October 24, 2014  

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How Do You Repay a True Mentor?

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(Editor’s note): Dr. Hassan Aziz is the department head and associate professor of Medical Technology at Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah, Georgia. He is also the Laboratory Director of Georgia Regional Hospital at Savannah. He received his doctorate degree from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2000.

 

M. Jane Hudson, PhD, MT(ASCP)SM, CLS(NCA) is retiring on June 30, 2011 after an incredible career as chairperson, program director and professor at The University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS.

Dr. Hudson opened her doors and arms for me back in 1993 when I was pursuing my master’s degree. She directed me in the correct path in so many different occasions. She was my teacher and my mentor, but above all, she was, and still remains, a personal friend that I am proud to have. I was honored to have her as the chair of my doctoral committee.

I used to think there was a close relationship with a student and his/her teacher, however, I’ve come to believe, after working with Dr. Hudson, that there's a huge difference between a teacher and a mentor. Teachers may only be concerned about the student's performance on a particular project; mentors go beyond the boundary of the classroom.

I was blessed by having strong mentors in my life that helped me overcome hurdles and made difficult decisions. When I reflect on my experiences, there were a series of key players who guided me along the way. Dr. Hudson stands out to be on top of this list!

I look back now and realize the advices that she gave me were instrumental in shaping my professional career. She always gave me a sound, objective advice due to a perspective I have not yet earned. She trusted me; she saw something in me and in her own special way, helped me realize my potential.

While working on my doctorate course work and dissertation, she asked me to write a chapter in a new textbook she was authoring. I resisted because my plate was full but she was persistent. I could not say no and I ended up writing the chapter. It was very rewarding (still is) to see the final product.

She believed in my abilities. When I started looking for jobs, she gave an advice that would never forget. She told to never run away from a job, instead run to a job. She always told me that I would progress in my professional careers to the highest levels as long as I have the passion and desire. I guess she saw something in me that at the time I did not know I possessed. She told me I was a natural leader. I started to see myself through her eyes and believe in my own ability.

Dr. Hudson entered my life in 1993 but she will never leave it. Her lessons will last a lifetime. She made a positive and a lasting impact. Although I did not know it at the time, I needed her in my life. Dr. Hudson will always have a special place in my heart.

I cannot thank you enough, Dr. Hudson, for everything you have done to me! I hope one day I can return the favors and I wish one day I can make a difference in someone’s life as she did to me.