Relationships built at Wallace State last long past graduation
This is one in a series of stories celebrating Community College Month during April.
Hanceville, AL — When Mary Beth Sellers graduated from Wallace State in 2012, she left with more than a diploma and credits transferring to Auburn University. She also carried with her relationships that have continued to this day.
Sellers said she had always planned to attend Wallace State. Her mother, father, uncle and grandfather all taught at Wallace State at some point. Her parents, Susan and Tim Sellers, and uncle, Lance Boyd, and grandfather, Jim Boyd, all taught math, she said. She also participated in events such as STEM and sports camps.
“It was always somewhere I had considered going first,” she said. That’s not to say she didn’t consider other options.
“A lot of my friends moved off to 4-year colleges right out of high school and at first, I was wondering if I should have done the same. However, I don't regret starting my college career at Wallace State, as it was one of the best decisions I could have made. We are lucky to have such a great community college this close to home!”
Sellers said the relationships she built in her two years at Wallace State were the most beneficial to her.
“The relationships I made have had the greatest impact on my life,” she said. “Some of those relationships are what helped shape me into the person I am today. I'm very thankful for my time at Wallace State.”
One of those relationships is with her former speech instructor, Mona Hopper.
“She has made a huge impact on my life,” Sellers said of the retired educator. “I learned so much from her and still think back to things I learned in her class over 10 years ago. I consider her a dear friend and mentor and we keep in touch.”
Other instructors or staff at Wallace State who supported her and impacted her life were Barbara Atchley, Suzanne Harbin and Connie Briehn.
“Ms. Atchley was instrumental in helping me decide my major,” Sellers said of her advisor. “I had originally wanted to go to veterinarian school at Auburn but changed my major to Public Relations before I transferred.”
“Mrs. Briehn made learning fun and I really enjoyed her classes,” Sellers said. “I still stop and talk to her any time I see her out and about.”
Mrs. Harbin helped Sellers get involved with the Future Foundation. “That helped me create important relationships with people who I keep in touch with to this day. She was very supportive to me while I was at Wallace State.”
Sellers said Wallace State helped her develop many skills that help her every day, including communication, networking, public speaking, critical thinking, leadership, creativity, collaboration, project management, technology and so much more.
After graduating Wallace State, Sellers transferred to Auburn University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations in 2014. She began working for Cullman Regional that same year, working first with the Cullman Regional Foundation and then in the Marketing and Public Relations Department where she’s been since 2017.
“I truly love my job and look forward to growing in my career at the hospital,” she said. “I'm thankful to be working in the community I grew up in and hope to make a difference in my job every day.”
Registration for summer and fall semesters in underway. Summer 2023 classes begin May 24. Fall 2023 classes begin Aug. 18. For more information, visit www.wallacestate.edu, call 256.352.8000 or come by Lion Central in the lobby of the James C. Bailey Center Monday-Wednesday 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or Friday 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Mary Beth Sellers and her family, from left to right: brother Adam, Sellers, father Tim, mother Susan, sister-in-law Lindzie holding Sellers’s niece Kendal Banks, brother Ben and nephew Braylin.
- Kristen Holmes
- Vice President for Students and Chief Marketing Officer
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