Connections – Episode 4

Jodie was increasingly impressed by the continuity of connections that her professor had with his students. She knew that he had kept in touch with her. What she didn’t realize was how those connections continued with students who he had only taught in their freshman year – a one-credit hour course designed to help students make the transition to college.

It’s funny when I think about it, but you are the reason I have a college degree today. And I only had you in a one-credit hour class my first semester in college. When I got that first email from you prior to classes starting, my parents emailed you about my medical condition.

I suffer from a rare disease that requires a special form of chemotherapy monthly. My parents could not find anyone in the university community who could administer it. They wrote to you to see if you could help.

I don’t know what you did, but the head of the Cancer Center became my doctor. Since I didn’t have a way to get from the treatments to my dorm, you picked me up after each treatment to ensure that I got back to the dorm safely. Without that help, I could not have gone to the university and pursued the major I wanted to study.

My junior year, my parents again called you. I had become very sick and needed to go to the emergency room. You got me there and stayed with me until I was admitted. And then you contacted my parents to let them know I was ok.

I graduated and have had a very successful career. One thing I look forward to each year is birthday wishes from you on LinkedIn where you not only wish me a happy birthday, but also inquire about how my health is. None of the professors in my major or my advisor have ever reached out to me after I graduated.

The only thing you ever asked in return is that I pay it forward. I’m proud to say that I now volunteer at our children’s hospital and promote hope to young children with cancer.

Jennifer – Class of 2013


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