A Whole New World Walker Winter is ready to build bridges

The words clicked for Stephen Walker Winter.

As a senior at Houlka Attendance Center, Winter and many of his peers were searching for the best fit after high school. The timing was right for Mississippi University for Women to connect with Winter at College Day.

“My interest was piqued about The W when asked if I was interested in creative writing for English, which was my planned major,” Winter said. “I got accepted into the Ina E. Gordy Honors College and I knew then that God was leading me to The W.”

Winter has made the most of his choice, even if he changed his major along the way. On Saturday, Winter capped his four years at The W by earning a bachelor’s degree in Spanish. Winter credits professor Erinn Holloway for sparking an interest in a language Winter feels builds bridges between people. He also said his move to Spanish coincided with the development of deep connections to the Nepalese students that are part of the diverse student body at The W.

“The W has been instrumental in transforming and shaping me as a scholar and global citizen,” Winter said. “I have become more competent and confident as well as more aware of the world, the people and the cultures around me. I have been blessed with both challenges and opportunities to learn, study and explore a world much bigger than I previously imagined. I have strengthened my faith during my time at The W.”

Winter said the professors at The W set the tone in his first classes with a personable approach that continued throughout his four years. He said all of the professors care for their students, which engenders a trust that they have the students’ best interest at heart. As a result, Winter, who worked this semester with English-language and adult learners, feels he is in the best possible position to succeed.

Winter thanked Erinn Holloway, Dr. Kim Whitehead, Dr. Reyna Vergara, Mr. Michael Dodson, his friends at The W’s Wesley Foundation, Biraj Adhikari, Umisha KC, Franco Lopes, Hallie Cole, Bailey Howell, Shelby Bozek Lovell and the international student community for making a distinct impact on him.

“After presenting the final project for the Honors College, I felt like an absolute victor,” Winter said. “I had a wonderful sense of accomplishment. All the hard work over four years now is complete.”

Winter plans to get a job as a Spanish teacher in the state of Mississippi. He said he is ready to be the same kind of inspiration the professors at The W were for him. Winter isn’t sure where his next step will take him, but he is prepared to be a guide students can use to take them to their goals.

“The W is an absolutely wonderful place, waiting to take you to your full potential,” Winter said. “Go for it!”


Mississippi University for Women