Student Faces Challenges with ‘Baldwin Spirit’

November 9, 2012

Tanisha Hinton ’13 is on track to graduate with a degree in economics one year ahead of schedule due to diligence and hard work. When she became a Spencer Society Phonathon caller this summer, she used that drive to contact prospective donors and encourage their support for Mary Baldwin University.

“I was overwhelmed at first. It was challenging to face the possibility of rejection and not take it personally,” she said. Hinton soon gained more confidence and learned that hearing the word “no” isn’t a reflection on her. “You have to speak to each person with a clean slate; you can’t let a bad call taint your attitude,” she said.

Keeping that spirit intact, Hinton began receiving positive feedback and started to relish the conversations. “It makes my night to connect with people and learn from their experiences. Some alumnae have the funniest stories. One woman was telling me about how she bought a flannel shirt because it was really in fashion at the time, and the first time she wore it, she almost set the chemistry lab on fire,” she said. Hinton believes that alumnae/i enjoy hearing from her because she is proof that the college continues to deliver superior education to bright, successful young women. “Many alumnae loved Mary Baldwin during their time here, and I think they like hearing that there are young women here today who feel the same way,” she said.

Hinton’s experience as a member of the President’s Society and as a peer mentor for freshmen has served her well during calls with prospective students, a new responsibility for Phonathon callers this year. She can easily answer most questions from prospective students and she enjoys the opportunity to share what she loves most about Mary Baldwin — that it inspires women to be leaders in their communities. With new offerings on the horizon through the Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences, Hinton is sure interest in Mary Baldwin among prospective students will only grow. “The programs the college plans on adding are so relevant to societal needs today, and they are what students are interested in studying,” she said.

A champion student, Hinton received the Mona Olds Scholarship in acknowledgement of her hard work and dedication. After graduation in May, she hopes to join the Teach For America corps to teach early education math in a low-income community. “I just want to make a difference,” she said.