From Meek To Mentor

Friday, July 19, 2019 - by Julie Barcroft, Chattanooga State
Lauren Watkins
Lauren Watkins

Though the start of one’s college journey is exciting, it is also often accompanied by anxiety and fear of the unknown. What students do with this fear is part of their individual journeys and can impact their future success; recent Chattanooga State graduate Lauren Watkins has transformed her own challenges and uncertainties into a unique pathway for achievement.

Ms. Watkins was accepted to the Digication Scholars program, working with the college’s ePortfolio platform to offer workshops on tools and best practices, as well as competing against other Scholars in portfolio showcases. Additionally, she has been named a Super Mentor in the campus ePortfolio lab, taking on responsibilities of hiring, training, and scheduling student mentors.

Ms. Watkins was not always so confident or sure of her path, however, “Upon coming to ChattState, I was worried if I would like it, and if I would do well," she said. "I didn’t know anybody here and barely knew what major I wanted.”

She also notes that she initially struggled with using the Digication platform in her College Success class, “not understanding how to use it, its purpose, or its potential.” Over time, and with a chance to work in the lab, Ms. Watkins developed new appreciation for the exciting visual possibilities of the tool, considering it “a revolutionary step forward from the traditional paper resume in an increasingly digital-based world.” 

Working as a lab mentor has offered Ms. Watkins growth opportunities beyond learning technical skills. “For most of my life, I struggled to talk to people, and dreaded the thought of speaking in front of a crowd,” she says. “As a mentor, I now go to College Success courses and teach entire classrooms full of rising first-year students how to create their own portfolios.” Though taking chances on herself and expanding her comfort zone has not been easy, these risks forge important skills that will serve Ms. Watkins well in pursuing her Bachelor’s in Entrepreneurship at UTC and then her MBA. 

From her own experiences, Ms. Watkins has simple advice for other college students: talk to people. “One would never believe how much they have in common with a student who has a different major, age, or belief than them. Finding people to talk to around campus made me feel comfortable, opened the door to many opportunities, and helped me stay focused on achieving my degree.” She cites the helpfulness of staff and faculty as a major contributor to her Chattanooga State experience, describing herself as “overwhelmed with the kindness I found here. Throughout my time at ChattState, I always felt like there were people who would help me with anything I needed.”

Excitingly, now Ms. Watkins gets to be such a helper for other students who may doubt themselves, needing confidence and skills for their own academic and professional journeys. With courage and leadership developed while at Chattanooga State, she is ready for new challenges.



McCallie Welcomes Alumni Back Home To The Ridge For Reunion Weekend

Expert On Girls, Dr. Lisa Damour Addresses Parents At GPS

Digital Age At Cleveland State: Helping College Students Get What They Need


Hundreds of alumni came home to the Ridge for several activities related to Reunion Weekend. They were able to reminisce with their McCallie brethren and catch up with former teachers and coaches. ... (click for more)

On her return visit to GPS, Lisa Damour, Ph.D., the New York Times bestselling author of Untangled and Under Pressure, planned to speak with parents on Thursday evening, Sept. 12, and then with ... (click for more)

Since the early days of formal education, college students have lugged hard-backed books to and from class. Over time, these books have gotten thicker, heavier, and more expensive causing students ... (click for more)


Student Scene

McCallie Welcomes Alumni Back Home To The Ridge For Reunion Weekend

Hundreds of alumni came home to the Ridge for several activities related to Reunion Weekend. They were able to reminisce with their McCallie brethren and catch up with former teachers and coaches. The weekend began with the Golden M luncheon, where retired headmaster Dr. R. Kirk Walker '69 was recognized as this year's Distinguished Alumnus. After the lunch, Golden M alumni ... (click for more)

Expert On Girls, Dr. Lisa Damour Addresses Parents At GPS

On her return visit to GPS, Lisa Damour, Ph.D., the New York Times bestselling author of Untangled and Under Pressure, planned to speak with parents on Thursday evening, Sept. 12, and then with teachers, parents again, and then students on Friday. Unfortunately Chattanooga experienced a water main break which caused the cancellation of all Friday presentations. Thankfully, the ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Man Shot In Shoulder By Officer After Domestic Disturbance Call At Charleston, Tn.

A man was shot in the shoulder by a police officer at Charleston, Tn., early Sunday after a domestic disturbance call. At approximately 2:02 a.m., Bradley County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a 911 call reporting a domestic disturbance between a male and a female involving a firearm near Laguna Drive in Charleston. The 911 call was made by a female reporting that ... (click for more)

Woman Injured In Red Bank House Fire Saturday Evening

A woman was injured in a house fire Saturday evening in Red Bank. A 911 call was made reporting a house fire at 133 Flora Circle. At 6:30 p.m., Red Bank Fire Department responded to the scene and arrived reporting heavy smoke and fire on the back of the residence. The Red Bank Fire Department immediately requested a mutual aid response for additional manpower. The Signal ... (click for more)

Opinion

Ignored By The Water Company

How much time do you spend at Tennessee American Water's website? It is worthless for online reporting problems. Replies? Never happen. Communication? They appear to consciously avoid honest communication with concerned citizens. This "Opinion Page" is an avenue of last resort to report a problem, because no one is trying to listen at Tennessee American Water. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The 1:59.40 Marathon!

First, we must tell the children, every little boy and girl must come. Anyone who has already started our next generation yet are less than only a few steps in their life’s race, must come. They must see. Yes, we who have nearly finished our distance or the promising millennials who are still in their climb, you too! We must call them and point to the picture of a 34-year-old they ... (click for more)