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Mentoring Changes Lives Beyond Academics

Personal goals are often just as important as academic goals to college students and connecting with a faculty member who supports both can make a lasting impression.

Whitney Moss and a worker representing Louisiana Reauxl

Whitney Moss, above left, a mass communication graduate of McNeese State University, recalls how Dr. Tracy Standley, assistant professor of mass communication and now head of the department, contributed to her success as a student and now as a business owner.

“Dr. Standley was my academic adviser and she also taught many of my classes,” said Whitney. “I got to know her as more than just an adviser.”

As a mentor, Dr. Standley encouraged and challenged Whitney to push herself beyond her capabilities. By having someone who believed in her, Whitney developed the courage and confidence to open her own business.

“Opening a business has always been something I wanted to do,” Whitney explains. “My dad and I love ice cream, so when he asked if I wanted to bring a new ice cream craze to Lake Charles, it was the perfect way to start a new journey.”

Once Whitney had an idea for her ice cream shop, she started creating menu items, choosing her brand colors, ordering equipment and mixing ice cream in her parent’s living room.

“I knew opening a business would be hard, but because of my experience with Dr. Standley, I pushed myself to keep going,” she said. “The beginning was crazy, from finding the equipment to acquiring the correct permits, but it was all worth it when I could see it coming together.”

Louisiana Reauxl, a rolled ice cream shop, opened in February 2018 in Lake Charles. Rolled ice cream begins with a flavor of ice cream spread over a freezing cold plate, covering it with toppings and then rolling up the ice cream.

“This has been a great learning experience but it’s one I have enjoyed,” explains Whitney. “We made it through two-hour wait lines and a hot Louisiana summer and every day is a new opportunity to hear what our customers want.”

Whitney hopes her experience will inspire others to move past their own boundaries.

“I want others to know it’s not impossible,” said Whitney. “I’m thankful Dr. Standley pushed me to reach my goals as a student because it has helped me see that you truly can do anything when you set your mind to it.”