Caitlin Anderson is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Physiology and Wellness at SMU.
“It was my first class at SMU. I just remember I was super nervous but she was just the most happy, energetic, kind person. And, even as a senior I still remember her class,” senior Lexie Hanna said.
“I grew up in a really loving family,” Anderson said.
As the third of four children, Caitlin always compared herself to her high-achieving siblings. In her own family, she felt like a failure.
“I always just felt like I was the odd person out, like I didn’t fit in. And, I was destined to be the failure of my family,” Anderson said.
In college, this fear became her reality.
“Failing my first semester was a big part of it. Because, I was too proud to get help. Too proud to ask for assistance. I thought that it meant I was admitting I was broken,” Anderson said.
Caitlin graduated with a Masters in Educational Administration and is now working toward her Doctoral Degree in Higher Education at SMU.
“Ultimately, I want students to reflect on who it is that they are and who they want to be,” Anderson said. “And, that their choices matter. I hope that they know that they have a lot of power. And, I want them to know that this SMU community is a place where they are valued and accepted for who they are as their authentic selves.”
She hopes that her story of failure and success with resonate with students.
“It kind of made me feel safe. I guess, taking class from somebody who was knowledgable as well as a person who was kind. Going into that was really great,” SMU senior Kendall Mainz said.
“I get to connect with students in a meaningful and authentic way. That kind of reminds them that they can disconnect from everything else that is so hectic going on in their lives. And, take some time to just be human,” Anderson said.