It’s National Mentoring Month. However, High Point University celebrates and fosters mentorship year-round. One of HPU’s most prolific advocates for mentorship is university President Nido Qubein. Through one-on-one meetings, course offerings and more, Dr. Qubein guides students to become the best version of themselves.
1. Freshman Seminar
A student’s first semester of college can be challenging. That’s why Dr. Qubein takes time to lead the “President’s Seminar: Learning through Experience” each fall – a required course for first-year students. During the freshman seminar, Qubein focuses on topics that new students can benefit from immediately, such as time and energy management, fiscal literacy, as well as communication and presentation skills. He interacts with the students, using humor, calling on volunteers to illustrate his points and using different forms of media to drive the message home.
The freshman seminar also includes a series of workshops and presentations that focus on wellness and healthful living.
2. Senior Seminar
For seniors, Qubein also offers a seminar for students preparing for life beyond graduation. In this class, the focus is on managing professional relationships. He also shares with students his experience in communication, leadership and service – lessons that prepare students to thrive in a competitive global marketplace.
These seminars are one of the unique aspects of HPU, representing Qubein’s passion for educating the world’s future leaders and underscoring how mentorship lies in the DNA of the university. It’s part of his commitment to engaging with students and being a familiar presence in their lives.
“The senior seminar was a great supplement to what we learned as freshmen,” says Dan Kissel, a 2013 graduate now working at Bank of NY Mellon. “Dr. Qubein’s lessons and stories about how to make success a reality were invaluable to me. Guest speakers he brought in also offered advice from individuals around the world. This was a course I always looked forward to attending and never failed to leave motivated and empowered.”
A core component of mentorship is accessibility. Dr. Qubein understands this; that’s why he takes time to meet one-on-one with students. Sometimes, students come to him with questions about starting their own business. Other times, he listens to their ideas on new campus initiatives and helps provide career advice. Whether through face-to-face interaction or emails he answers on a daily basis, Dr. Qubein is connected to the campus community.
“I am with these students every day. I talk to them as they walk to class, and I watch them become people who lead lives of success and significance,” says Qubein. “I want to impart everything I can to our students by giving them the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to thrive after they finish their journey at HPU.”
4. Models values
Parents spend 18+ years instilling values in their children. HPU builds upon the foundation they laid to ensure students have a successful future. It’s not enough to simply talk about values to students; in order for the lesson to permeate through a student’s life, values must be modeled by those around them.
Dr. Qubein strives to be an example to every student, faculty, staff and guest who visits campus. If he sees a piece of trash that missed the bin, he picks it up. He waves to everyone he passes with a smile on his face. He serves on local charitable organizations. For example, he previously served as United Way chairman, and currently serves on the YMCA board. And every day for the past 20 years, he writes a thank-you note to four people who have made an impact on his life. It’s one of many ways Dr. Qubein models values like gratitude to students.
5. Weaves students into the HPU family
It’s important for students to feel welcome and comfortable at HPU, their home away from home. As President Qubein remarked at Opening Convocation: “At HPU, we don’t weed students out of the system. We weave them into the family.”
Dr. Qubein knows students by name. He strikes up friendly conversations with students as they walk to class. He hands out chocolate bars on Halloween and Valentine’s Day. He attends many of HPU’s 150+ annual campus events, including concerts, sporting events, theater performances and more. Why? He’s there to support the students. He wants them to know that they are valued and appreciated.
Students at HPU discover a well of mentors that collectively forge a spirit of collaboration and encouragement throughout the student body. Dr. Qubein partners with a dedicated team of faculty and staff who care, and who know students on a first-name basis as well. They ensure students are woven into the HPU family.