GSU student shares experience dealing with pandemic during national forum

Pictured is Grambling State University student Thyme Turner. (Courtesy photo)

Press release

Thyme Turner, a rising sophomore at Grambling State University, was recently selected to participate in a forum held by the Gardner Institute) — an organization dedicated to transformation learning and a scholarly program dedicated to issues of change.

Turner, of Raymond, Mississippi, was first selected by a Jackson State University professor to serve on the student panel during The Transformational Webinar in 2020. She was invited back this year to speak during It’s a Wrap: Academic Year of 2020-2021.

The virtual forum featured Turner and three students from other universities.

Turner shared her experiences as an HBCU student who was impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, said her adviser, Suzanne Mayo, explaining that Turner was chosen from students from across the country to speak at the webinars.

“Thyme was the only student from an HBCU and represented Grambling State University well as a student leader, a scholar and an aspiring researcher,” Turner said, adding that “It’s such an honor to have a GSU student to be selected, but even more so because Thyme (was) a freshman, an honor student, and a student change maker.”

During the forum, Turner shared her student perspective about COVID-19 and her experience as a Grambling State University student. She also touched on such topics as self-care, staying focused, and staying motivated.

“This was a wonderful opportunity because it gave me a national platform to shine a light on HBCUs and to speak about my experience as a first-year college student during a pandemic,” Turner said, adding that “I’ve learned more about myself this year and throughout my freshman year. I learned that I had more self-discipline than I thought because of the way that the classes were set up virtually. I also learned that I thrive living away from home.”

Turner said she felt supported and listened to at Grambling during the pandemic and that’s so important to students. She said she also found support among her peers.

“One thing that Grambling is absolutely amazing at is giving you help when you need it,” she said. “If you have a question about anything, email someone, text them on Twitter and they will respond within minutes.”

When asked about coping, Turner said, “I always like to say self-care is the best care. It’s important to give yourself days off …to get your mind back where it needs to be.”

Mayo said Turner was well-prepared for the opportunity to speak during the webinars.

“At Grambling State University, with our Quality Enhancement Program (QEP), we encourage our Family and Consumer Sciences students to develop their communication skills by enhancing their writing, speaking, and delivery,” she said.
“Thyme came to my class each week prepared to speak about the content with ease, clarity, and vigor. I would give a “shout out” to her for always speaking up and one day, I asked her after class when and where did she get that ability to speak up.”

Turner told her she was in student government in high school and described herself as a leader who looked forward to bringing her talents to GSU.

“I knew that day that I was teaching tomorrow’s leader today in Thyme Turner. I told her, your future is so bright it blinds me,” Mayo said.

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