Graduate Spotlight: Mary Kathryn Stewart

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a woman in graduation regalia waves her cap while standing next to a bear statue
Mary Kathryn Stewart

Mary Kathryn Stewart is graduating from Mercer University‘s Stetson-Hatcher School of Business with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in marketing and management.

What are your plans after graduation?

After graduation, I will continue my role as the director of public relations for Z Beans Coffee as well as my remote position as the marketing coordinator for the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Chattahoochee Valley. Beginning in the fall 2021 semester, I will start my Master of Business Administration at Mercer in Macon where I will also be the graduate assistant for Donna Terrill, director of academic advising services, in Stetson.

Who was your favorite professor and why?

Dr. Tammy Crutchfield. In her marketing research and marketing management classes, she challenged me regularly on an individual basis as if she knew what I was capable of better than I did myself. Some would say that this just made the class more difficult and life more confusing, but under her guidance, I saw myself grow. Dr. Crutchfield has given me so many opportunities to build my confidence and gain knowledge and experience. As her teaching assistant, I learned more about myself than I thought was possible. She is someone who has had a measurable impact on my life — a truly remarkable woman. I’ve learned not only about business from Dr. Crutchfield but about life — how to live it and how to be my true self given any situation. For that, I’m truly blessed.

How do you plan on changing the world?

I don’t have any huge aspirations for recognition. I just want to make an impact on the lives I touch. I want to be an inspiration — a role model. To stand for something bigger than myself and to let it be known is to set the foundation for a legacy that will outlive generations. Not only that, I want people to know that it is possible to be selfless and kind without being “weak.” The greatest strength a person can have is to love in spite of everything. No one may remember my name a hundred years from now, but I want them to be better off because I lived. If I can instill something great in even just one person, I will have been successful.

What advice do you have for incoming students?

Going in to college, you’re exposed to new things, new people, new cultures, new religions and new ideas. The list seems endless. It’s a bit overwhelming, but it can either make or break you. Don’t let it break you. If you know who you are and what you stand for, don’t allow any thing or any person to change that without your permission. Learn and love everything possible. The growth your heart and mind will experience should come naturally. Don’t just go with the flow if you’re moving upstream and everyone else is moving downstream. Stay open minded and optimistic but never falter on what you truly believe in. You will lose yourself and who you are, and that loss is the hardest kind from which to recover.

How did Mercer prepare you for your future?

The people I’ve met at Mercer or through Mercer have had a major impact on my life, and most of them probably don’t even realize how big that impact has been. I’m more confident in myself than ever before. Lord knows I don’t remember every lecture or every formula, but I will never forget the life lessons I’ve learned from the people who make this place great.

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