Becoming an Influential Leader – Hannah Naylor

After overcoming multiple hospitalizations and surgeries that led to her becoming homebound for three years prior to college, Hannah Naylor, ’19, was determined to not let these hardships affect her academic success. Going through such a challenging situation made Hannah more aware of what she wanted for her future.

“My determination and strength gained during those years made me who I am today,” said Hannah. “This experience drove me to find a college that was strong like me.”

Feeling drawn to Meredith College from the moment she stepped foot on campus, Hannah knew that she had found the school for her. She decided to pursue a degree in communication with concentrations in mass communication and public relations.

“Meredith has a unique learning environment that encourages women to be influential leaders, both in the classroom and out,” said Hannah. “Meredith builds up women who are empowered to develop their strengths and to make an impact. I knew this was the place for me.”

Hannah has held many leadership positions on campus such as president of the Communication Club and treasurer of the English Honor Society. To extend her learning beyond the classroom, Hannah interned during the 2016 presidential campaign in a communication role, and now interns with WakeEd Partnership in a public relations position.

Under the guidance of Teresa Holder, professor and head of the communication department, Hannah completed her undergraduate research on emotional intelligence in higher education. Both Hannah and Holder share a passion for incorporating emotional intelligence into the communication course curriculum. That passion has created a bond between them that has grown over the years.

To Hannah, Holder has been a friend, teacher, and mentor. One day, when she gets her own classroom, Hannah hopes to model her teaching style after Holder’s.

“Although Dr. Holder has many responsibilities, she is never too busy to discuss graduate school and internships with me or just check in to see how I am,” said Hannah. “She, along with many other professors at Meredith, motivated my interest to pursue a career in higher education.”

After graduation, Hannah plans on pursuing a corporate job in the communication and public relations field while continuing her education. She intends to pursue a master’s degree in communication. “Eventually, I would love to get a doctorate and become a professor, ideally at Meredith,” said Hannah. “I would love to help students discover and develop their passions, just as the faculty here have done for me.”

During her time at Meredith, Hannah has grown in her passion to help influence and strengthen young women around her to become the best version of themselves.

“Since attending Meredith, I have learned how to become more confident in my strengths and abilities, and how to be more independent,” said Hannah. “Meredith is so much more than just a school, it’s a community made up of brilliant and fierce women who have supported me in my aspiration to be my best self and to find my voice.”

By Brianna Bean, ’19

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