A father who was a guidance counselor, a teacher, a principal, and a worldly traveler.

A mother who was a teacher, a music-lover, and a traveler at heart.

A teacher who believed in my talents, and now recalls how fantastic parent-teacher conferences were with my parents, and praises me for doing something good and meaningful with my talents.

Parents who cared and were involved, but made me fight my own battles, driving my independence.

Professors who saw potential in my writing and hesitation in my verbal expressions.

An advisor who showed me that people that look like me can be educators, too.

A colleague who was only a virtual friend at first who encouraged me to look at OSU’s program.

A best friend who I met at summer orientation before my first year of college, who jokingly suggested I look at OSU because she grew up in Corvallis.

A professor whose wisdom and even-headedness reminded me of the father who believed in me and pushed me to become much more.

Professors with Ph.D.’s who pushed me to think even more critically, to write even more precisely.

Supervisors that were thrilled with my enthusiasm and perspectives that came from outside education.

Friends that dealt with my tears, my frustration, and a nagging undertone that I’m not good enough to do x, y, or z.

All of you got me here. All of you helped me look in the mirror and say, “Maybe I am something more than this. Maybe I can change the world.”

And if someday, I become the advisor that pushed a student to pursue his or her talents to the fullest, then I have done something right.

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