In December of 1976, Sue Ellen McCullough took a job at the University of Georgia Griffin campus — then known as the Georgia Experiment Station — on the advice of a neighbor. On March 29 she retired from UGA-Griffin, taking with her a trove of memories and experiences.
“Dr. Wayne Bough was a faculty member and he was also my neighbor,” said McCullough, a native of Griffin. “We talked about me coming to work for him and he told me to ask my husband if I could work with him for about four months.”
The “temp” job turned into a nearly 40-year career with UGA’s Department of Food Science and Technology.
McCullough had worked at the local hospital and for Southern Bell, but she had no idea what to expect working in a laboratory at UGA. Bough was working on a grant project funded by UGA Marine Extension and the Georgia Sea Grant program, so McCullough’s first experiences were a little fishy.
“I was working with shrimp shells,” she remembers. “I had to dry them up in the shop in a big huge oven. When the men who worked in the shop saw me coming, they weren’t happy, because it did not smell good at all.”
When Bough left Griffin to accept a position with UGA Marine Extension in Brunswick, Georgia, McCullough went to work with UGA food scientist Kell Heaton. For the next six years, she helped him on various projects like canning peaches and peppers and working with other commodities, like pecans.