My mentor is more than just my research mentor

Hello! My time as an Honors Scholar is quickly wrapping up, and I would like to talk about one person who I couldn’t have done it without – my mentor, Dr. Sheila Barrett. Barrett, SheilaI have worked with Dr. Barrett the past two years as a Research Rookie, so I was thrilled to be able to continue working with her throughout the summer and fall semester on my Honors Capstone. She is wonderful to work with in all aspects and will always find time in her busy schedule for me, which I greatly appreciate. Dr. Barrett possesses all the qualities of a great mentor: she keeps a positive mindset, sets clear goals for my research, and always provides feedback on my work, just to name a few. She is incredibly kind and patient with me, yet makes her expectations very clear. Furthermore, Dr. Barrett is incredibly encouraging, the sky is the limit with her, and I have gained so much confidence through having her as a mentor. In fact, her “sky is the limit” mentality is why I love research so much. We always dream big with any research we discuss, and I get so excited thinking of all the possibilities. Some of my favorite moments spent wither her are sitting in her office watching her get fired up over a research-related topic. The energy that fills her small office space in Wirtz is unbelievable, and it would be hard for anyone to not get excited.

Dr. Barrett does more than mentor me in research-related programs. She also counsels me on future plans such as graduate school and careers. I’ve asked her multiple questions about graduate programs, career plans, schools, etc. and she always sets my mind at ease. I feel secure about my future when talking with her. Lastly, Dr. Barrett motivates me constantly from school work to research to the Student Dietetic Association to just being a better person in general. I am so lucky that she wanted a Research Rookie in 2013 because having her as a mentor for 2 and a half years has been such a rewarding experience. I admire her and respect in all things, and am so grateful to have her as my research mentor.

by Ashley Kyle

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