Maria Cattai de Godoy: My ACES Story

Maria Cattai de Godoy: My ACES Story

Oct 10
My ACES Story, 150th Anniversary Guest Blogger

Over the past 150 years, the University of Illinois and the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences have been at the forefront of education, discovery, and translation. From improving people’s lives to stretching the frontiers of knowledge, ACES graduates are changing our world for the better. In this special Voices of ACES blog series, we are celebrating and embracing our past. Our ACES story is unique, and its characters are doing remarkable work – work that truly matters.

By Maria Cattai de Godoy, M.S. ’07 Animal Sciences

In 2004, I left my home in Brazil to journey to the Department of Animal Sciences at Illinois, where I could be at the hub of companion animal nutrition research. My adventure abroad started with a few challenges. Living away from my family in a new country with a very different climate and culture was not easy. However, the professional and personal experiences I had far surpassed any challenges I faced. A year later, I began my master’s degree program under the guidance of Dr. George Fahey and was exposed to a variety of research projects, took several courses from world-renowned researchers, and had access to unique cutting-edge technologies. I then completed my Ph.D. at the University of Kentucky before returning to join the Department of Animal Sciences at Illinois in 2015 as an assistant professor. My experience has taught me to love what I do and work hard to be good at it. The odds may not always be in your favor, but don’t let them discourage you in following your dreams.

We invite you to tell us your ACES story as we celebrate the 150th anniversary of the University of Illinois and the College of ACES. Share your story on social media using #ACESstory, or visit