August 29, 2023

📚 It’s Back to School Time – What are YOU Learning?

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This month, the CWJ daughters went back to school, ranging from little Allison in 2nd grade through Megan, who started her journey at SFA after finishing up her work at Tyler Junior College (Feather’s Up!). Meanwhile, Bella gets the award for longest distance traveled – she is studying several states away in Arizona!

That got us thinking…we should all be going back to school all the time by being lifelong learners. In addition to keeping up a healthy reading list and podcast arsenal, we rely on mentors who help us continue to stretch to meet our personal and professional goals. So this month, we want to give a shoutout to those who push us to reach higher heights.**

The first mentor we would like to highlight is Alisa White, Ph.D., who is President of Sam Houston State University. As Laura’s mentor, this is what she taught her. “President White exemplifies how to lead with strength and strategy and how to be ambitious without being self-serving. When we worked together, she took the time to seek opportunities to further my professional development. She is generous with her time and advice and still responds to my calls seeking guidance, even though we haven’t worked together in almost a decade.”

Next, we would like to highlight Leah’s mentor, Eric Ligon. Eric is the Senior Associate Dean of Administrative Affairs at the University of North Texas. “Among the many mentors in my life, one of the earliest and most influential was Eric Ligon, a professor in my UNT Communication Design program. Even though the program was demanding on its own, he never stopped motivating us to push beyond our limits and give more than what we thought was our best effort. With a perfect balance of support, hard truths, and a little humor, Eric helped us see our potential and inspired us to strive beyond excellence. His approach left a profound impact on me, and he is to blame for most of my perfectionism afflictions.

Lastly, we would like to highlight Ginger’s mentor, Brad Root, President of Root Construction. Here is what Ginger learned from him. “Brad Root is more than a friend; he’s been an important mentor and advisor in my professional journey. He’s shown me the importance of being intentional and what that looks like, assessing risk and using communication to minimize it, and turning failures into the building blocks of success. As an owner of several successful development, contracting, and rental companies, Brad has developed some of the best daily business habits I’ve seen. And I am so thankful for his willingness to take the time to share them with others, including me. Brad is passionate about teaching and pulling others up. I always look forward to our regular breakfast meetings, where I know he will challenge and motivate me to continue to look within and push forward, being intentional daily in small ways.