Our teachers are dedicated to connecting with and caring for students, making a significant impact in their lives. We focus on diversity and inclusion, creating a comfortable yet challenging environment for all students. Our goal is to help students thrive and become community leaders by providing valuable learning experiences. One of our inspiring teachers, Dr. Kristyn VanderWaal Mills, exemplifies this approach through her passion for connecting with students and her patient and motivating teaching style. One of her students recently shared with us that Dr. VanderWaal Mills had made a lasting impact on her life:
Dear Dr. Van,
I’m writing to express my deepest thanks and let you know what a difference you have made. We often go through life without looking back to express our connection with others and our gratitude for their presence in our lives. Your engagement, caring, and challenging of your students daily, at least in my case, has made such an impact that I wanted you to know.
Just about when I was going to give up, it was my privilege and honor to be in your class. You pushed me to realize that I am good enough, and you inspired me to continue my education and one day be more and follow you as an example. Your class was indeed challenging, but what a great place you made for us to learn. You made me feel like you cared about what I had to say and valued my strengths and unique abilities instead of criticizing my weaknesses, such as my language and writing “Anatomy language” barrier. You always had a smile, and that was enough for me to work harder because I did not want to disappoint you, and in the process, I learned so much. I often read or watch TV about how some people are inspired by their teachers, and now I know what they mean.
Thank you for your time, your patience, and your encouragement. Thank you for challenging me, supporting me, and caring about me. Thank you for seeing me as a student with potential. Thank you for inspiring me to learn and help others like you have. You are a true educator, a true example of what a teacher is. Please, I beg you, keep doing what you do; we all need inspiration nowadays, and you are making a big difference!
Hayat Jemal Mohammed, a past student
At Saint Paul College, we believe that students are the heart of our work. Our faculty and staff demonstrate, as reflected in the work of Dr. VanderWaal Mills, that when all students have access to resources and support, they are empowered to achieve success.
Greg Rathert, Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs
To read more about how other Saint Paul College teachers have inspired students and alums, you can check out the following stories: