Wisdom and guidance from professors of BYU-Idaho

Photo credit: Marissa Harrison

Mentors come in different forms. They may come into your life as a well-loved coach, a dear friend or a dedicated family member. There is no end to the form your mentor may take. Important mentors today can be your professors.

Each one of these individuals have their own stories and have faced similar challenges that we face as college students.

Jason Reeder, a professor in the communication department, and Scott Pope, a professor in the management department, have different backgrounds but provide wisdom that each of us search for.


It is no news that college is stressful, students can begin to face discouragement and start to lack motivation. Reeder, a great example of what it means to keep going through discouragement, has ran marathons and other mentally challenging runs. He has worked hard for what he has now and continues to be an inspiration to his students.

“It’s a mindset of people feeling all in or all-out,” Reeder said. “Be all in but if you mess up and you have a setback don’t get all-out. Keep going and keep pushing through it and just recommit yourself to accomplishing and making progress and you will get there eventually it’s just when you give up completely and just drop it and abandon it you don’t make any progress.”

A photo of Jason Reeder
Photo courtesy of BYU-Idaho

For each trial you are given, have the willpower to overcome it. Your weaknesses truly will become your strengths, but as Reeder stated perfectly, it is when you abandon your goals that your progress stops.

Finding your path

Pope provided comfort for those choosing a major to pursue or type of work to move toward with.

When asked how he knew what to pursue with his life Pope laughed as he gave his answer.

“I don’t know if that’s a single answer to give,” Pope said. “It’s a journey. I had no idea this is what I wanted to do … I pursued passions but I also made decisions about what I thought would be best for my family … Heavenly Father just let us know. It was unexpected, not really sought after and here we are, and I couldn’t be happier.”

A photo of Scott Pope
Photo courtesy of BYU-Idaho

If you feel that you are the only one jumping from major to major, you are not alone in this path. Our very own professors have experienced similar confusion.

Dating life

Confusion can come in different ways, and often these uncomfortable moments occur in dating life. Some advice that Reeder would have given himself in college is stated down below.

“I would have been like, you know what, who cares,” Reeder said. “What do I have to lose? If you are interested in a person, you are attracted to a person, go for it you know. Why not?”

Reeder later emphasized the importance of being bold and confident, but not in a self-centered way.

His last piece of advice he shared — that he and his college roommates adopted — was called the three to one rule.

“For every three efforts that I made as a guy I needed one reciprocation.” Reeder shared.

He would try three times of a nice gesture, a compliment or a date, and if it wasn’t reciprocated in some way then the game would be over and he would move on.

Gospel living

The last piece of advice revolves around how to stay motivated in keeping your covenants.

“I think one of the keys to staying with it, has been staying in it by serving in callings doing those things like family home evening, studying scriptures with family,” Pope said. “Keep doing those things while asking questions. By continuing to take action even if you have questions, your faith will be rewarded and confirmed and become stronger.”

It’s completely fine to have trials of faith and to question the principles of the gospel. As we continue to question and seek answers, we will soon find our faith blossoming into our greatest strength.

Growth is a process that cannot be taken on alone. Students must reach out to those mentors who have wisdom to provide. You are not alone in your trials; there is support all around you. Professors are there to uplift and encourage you. They all have had their own experiences with life and may have had a trial similar to your own.