Published on May 31, 2016  

Degree/Year: B.S., biology, 2014

Hometown: Ramer, Alabama

Current: Entrepreneur

Which Samford faculty member had the most influence on you? While I am incredibly grateful for all of my Samford professors, the one who had the most impact on me was my plant biology and taxonomy professor, Dr. Larry Davenport, who taught me to stop and smell the roses —sometimes quite literally. It is too easy to rush through life fixated on a goal or deadline. I think it is important to remember to take time to enjoy the little things in life.

What is the best advice you were ever given and by whom? When I was young, I remember my father telling me that nothing worth doing in life is easy, but if you never give up, the rewards will always exceed your expectations. My parents always encouraged me to pursue excellence, work hard and do the difficult things. That advice is something I will always remember.

How did you decide to become an entrepreneur? In October of my junior year, I faced a crossroads. I could either continue down my current path toward medical school, or I could keep working on the software side-project I started over the summer. I think the actual decision came one morning when I was looking through Twitter and almost every article on my feed was about business. I’ve discovered that you tend to dedicate your time — and your newsfeed — to things you are passionate about. From there, it was just a matter of combining my passion for business with my passion for helping people, and the result was a software company that makes facility maintenance much less painful.

How did your Samford degree prepare you for your current work? Studying biology really challenged me to experiment, think analytically and ask the bigger questions. This mindset has given me a unique perspective on how to approach numerous aspects of my business, and has especially pushed me to experiment and innovate. My professors encouraged me to learn more than I thought possible, and in doing so, I honed my ability to learn quickly — a crucial skill in software where technology is changing at an exponential rate.

What advice would you give to aspiring student entrepreneurs? The two most important things aspiring student entrepreneurs can do are to read voraciously and seek out qualified mentors. We live in a world where an infinite amount of information is only a few keystrokes away, and it’s important to take advantage of that. By maintaining an appetite for learning and reading, we can overcome almost any obstacle, and improve our businesses and ourselves faster than we would otherwise. Additionally, great mentors can prove invaluable by sharing what they learned along the way. I am incredibly thankful for the mentors who helped me get to where I am today.

What is your favorite Samford memory? It is so hard to pick just one. From Step Sing with University Ministries to shopping-cart races in the commuter parking deck to campus-wide scavenger hunts, my time at Samford was full of amazing moments. However, the one thing every one of my favorite memories has in common is the incredible people I got to share them with.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.