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Classroom Connections: Furman
Courtesy: Southern Conference
Release: 10/29/2019
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Courtesy: Southern Conference
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Football player Bo Layton and Dr. Gregory Lewis

About Bo Layton:
  • Redshirt junior offensive tackle
  • Native of Knoxville, Tenn.
  • Majoring in Biology

About Dr. Lewis: 

  • Professor of Biology
  • Owns a B.S. in Biology from Furman University and a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Cornell University
  • Joined the Furman Biology faculty in 2000

Bo Layton and Dr. Lewis on a study abroad trip to Ecuador

Q&A with Bo Layton:

  • What did you like most about Dr. Lewis's class? Dr. Lewis is one of the nicest people I’ve met at Furman. You can tell that he is passionate about what he teaches, which is contagious when you’re listening to a lecture. He is always very constructive in his feedback and always points you in the right direction when you need help.
  •  What makes Dr. Lewis a good teacher? Dr. Lewis is always approachable and willing to help with any questions you might have. His kindness and lightheartedness in the classroom create an environment that makes it fun to learn. He helped me to understand that science doesn’t always give you the results you expect or want, which I feel is applicable to other areas of life. While some know a little about everything, it seems like he knows a lot about everything. I have never met anyone that knows more about plants than Dr. Lewis. You should have seen him naming every plant we saw in Ecuador- it was really impressive.
  • What is something you’re involved in outside of class and sports that we may not know? This summer I was able to work on a research project with the Department of Surgery at Prisma Health Upstate. I worked with Dr. Wes Jones in a study that looked at the accuracy of different methods of diagnosing pancreatic and biliary cancers. Aside from that, I am a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity. I love the outdoors, so you can usually find me hiking or fly-fishing somewhere in the mountains on weekends in the spring and summer. I also play a little guitar.
  • How do you manage academics, athletics and a social life? What is your key to good time management? I’ve learned that you have to find time to work even when its tough and you don’t feel like it. My buddies always get a laugh out of how much I study, but when you have a limited schedule, you have to find time to get it all in. Sometimes that means having to work after games or late at night when you have an early practice or workout. While things may be tough in the time being, you have to remind yourself that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and hard work always pays off. I think that to be successful, you have to give 100% in everything you do. For me, this means being the best student, the best athlete, and the best friend to others that I can be. One thing that I always tell myself is “All I can do is all I can do, and all I can do is enough.” Trust that your efforts will get you where you have your mind set on going.
  • What is your favorite spot on campus? I’ve spent many a night in the basement of Plyler Hall (the science building at Furman). I see a lot of people from class studying down there and always have the opportunity to meet some cool new people down there as well. My favorite spot on campus though has to be around the lake. It’s a great spot for a walk and a great place to throw out a line if you need to blow off some steam and want to catch a fish.
  • What is the most important skill you've learned through participation in your sport? Football has taught me a lot of things - leadership, communication, toughness, the ability to get back up when you’re down. However, the coolest thing that football has gifted me with is the ability to go to work every day with 100 guys of completely different backgrounds. Though we’re all different, we all work together to achieve a common goal - winning. The best way to work is in a team. Football has shown me the importance of working as a team and given me the opportunity to be apart of one, gifting me with a group of guys who are the best friends I could ever ask for.
  • Do you have any nicknames? Or if you could choose your own, what would it be and why? “Bo” actually is a nickname, so I guess I’ll just stick with that. My real name is Branum O’Neal Layton. Branum and O’Neal are two family names, and Bo is just shorter and easier.
  • What are your plans post grad? After I graduate, I plan on attending medical school and want to become an orthopedic surgeon. I think it would be really cool to be a team doctor and be able to work with student-athletes like myself to get them back on the field after an injury. I think that this would be a great opportunity to be connected to two things that I am passionate about - medicine and football.

     Q&A with Dr. Lewis:
  • What was it like having Bo in your class? I’ve been fortunate to have Bo in two of my classes, including a recent study away class. I admire Bo for his work ethic – he’s clearly dedicated to excellence in the classroom and on the field. Bo always has a positive attitude and a good sense of humor. I think he sets a great example for other students in class.
  • What is your favorite sport or hobby? What do you like to do in your free time? I like to spend as much time outdoors as I can – walking, hiking, doing yard work, trying to grow a home garden.
  • How often are you able to watch your student-athletes compete? I make a point of attending games several times a semester. I especially enjoy football, volleyball, and basketball games.
  • What’s your favorite spot on campus? The stream flowing under the stone footbridge upstream of Furman Lake is a peaceful spot that reminds me of spending time in the mountains.
  • What is your favorite thing about teaching? I love that it’s my job to pass along my excitement for lifelong learning to my students. Plus, I really enjoy the energy and enthusiasm of my students.
  • What would students be surprised to find out about you? I strongly considered double-majoring in art and biology as an undergraduate. Even though I didn’t major in art, I found taking several art classes to be really enjoyable and rewarding.
  • What is one class your schools offers that you wish you could take? That’s a tough one - there are so many interesting courses Furman offers! I think it would be especially fun to take a studio art class.

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

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