LIFEREADY GUIDES


asharpeAnna Sharpe
Tutoring and Academic Support Specialist
asharpe@berry.edu

I grew up in coastal Georgia, going to the beach and riding horses.  When I was sixteen, I answered a help wanted add for waitresses and started working in the restaurants owned by the wonderful people who are now my in-laws.  Working in their restaurants, I met my husband, Jamie, and learned a lot about people, work ethic, and what I definitely did NOT want to do for the rest of my life (specifically, be in the restaurant industry!).  When it came time to apply for college, I knew I wanted to go but had no real understanding of the options available to me.  My mom had attended community college and my dad was an electrician, so they provided a ton of love and support but little guidance in choosing where I would start my college career.  So, without much thought, I chose a big, state flagship university—and I left after one semester.  I just wasn’t the right fit for me.  After that, I enrolled in a community college and then a regional state college where I thrived.  Every summer, I would go back home to work in the family restaurants and every fall I would return to school having been reminded why I was working so hard for a degree.  

In 2010, Jamie and I took a leap of faith, left the family restaurants for good, and enrolled in graduate school at University of Kentucky.  There, I worked as a graduate assistant for a student support department for one year while pursuing my masters degree.  In 2011 I was hired as an Assistant Director for the department, in part because of the experience I had gained managing employees in the restaurants, and I remained in that position until 2016.  In 2012 I graduated with my masters in English and in 2015 I became a PhD Candidate in Geography at University of Kentucky.  

While I was never a student at Berry, the college’s mission of head, heart, hands and their emphasis on the importance of work resinate strongly with me and mirror my own educational and career path.  Now that Berry College is my home, I enjoy working with students in my role as Tutoring and Academic Success Specialist in the Academic Success Center—and, of course, as a Guide.  Mentoring students as a Guide is fundamentally different that my work supporting students academically alone.  I so look forward to forging lasting relationships with students and supporting them as they find their own paths.