Centers of Distinction

Ann Riddle '16

Ann Riddle ’16 quickly figured out that Hiram College is a place for firsts.

The political science major from Mayfield, Ohio, was home-schooled through her senior year of high school. She said Hiram, with its welcoming staff and intimate learning environment, has been the perfect place to experience so many things for the first time.

One of those things was her first one-on-one meeting with a professor. Ann didn’t know quite what to expect when, after not understanding some of the class material, she asked to meet with one of her professors individually. She realized she didn’t have anything to worry about when he spent an hour and a half making sure she understood it completely.

“Coming in I knew the support system, how everyone’s so friendly and cares about you, and you’re not just a number,” she said. “But I kind of feel like they went beyond my expectations. They really care about me, and they want me to succeed.”

Learning in a liberal arts environment has also opened her eyes to many new viewpoints for the first time.

“It’s really interesting to have so many different types of viewpoints (in the classroom),” Ann said. “It’s not just you talking with your family, and they pretty much agree with you. There’s people from all different kinds of backgrounds. They have different beliefs; they were brought up different ways. So it’s a really intellectual argument.”

With just one semester under her belt, she has already noticed a change in herself, as she has learned how to think critically.

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“I really have grown as a person, making my own decisions for things,” she said. “… I realize I’m really a lot different. I’ve matured a lot over the past couple months here at Hiram.”

Because others’ support has allowed her to thrive in her first year, Ann wants to help other students have that same experience as they experience their own firsts at Hiram College. She said she would like to become a peer tutor with Student Academic Services so that she can help teach students how to study and manage their time.

“Just the satisfaction of knowing that you’re helping someone is really an amazing experience for me,” she said.

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