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My Favorite Professor

November  2015

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By Chelsea Hepworth, Accounting, Economics, ’16

Shannon Peterson and Chelsea Hepworth

It is impossible to leave Dr. Shannon Peterson’s class without feeling academically challenged. She has challenged me in ways that have changed the way I think about learning, life, and myself.

It began in my freshman orientation course. As a class full of honors business students, you could say that most of us were overachievers in high school. Dr. Peterson taught us that the most important thing we could learn in college was how to learn. Memorizing information would only get us so far; in order to take full advantage of our collegiate experience, we needed to take control of our education and look for opportunities to challenge ourselves. She explained that if we focused on learning, we would leave Utah State with something far more valuable than just a diploma — we would have the ability to continually improve ourselves no matter the situation. This lesson completely changed my mindset and was the catalyst that sent me down a path of taking full advantage of my time at Utah State and the Huntsman School.

During my Huntsman Scholar semester, I had the opportunity to have most of my classes taught by Dr. Peterson and to travel to Europe with her. During each class and our time abroad, she taught the importance of thinking critically and looking at the world from a different perspective. Before this I never realized how often I had been looking at situations from only one point of view. She challenged my assumptions and encouraged me to embrace my full potential. Dr. Peterson is always quick to point out where your thinking may be flawed, but never fails to make you feel like you already possess the potential to overcome whatever “flaws” you may have.

I look up to Dr. Peterson not only as an empowering professor, but also as an example of a strong female role model — my example of intelligence, confidence, and leadership. I could not be more honored to have had the opportunity to know Dr. Peterson.