A Mentor’s Story of Inspiration


Right now, student mentor Camille Nelson is working on a doctorate in leadership studies from Gonzaga. Great job, Camille… and good luck down the home stretch! Several sources of inspiration have kept Camille focused on her studies; one of which is her WGU students! Camille says she’s developed a ton of admiration for students juggling families, full-time jobs, and schoolwork. They have motivated her to push through her coursework while also working full-time as a mentor.

Another source of inspiration for Camille comes from the silver screen. She shares the details below:

“Don’t Ring the Bell.” It is amazing what four little words can do to instill motivation for completing a goal or meeting a deadline. Every now and then, I come across a striking quote or mantra that rings true to situations I am dealing with at that time. An encouraging professor recently gave me some advice regarding the whole prodigious, overwhelming task of writing a dissertation. She referenced a particular scene in the movie G.I. Jane, where each marine-in-training was given the option to ring a bell if they weren't able to endure the incredibly grueling tests of physical and mental strength. Ringing the bell ended their potential career as marines. Even in the most vulnerable of times, actress Demi Moore as G.I. Jane overcame the temptation to ring the bell and carried on to finish the training valiantly.

After the professor finished the story of G.I. Jane, she left me with the words, “don’t ring the bell.” This mantra hung on my wall as I wrote the 136 pages of my dissertation proposal, which I successfully defended and passed this last week. This mantra continues to hang on my wall as I write on the remaining 60 pages that will bring me to graduation in May of this year. Thank you to those mantras that bring focus and help fine-tune life’s cacophony.

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