Alumna Stephanie Coker Meyers ('00, Health) found as an Honors College student that sometimes you have to take the long way around, but that the "additional experience you gain along the way builds character and knowledge that would not have been there otherwise." Keep reading for more of Stephanie’s Honors story...
Why did you choose Honors?
As a high school senior, I had decided to stay close to home to go to college and my stepfather had attended UH. We went to Cougar Preview and I fell in love with the campus.
My cousin (Kathy Domec El-Hejjali, '90) had also attended the University of Houston and was a member of the Honors College and she had described all of the benefits of the Honors College. Then, while visiting the Honors College during the campus tour, I met Dr. Estess and he was very welcoming, as though I was already part of the family.
I had done well in high school and wanted to continue challenging myself, but also did not want to get lost in the crowds of students at UH. Luckily, I was accepted to the Honors College and was awarded a scholarship by the university, both of which contributed to a wonderful experience while at UH.
How did the Honors College prepare you to become a great alumni leader?
As a graduating high school student, I was very confident in my academic abilities. I didn’t have the best standardized test scores, but I knew I could be successful in whatever I decided to do.
Then as a freshman in the Honors College, I had the privilege of taking the English Composition series prior to taking Human Situation. Not only did I make some great friends through this course, but it allowed me to build better writing and analytical skills going into Human Situation. From this experience, I learned that to do well at something, you often have to go about it the long way, but the additional experience you gain along the way builds character and knowledge that would not have been there otherwise.
Being a member of the Honors College, and all that entailed, allowed me to develop skills in a variety of genres that have been helpful throughout my educational and professional endeavors. The small classes and excellent faculty were a constant challenge to excel—there was no hiding in the back. Because of this, I had to be confident and self-reliant in all that I did. My professional life is still young, but I know that I have the knowledge and skills to be successful because of the foundation I built while in the Honors College.
What was the most profound take away from your Honors experience—something that has resonated through the years?
The students in the Honors College are the best of the best. Being around that kind of group is very humbling. It makes you strive to be better, but also teaches that we are not always successful and there is something to learn on both occasions—success and failure. This type of education is not always gained in the classroom, but learning from those around you. The relationships I built during my time at the Honors College have been as important as what I learned in the classroom. I am also very grateful for the time and dedication the Honors College faculty members give to foster student learning and I use that same attitude as a template for my own teaching.
What's your favorite Honors memory?
I had the privilege of being involved in a number of campus activities and was a leader in them all at some point. Through all of those experiences, I always had Honors College friends by my side – many of which I met during my freshman year. We learned to be leaders together and supported each other in those endeavors. I am happy to say that some of the best friends I have today are those that were made while in the Honors College.
About Stephanie Coker Meyers
After receiving a B. S. in Health Promotion and an M.Ed. in Health Education, Stephanie went on to complete a BSN, MSN, and PhD at the UT Health School of Nursing in Houston. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Clinical and Special Programs in the Department of Family Health at UT Health School of Nursing. Stephanie teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in maternity nursing and women’s health. Her research focuses primarily on the nursing care of women with high-risk pregnancy and pregnancy complications. Stephanie and her husband, Casey, enjoy traveling and spending time with their son, Spencer.