One part mentor, one part motivator, one part role model.
James Anderson was all of that — and then some — to Jamie (Daugherty) Motley in the late '90s.
“Since graduation, my career trajectory has taken me to four different states, where I’ve worked in both staff and administrative positions at several colleges and universities. Two things that have traveled with me have been my love of working with college students and my fond memories of my UIUC mentor, Dr. James D. Anderson,” says Motley, director of the McNair Scholars Program at Saint Louis University.
“Dr. Anderson had a profound impact on my life as I pursued my doctorate at UIUC. He gave me my first teaching opportunity as a TA for his Race and Cultural Diversity class and he talked me down from the ledge — figuratively speaking — when I came very close to giving up on my Ph.D. pursuit.
“He was the voice of reason when I couldn’t quite get it together on my own, but more importantly, he modeled for me ways to serve students that are effective and leave a lasting impact.
“Although he never explicitly shared these tips with me, these were a few of my takeaways from my time with Dr. Anderson:
1. “No matter what you achieve in your career as a higher education professional, be yourself. Some students may have difficulty at first seeing past your degrees and job title and many will be relieved to find out that you are actually human, just like them.”
2. “Educate and empower. Know that when you look at a student, you may be looking at a future change agent of society. What an awesome opportunity you have to plant seeds of knowledge that will blossom in the years to come.”
3. “Have fun with your students. Pursuing a degree at any level can be a very stressful experience; let students know that they can make time for fun and that you are not above sharing a few laughs, a cup of coffee or an enjoyable experience with them.”
“The greatest gift I have received in my career has been the opportunity to pay forward the many lessons and blessings Dr. Anderson shared with me,” says Motley (M.Ed. '94, higher education administration; Ph.D. '99, educational policy studies).
“And I continue to meet professors and administrators who say the same thing about him. Dr. Anderson is a brilliant man and a truly remarkable human being.”