08:39 AM

Celebrity Mother and Son at University of St. Thomas-Houston

Duncan Horner and his mom, Communications Theory instructor Deborah Duncan in front of Doherty LibraryFor any college freshman, meeting new people, studying with classmates, and forming lifelong relationships are an added bonus of attending college. Yet, for one particular freshman at the University of St. Thomas-Houston, there is one already-familiar person he may bump into on campus, a person with whom he shares a lifelong bond; his mom.

"I have morning classes, and she teaches an evening class, so this is working out beautifully right now!" joked Duncan Horner talking about his mother, popular television host Deborah Duncan who also serves as a Communications Theory instructor at UST.

"We were very thankful for the opportunity that presented itself," said Deborah describing how Horner made up his mind after meeting with a professor and walking the campus grounds.

For Horner, attending college at the same university where his mother teaches is working out beautifully because at UST Horner feels he has found the perfect environment for him to academically thrive. Growing up with dyslexia and attention and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), schoolwork has sometimes been a challenge.

"I love the vibe,” Horner said. “The professors are great, and I think that is partly because the class sizes are smaller. That is important for someone like me who has to make an extra effort to concentrate on some things. The professors can actually engage with students."

After graduating high school this year, his plans did not include attending college immediately. He had planned to obtain a real estate license and only take a few college classes.

Presently, Horner is a full-time student taking classes in Psychology, Mandarin Chinese, History and English. His professional goals are to work in the field of psychology and possibly become a clinical psychologist to help children with learning disabilities.

"Too many kids fall behind and drop out of school because they are not diagnosed or cannot access resources,” Horner said. “The difference between success and failure is opportunity and understanding."

While his busy mom Deborah is a constant source of support, Horner is also getting a regular dose of tough love as a college student.

“Now I kind of know what they mean by ‘the real world.’ I really need help, and my mom helps, but more and more she says, ‘Figure it out!’ Now I know how the bird feels getting kicked out of the nest! Good thing I'm sprouting some wings!”