaningful, and to go and apply it.” Schillo’s favorite part of teaching is getting to work with highly motivated students who have mature attitudes towards learning. He laughed and mentioned how it’s almost like dealing with junior colleagues. On his days off he enjoys woodworking and completing home improvement projects. On top of his busy teaching schedule, he manages to make time to work out everyday. He also recently adopted two German shepherds. 
Schillo ended with a word of advice to his students. “Try not to worry too much about your career, and just enjoy life, explore, don’t be too narrowly focused, be calm.”

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