Classroom Connections: Mercer
Courtesy: Southern Conference
Release: 01/03/2019
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Courtesy: Southern Conference

Mercer women's basketball player Ally Welch and Dr. Sybil Keesbury

About Ally Welch:
  • Senior
  • 5-11 forward from Cumming, Ga. 
  • Early Childhood major - The Holistic Child

About Dr. Keesbury: 

  • Associate Professor and Director of the Holistic Child Program
  • Owns a B.A. in Psychology from Gustavus Adolphus College, an MS in Early Childhood Special Education from Mankato State College and an EdD in Curriculum and Instruction from Gardner-Webb University
  • Has been teaching for 22 years (nine in the Tift College of Education at Mercer) 

Ally Welch and Dr. Keesbury in Hawkins Arena on Mercer's campus

Q&A with Ally Welch:

  •  What makes Dr. Keesbury a good teacher? What do you like most about her class? I have had many classes with Dr. Keesbury in the past few years, one of which was in Peru during a trip with Mercer on Mission. She is also my advisor so she has been a large part of my time here at Mercer University. I really appreciate that Dr. Keesbury is passionate when she speaks about her previous students; it makes you look forward to the relationship and impact you can have on students and their families. Dr. Keesbury has made sure her classes were challenging, as she wants us all to be truly prepared for what being an educator entails. She has always been rather blunt giving us the honest answer and never beating around the bush about anything. She cares about her students and has done everything she could to prepare us to have our own classrooms.
  • What is something you’re involved in outside of class and sports that we may not know? I was a part of Mercer On Mission Peru. I taught in a 3rd grade classroom at a school in Laberinto, Peru for a few weeks this past summer. I taught lessons using a translator and provided professional development to the teachers in the school. 
  • How do you manage academics, athletics and a social life? What is your key to good time management? Balancing everything that comes with being a student-athlete is difficult to start and still has its weeks of high stress and late nights. Having a calendar of assignments was my biggest tool in adjusting and staying on top of work. I was able to see the due dates and write in when I needed to start working on certain things. This made it much easier for me to sit down without the distractions and get things done. Practice was just something academics worked around, it’s like a job. They tell you when your hours are and everything else just has to work around it. Being ahead on assignments makes having a social life a lot easier - you don’t worry as much and can get out of the gym and the library to escape for a little every now and then.
  • What is your favorite spot on campus? My favorite spot on campus is at the tables looking onto the baseball field. People usually aren’t there and it’s nice to escape for a little bit from time to time.
  • What are your plans post grad? I plan on getting a job close to home and living with my parents while I work and get my masters. Most school systems will help pay for your masters while you work.

 Q&A with Dr. Keesbury:

  •   What is it like having Ally in your class? Ally Welch is a joy to have in my class. She is always willing to share her experiences, ask questions and liven up a conversation. She has a true passion for teaching children and ignites this passion in others.
  • What is your favorite sport or hobby? What do you like to do in your free time? I love going to the gym and getting a good workout in to start every morning. Growing up in New York, my favorite sport had to be baseball, and of course, I am a Yankees fan.
  • What’s your favorite spot on campus? Cruz Plaza would have to be my favorite spot. All of the students and teachers gather there.
  • How often are you able to watch your student-athletes compete? I go to as many home games as possible throughout the season. I love supporting my student-athletes and watching them grow as athletes and teachers throughout their time at Mercer.
  • What is your favorite thing about teaching? The unique part of my job as a professor of education is the ability to teach students in the classroom, but then also supervise them out in the field. This is my favorite thing about teaching, watching the students implement what they are learning theoretically into a practical school placement.

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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