A spark was lit inside Sarah Patterson during her time at High Point University.
It pushed her to graduate a semester early, land acceptance from her first-choice graduate school and now make her way to Pennsylvania to begin her studies at Rosemont College to get a master’s in publishing.
It’s hard to pinpoint when and where it happened. Maybe it wasn’t just one moment, but a total experience culminating together. Either way, it brought her here.
“I wanted to take that spark of interest that HPU gave me and further my education in publishing,” says Patterson. “The thought of owning a nonprofit book publishing company sounds interesting and rewarding; it would combine my love of community service and literature all at the same time.”
Beginning her journey
If you met Patterson three and a half years ago, you would think that a completely different person was standing in front of you today.
At first glance, she is an outgoing senior with a dazzling smile; as a freshman in 2011, she was shy with her nose buried in a book.
When she began her journey at HPU, her dream was to become an educator.
“I was originally an English and Spanish double major because I wanted to be a teacher,” says the senior. “Then I started realizing that I was really more interested in literature, reading and the process of books. That is when I became an English literature major.”
HPU was a place where Patterson was able to break out of her shell.
“Some people think it’s hard to be realistic but still have big dreams. Here at HPU, I learned how to do that.”
Growing up in a small town like Kinston, North Carolina, to living on a university’s campus with thousands of college students has helped Patterson to grow.
The path to publishing
Patterson joined Apogee Magazine as a sophomore, a magazine published by the English department. Her experience with the magazine encouraged her to make the transition from teaching to publishing.
“Apogee collects writing pieces from the community and from fellow college students who are writing and doing artwork,” says Patterson. “It is a magazine to show what has been happening with literature and the arts at High Point.”
Becoming an editor for Apogee made Patterson realize that she loved the process of writing and editing. Being able to take a piece of work and make it her own sparked her interest and became what she wanted to do as a career. HPU has given her hands-on experience that she may not have received otherwise.
Her out-of-the-classroom experience was supported by faculty like Dr. Laura Linker, assistant professor of English. Linker gave her the guidance and support she needed and was a constant advocate of her dreams, always helping her get one step closer to achieving her goals.
Patterson plans to graduate with her masters and become a book editor. Her dream is to one day own her own nonprofit book editing company.
“I want to work for a company that finds the artists in everyone and cares more about their employees than money.”
Wherever the next journey takes her, she knows her steps are guided by the foundation she built at HPU.
“My experience at HPU has shown me my dreams for the future and opened my eyes to the talent that is behind every person you pass on the street whether that be poetry, photography or digital design.”