We are … determined. We are Alcorn.

We are … determined. We are Alcorn.

It’s been said, what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, and that hard work and determination lead to success. Today, we will share with you a story on one Alcorn student whose determination lead him through hardship and earned him good grades and the respect of his peers and professors.

Pavel Sarygin came to Alcorn from Voronezh, Russia, in 2012 to work on his bachelor’s in accounting. He is a studious student who has been on President’s or Dean’s list every semester. Pavel loved everything about Alcorn: his classes, his friends and of course, the warm weather. Last Christmas, he went home to spend the holidays with his family and as a special treat, his parents took Pavel and his little brother on a short trip to Turin, Italy. The family enjoyed their vacation very much and when the trip was almost over, someone stole his mother’s purse with the whole family’s passports, airplane tickets and money.

“It was such a shock,” remembers Pavel. “We had to go through a lot to get back home without our papers and money.”

The family got home safely, but it was not all over for Pavel. It was time for him to head back to Alcorn, but without his passport and student visa stamped in it, he couldn’t enter America. It took about five weeks to restore all the necessary papers before he could return to Alcorn.

“I was really worried that this delay would jeopardize my studies,” said Pavel. “I tried to do whatever I could not to get behind. I contacted all my instructors to notify them of my situation and got permission to continue my stidies distantly until my return to Alcorn.”

To be able to attend his online classes, Pavel had to get up at 4 a.m. because there is a nine-hour time difference between Voronezh, Russia, and Mississippi. He kept in touch with his instructors and students who took the same classes, studied his chapters and submitted all assignments due via email and Blackboard. So, when he finally was ready to come back, Pavel wasn’t behind and continued his studies without any difficulties.

One of Pavel’s professors, Dr. Wesley Whittaker, interim associate dean for Research, professor and program leader for Agricultural Economics in the School of Agriculture, Research, Extension and Applied Sciences, stated, “Pavel is one of those students who are eager to learn. He wants to know even more than what’s covered in the class. He impressed me with his determination to not let this difficult situation to hinder him. I was glad to see Pavel back in my class. He even made a 100 percent on the test that was administered shortly after his return.”

Whittaker added, “Pavel’s story serves as an example of how hard work and perseverance can lead you to success. If you want something strong enough, you can make it happen. I want to tell our students, don’t look for excuses why you cannot do something, but instead, look for ways to accomplish things and your efforts will be rewarded.”

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Pictured: Pavel Sarygin in Russia.