Graduate Spotlight: Shaun Gaskin

shaun gaskin sits on a bench wearing a mercer shirt and open graduation gown
Shaun Gaskin. Photo by Kirt Barnes

Shaun Gaskin, a Class of 2023 graduate of the Stetson-Hatcher School of Business, earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in management.

What are your plans after graduation?

I am attending Mercer’s School of Business to gain my Master of Business Administration (MBA). I will also continue in the leadership development program at Southside Baptist Church in Warner Robins.

Who was your favorite professor and why?

The Rev. Dr. David Gushee, Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics, was my favorite professor. I took his ethics and moral leadership course in spring 2022, and it had a major impact on me. We discussed the lives of many world-changing leaders, such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Harriet Tubman, Gandhi, Malala Yousafzai and others. We looked at their lives from various angles and had healthy discussions about the criticism these leaders often face, even today. Taking a deep dive into the lives of such influential leaders impacted my knowledge and perspective in a significant way. Much of this impact can be attributed to Dr. Gushee. His book and our class discussion allowed me to grow, be challenged, and find practical applications to take from the lives of leaders unlike myself.

How do you plan on changing the world?

I plan on changing the world through investing in the next generation. I am currently part of the leadership development program at Southside Baptist Church in Warner Robins and am part of student ministry leadership. Through developing relationships with these students and helping them grow their relationships with Jesus, I hope to change the world. My invested efforts in the students will be multiplied when they invest in others, who continue this investment in still others. I also plan on furthering my education. I will be returning to Mercer to earn my MBA. By increasing my business knowledge and becoming a more developed leader, I plan to manage teams and lead individuals in a way that makes them feel valued.

What advice do you have for incoming students?

Get out of your shell! Whether you are typically talkative, shy, extroverted, introverted, etc., force yourself out of your comfort zone. This doesn’t have to be you speaking in the front of class every day. Start by talking to the people sitting around you in your classes who you have not yet met. Most people want friends and want to feel they are taking classes with people they know. However, it might take you getting uncomfortable to meet these people. This can also be done through you joining campus ministries, clubs, research groups or intramural teams. By pushing myself out of my comfort zone, I met some of my best friends at Mercer. It may not always feel easy or even worth it, but it can allow you to meet lifelong friends.

What makes Mercer special to you?

From deciding which college to attend all the way through now approaching graduation, I have always felt known at Mercer. I never felt that I was merely a number or extra student to the professors. I have had numerous professors learn my name — and remember it semesters later — as well as which sports teams I cheered for, my career goals and my personal life. They made me feel that I was a valuable member of their class. Other groups, such as campus ministries and business groups, have helped me develop deep friendships with individuals who have helped me feel appreciated. At Mercer, people are loved and recognized as individuals, not just another student in a classroom.

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