Mentoring Matters: Dr. Holly Middleton Believed in Me More Than I Believed in Myself

By Jordan Coakley, Class of 2014

I have always been encouraged to dedicate time to places that I not only believe in, but where I found people that also believed in me. From choosing a college to pursuing a career, fellowship has always been my top priority. After all, you become like those you spend time with, or so they say.

With this in mind, the people here at High Point University were most certainly the reason I chose to attend and remain my favorite aspect. In my four years here, I have made some amazing friends. Perhaps even more importantly, I have met some of the most significant mentors I have ever had both inside and outside of the classroom.

Among them is Dr. Holly Middleton, assistant professor of English. As I have been studying English Writing, Dr. Middleton’s classes have been some of my favorite. Her quick wit, stunningly open mind, patience and expertise make her a stellar professor. But then, one could argue, all of the faculty here at HPU are amazing. So, what made her my favorite?

Well, of course there is the fact that I am studying the material she’s teaching. Then there are all of the things I’ve previously mentioned; she’s hysterical, she’s an expert, she’s patient. Beyond that, there is the way she gently pushes me to try new things artistically. She created an environment where I am not only unafraid to fail, but I am willing and excited to step into the unknown in order to improve. She has taught me to be cautiously fearless in my studies. She made me believe that not only could I be a writer, but that I already was one.

The mentorship I have found in Dr. Middleton has been most inspiring. I do believe that because of this, because of her, I have learned what education truly is: investing the time, pushing the limits and collaboratively creating the kind of environment that demands the best of the best. It has been my pleasure to study here under the guidance and expertise of Dr. Middleton. Because of her, I know I am well-prepared to walk across the stage at graduation, and pursue my career goals in the future.

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