- Official Web Site of The Southern Conference
Classroom Connections: Wofford
Courtesy: Southern Conference
Release: 11/08/2018
Courtesy: Southern Conference

Wofford volleyball player Colleen Reilly & Dr. Natalie Spivey

About Colleen Reilly:
  • Senior volleyball player
  • 6-0 middle blocker from Chicago, Ill.
  • Biology and spanish major with a minor in finance

About Dr. Spivey: 

  • Associate professor in Biology 
  • Owns a B.S. in biology from Emory University and a PhD from Duke University
  • 9th year teaching at Wofford 

Dr. Spivey and Colleen Reilly in front of Old Main on Wofford's campus

Q&A with Colleen Reilly:

  •  What makes Dr. Spivey a good teacher? Dr. Spivey is one of the most personable teachers I have had, and it is evident that she genuinely cares about the success of her students. Although I was in season and needed to miss class due to volleyball, not only was she more than accommodating and willing to work with me in order to ensure my success in the classroom, but she was always genuinely enthusiastic about my success on the court! From then, we were able to foster a great relationship and although I haven’t had another biology class with her since, she is still a great resource that I know I can go to when I need help regarding classwork, potential career paths, or discovering opportunities I didn’t know existed prior.
  • What do you like most about Dr. Spivey's class? I first became introduced to Dr. Spivey when I had her for Genetics and Molecular Biology during the fall semester sophomore year. While biology classes are very challenging and can be overwhelming at times, Dr. Spivey made the class refreshing and engaging by showing how the concepts were applicable or visible throughout our everyday lives. I feel that students struggle to grasp or retain material when they feel as though what they’re learning will never be legitimately put to use, but Dr. Spivey always did a great job breaking difficult material down and explaining how these themes of biology and genetics were so relevant to our lives, making it easier to grasp and much more exciting to understand.
  • What is something you’re involved in outside of class and sports that we may not know? This past summer I worked in the Office of Advancement for Wofford On Call, which is the student calling program involved with the philanthropic traditions of Wofford. I thoroughly loved working with this program because not only was it amazing to get to personally thank benefactors who have directly or indirectly contributed to opportunities I am able to experience here at Wofford, but it’s always fun to hear stories and good memories from alumni who still love Wofford and have strong Terrier pride!
  • How do you manage academics, athletics and a social life? What is your key to good time management? Time management skills are absolutely crucial to the success of any student-athlete, and as the youngest of five siblings and a large family with different and chaotic schedules, I began honing them when I was pretty young. If we’re being honest, while I have successfully been balancing school and multiple sports for most of my life, I think it’s safe to say that I have a different way of managing my tasks and time. Although it sounds bizarre, I produce my best work when I’m put under pressure and under strict time constraints--- they force me to work quickly and efficiently (which definitely reflects my competitive nature)--- so in general I will plan completing my academic tasks in sufficient time, but later than an average student would. Knowing that this is the manner in which I operate best, I will complete all of my volleyball related tasks, and after those are completed I plan social time with friends and family with a strict cutoff so as to give myself sufficient time to complete my academic tasks and do them well. This keeps me from dragging them out or dilly dallying when I’m trying to complete them. Plus, it makes it like a race or competition with myself to finish, which keeps me energized to work!
  • What’s your favorite spot on campus? My favorite spot on campus is the lawn in front of Old Main! Not only does it give an awesome view of Old Main on a beautiful day, but it’s a great place to throw down a blanket and get some homework done with friends while enjoying some fresh air.
  • What are your plans post grad? Currently, I am weighing my options regarding a career in medical device sales, particularly surgical tools, and/or exploring other careers related to the medical field.


 Q&A with Dr. Spivey:

  •   What was it like having Colleen in your class? Colleen was a joy to have in my classroom. Even after a long night on the road during volleyball season, she always came to class with a positive attitude, ready to work hard. She enjoys a good challenge and takes time to learn from her mistakes. Colleen is one of those students that has taken full advantage of all the opportunities college has offered her.  
  • What is your favorite sport or hobby? What do you like to do in your free time? I enjoy spending time with my husband and our two amazing children. Camping is one of our favorite things to do as a family.  
  • How often are you able to watch your student-athletes compete? My family loves to cheer on the Terriers anytime we can fit it into our busy schedule. Our favorites are volleyball, basketball, and soccer.
  • What’s your favorite spot on campus? Almost anywhere outside. Several colleagues and I enjoy taking walks around our beautiful campus whenever we have a few minutes before or after lunchtime.
  • What is your favorite thing about teaching? Getting the opportunity to talk about a subject that I love with students that are eager to learn.

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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