Classroom Connections: UNCG
Courtesy: Southern Conference
Release: 12/20/2018
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Courtesy: Southern Conference

UNCG volleyball player Allison Penner and Dr. Bill Harden

About Allison Penner:
  • Senior
  • 5-11 setter from Aurora, Nebraska
  • Accounting major

About Dr. Harden: 

  • Associate professor in the Bryan School of Business and Economics (Department of Accounting and Finance)
  • Received his Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky in 1997

Allison Penner and Dr. Harden in front of the Bryan School of Business and Economics

Q&A with Allison Penner:

  •  What makes Dr. Harden a good teacher? Dr. Harden genuinely cares about the success of all of his students. He is more than willing to help and create opportunities for students to do their best in his classes. Dr. Harden is accommodating to everyone and would move homework and tests around to make sure his students are well prepared and equipped with the tools necessary to accomplish whatever assignment is due. Since I was in class during volleyball season, he always made sure that I knew what I missed when I was on the road. It made life much less stressful than it could have been!
  • What do you like most about Dr. Hardens class? This is my second class with Dr. Harden since I have been at UNCG. In both classes, I feel like I was able to comprehend the information better because he presented new information in a way that was easy for me to understand. In his Federal Tax Concepts class, he used real life examples to help us connect it to what we might do in a future job setting. If the class does not quite understand what he is explaining, he’ll make sure to come at it from another angle. This is extremely helpful in an upper level accounting class, like tax, where there is a lot of new information being taught!
  • What is something you’re involved in outside of class and sports that we may not know? This upcoming spring I will be completing an internship at a local CPA firm in Greensboro. It will be a great opportunity to start looking at what I will want to do once I graduate this May.
  • How do you manage academics, athletics and a social life? What is your key to good time management? Managing all three of those things is very difficult to juggle, especially as you get into the upper level classes in your major. You have to dedicate more of your focus on learning new material. What helped me balance everything, especially in academics, was figuring out what was most important at the time. Starting and completing things that have more importance will take a lot of weight off your shoulders rather than procrastinating and doing those small tasks that can be done at a later time. 
  • What’s your favorite spot on campus? My favorite spot on campus is probably the sixth floor of the library. It’s a great place to drink some coffee and get a much-needed studying session in.  Plus, it has a great view overlooking campus!
  • What are your plans post grad? Right now, I am not sure where I want to go or do after graduation. I am considering going to grad school to get my master’s in accounting. Eventually, I want to become a licensed CPA.

 Q&A with Dr. Harden:

  •   What was it like having Allison in your class? I have been fortunate in having Allison in two of my classes, both the sophomore and senior level classes I teach. Allison is a great student. Perhaps it is the competitive spirit that comes from her sport, but she is always ready and alert in class and has productive comments and insightful questions. I would describe her as always ready to go in the classroom. While I congratulate her on graduating, I wish she were staying around for additional courses with us.
  • What is your favorite sport or hobby? What do you like to do in your free time? My favorites to watch are baseball and football, but in terms of doing a sport, running is my favorite.  Although my son has me doing Tae Kwon Do now so we will see if that takes over!
  • What’s your favorite spot on campus? The baseball stadium. When I came to UNCG it was a dirt and gravel parking lot. Walking past the green grass and the classic brick on my way to work is certainly a lot nicer than the old lot. In my mind is pulls together many of the positive changes that have taken place on our campus.
  • How often are you able to watch your student-athletes compete?  When I first began teaching 21 years ago, I attended sporting events close to once a week. In recent years I have been limited to a couple of meets/games a semester. I hope that I can increase this as my child gets older and will go with me to games.
  • What is your favorite thing about teaching? The best thing about teaching is definitely working with the students. My area can be a challenging one and it is really nice to see when the lights come on in the students’ minds with respect to a topic. 

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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