A Day in the Life of Jeanna Mastrodicasa

By Giggle Magazine

Jeanna Mastrodicasa is the associate vice president of operations at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. She and her husband, Clay Sweger, have 8-year-old twin girls, Scarlett and Savannah.

5:30 a.m. The alarm goes off and I get up to let Peaches the dachshund out. Then I read the paper, make school lunches and watch “Morning Joe,” a morning news and talk show.

5:45 a.m. I wake up my husband, Clay.

6:15 a.m. I wake up our 8-year-old twins, Scarlett and Savannah. About once a week I also prepare a slow cooker meal for dinner in the morning.

6:20 a.m. Our kids are not morning people, so suffice it to say that this is an unpleasant time of nagging and getting dressed before walking out the door to do the Morning Mile at Littlewood Elementary.

7:15 a.m. While the girls are running, Clay and I take 15 minutes to talk about plans for the day and coordinate other logistics. Each week is different, depending on where Clay or I have to be.

7:45 a.m. Return to the house to put on work clothes and drive to UF’s McCarty D Hall, where I work for UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

8 a.m. Assuming I am not traveling to one of our off-campus sites somewhere else in Florida, I spend my day in a combination of meetings, talking on the phone, responding to a lot of emails, going to ask colleagues questions, or essentially following up on some topic about facilities, business operations or some legal topic from one of our 3,000 faculty and staff in IFAS. I often get to walk around UF’s campus for meetings or drive to the southwestern part of UF’s campus to talk to IFAS colleagues. I also do a lot of looking at campus office space in the core part of campus. We have a significant space constraint, and I am always investigating opportunities to maximize space. This does not make me a popular administrator in IFAS!

12 p.m. I am quick to remind my work colleagues that I do not like to miss a meal. I always have good intentions of bringing a lunch to work, but I rarely do. I usually either have a lunch date with a friend or run to grab something near campus.

5 p.m. Depending on whether I have any community obligations or not, I will go pick up my kids at their after-school program and then cook dinner. Some weeks I have Chef Ami deliver a meal box and choose one of those to cook. If I have an evening board meeting, I will let our college-aged babysitter pick up the kids. She will feed them and make sure they have showered and gotten their homework done. On the nights I do have a meeting, I will usually go to The Top to eat dinner. One example of a board meeting is for Family Promise of Gainesville, which supports homeless children and their families locally. Clay often works late at a local government meeting or at his office, but one of us will be home to put the girls to bed.

8 p.m. It is bedtime for Scarlett and Savannah. This usually requires a reading of “The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep,” which is magic.

8:30 p.m. At this point I am usually struggling to stay awake, so I look at the girls’ school folders, take the dog out for the last time and relocate to the bed to watch some TV on my iPad. I am currently re-watching the “Top Chef” series.