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Classroom Connections: ETSU
Courtesy: Southern Conference
Release: 10/24/2019
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Courtesy: Southern Conference

Women's soccer player Elena Pisani and Dr. Daniel Connors

About Elena Pisani:
  • Senior defender 
  • Native of Milan, Italy
  • Majoring in Biomedical Engineering

About Dr. Daniel Connors: 

  • Associate Professor - Engineering/Engineering Technology
  • Owns a B.S.E from the University of Michigan and an M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois, all in electrical engineering

Elena Pisani and Dr. Connors on campus at ETSU

Q&A with Elena Pisani:

  • What did you like most about Dr. Connors's class? I liked the fact that the class was well structured and it was a great preparation for exams. Also, the lab was very useful in understanding the practical aspects of what we were studying in lecture. 
  •  What makes Dr. Connors a good teacher? He is always willing to help the students with any resource he can. Especially, he was very understanding with me whenever I had a schedule conflict due to soccer games. He has always been very open to help me reschedule the exams I missed because of soccer. This is extremely important for student-athletes. 
  • What is something you’re involved in outside of class and sports that we may not know? I am currently doing a biomedical engineering internship at the Johnson City Medical Center. 
  • How do you manage academics, athletics and a social life? What is your key to good time management? I usually try to clearly visualize all the soccer appointments and school due dates at the beginning of each week. This way, I have an idea of how much work I should do every day of the week. However, I sometimes procrastinate work and it happens that I have to work hard at the last moment, but I work better when I am under pressure!
  • What is your favorite spot on campus? The soccer field! Is that too obvious? Haha.
  • What is the most important skill you've learned through participation in your sport? For me, definitely taking leadership in my team and being able to deal with the different personalities of my teammates. And, perseverance! 
  • Do you have any nicknames? Or if you could choose your own, what would it be and why? Most people call me "Ele" just because is the abbreviation of my name. Some teammates call me "Beast" because on the soccer field I am a very aggressive player and I fight on every single ball until the last minute.
  • What are your plans post grad? I am not sure yet. I want to go back to Europe to stay closer to my family and friends (I am from Italy).  I am thinking about going to England to study for a Masters degree and play professional soccer. 

     Q&A with Dr. Connors:
  • What was it like having Elena in your class? Elena excelled in ENTC 2310 - Electrical Principles. She mastered the principles and strived for perfection in her homework, labs and exams. I remind my students that in order to be a good musician or a good athlete or a good engineer, one must focus on and master the principles and one must practice. For engineering technology students, one practices by solving engineering problems. As a student-athlete, Elena has shown to me that she can strive for and achieve excellence on the field, in the lab, and in the classroom.
  • What is your favorite sport or hobby? What do you like to do in your free time? My favorite hobby is woodworking. Over the past two years I have learned many new woodworking techniques from my Manufacturing Engineering Technology colleagues. In my free time I tend to my honey bees.
  • How often are you able to watch your student-athletes compete? I follow the performance of my student-athletes by reading news articles that appear in the student and local newspapers and by listening to radio broadcasts of ETSU sporting events.  For notable athletic performances I congratulate my student-athletes in class, if I see them in the hallway or by email.
  • What’s your favorite spot on campus? I enjoy eating my lunch in the shade at the solar-paneled, covered table by the Sherrod Library. I can people-watch and listen to the sentiment of the student body.
  • What is your favorite thing about teaching? I enjoy watching the reactions of the students when they have transformed the theory they have learned in class into a working circuit in the lab. They beam with pride.
  • What would students be surprised to find out about you? Combining my interests in mathematics and woodworking, I built a wooden, inlayed picture-proof of Pythagorean's Theorem into my house's entrance. 
  • What is one class your schools offers that you wish you could take? MUSC 1400 - Music Fundamentals (2 credits): Elementary music theory and practice in aural skills for the non-music major and music major with limited or no theory background.

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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