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Classroom Connections: Western Carolina
Courtesy: Southern Conference
Release: 12/06/2018
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Courtesy: Southern Conference
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Western Carolina men's basketball player Yalim Olcay and Dr. Grace Allen

About Yalim Olcay:
  • Junior 
  • 6-8 forward from Izmir, Turkey

About Dr. Allen: 

  • Professor of Finance in the School of Accounting, Finance, Information Systems and Business Law
  • Owns a BS in Chemistry from Agnes Scott College, an MBA from Appalachian State and a PhD in Finance with minor in International Business from the University of South Carolina
  • Has been teaching 27 years, all at Western Carolina

Yalim Olcay and Dr. Allen in front of the Alumni Tower, in front of the A.K. Hinds University Center

Q&A with Yalim Olcay:

  •  What makes Dr. Allen a good teacher? I’d say the she way she teaches the class. She does a really good job of keeping students engaged by telling jokes and asking questions!
  • What do you like most about Dr. Allen's class? It's really fun to be in!
  • What is something you’re involved in outside of class and sports that we may not know? Unfortunately, I’m not part of any student organization or group right now, because basketball and academics take up most of my time.
  • How do you manage academics, athletics and a social life? What is your key to good time management? I think planning beforehand is very important for time management. I always try to figure out what I need to do at least a week before. Also, writing down reminders help me a lot because I can forget things easily sometimes!
  • What are your plans post grad? I would like to play for a professional team. Right now, I don’t know if I’ll stay in the United States or go somewhere overseas, but I like traveling and living in different places. I guess time will tell!

 Q&A with Dr. Allen:

  •   What is it like having Yalim in your class? Yalim is a joy to have in class! His infectious smile and humbled confidence is such an addition to the classroom. And to top that off, Yalim is extremely smart and conscientious. During the first week of class, Yalim told me to call him YOLO – his teammate’s nickname for him. Every time I called him YOLO in class, the rest of class giggled. It took the edge off the seriousness of an introductory finance class and I totally loved it. I have always had an affinity for international students. I have great respect for a young person who will leave home and their comfort zone to experience and grow in another country. Yalim is certainly learning and growing as a Catamount far from home, and as his nickname stands for, You Only Live Once!
  • What is your favorite sport or hobby? What do you like to do in your free time? I love being outside! Hiking, mountain biking, paddle boarding and gardening are some of my favorite activities. I also love to read historical fiction and to watch the financial news.  
  • What’s your favorite spot on campus? I like to jog through campus. Besides the workout, I feel more connected when I have weaved through the ever-changing campus, watching students going to and from their activities.
  • How often are you able to watch your student-athletes compete? I try to attend a few football and basketball games each year. It is especially fun to cheer on the Catamounts when my own students are competing!
  • What is your favorite thing about teaching? The students! I have the perfect job – teaching college students is my passion. They certainly keep me young at heart.

About Classroom Connections: Classroom Connections is a new, bi-weekly feature that showcases student-athletes away from the playing field and highlights the relationship between student-athlete and professor. 

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