Springfield, MO

The Mentors Project: Stephanie Bryant

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Cassie Collier, a doctorate student at the University of Houston

Cassie is a brilliant student who I hope will one day come back and share her talents as a professor at Missouri State.  

I think I first put the idea in Cassie’s head that she pursue a Ph.D. Since then, I helped her make the commitment to do so and helped her look at schools. I recommended readings to prepare her for the interview and provided input into her statement of research. When she is in town, we meet, and she emails me for advice on how to prioritize her time.  
Her grades and ability to produce independent research that has the potential to contribute to her area of specialty will be key to her success. I would love for her to publish her first-year paper.

When she told me she had applied and been accepted to the Ph.D. program at Houston, I could not have been more proud of her. It’s a huge leap to quit your (very good) job and go back to school for four years before you see the beginnings of the payoff. You have to believe in yourself, and she does.

My mentor was Barbara Apostolou, a professor at Louisiana State University, who taught me my very first accounting class. After I graduated and became a CPA, Barbara continued to take me to lunch and talk about how she saw me as a college professor. Without her confidence in me, I don’t know if I could have quit my job and gone back to get my doctorate.


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