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Appreciating Professors: CWIB Gives Thanks to the Professors Who Have Helped Us Reach Our Goals

College is an extremely difficult point in life where students have to deal with many struggles academically and professionally. Luckily, Virginia Tech has unknowingly provided us with professors who have aided many students on numerous occasions inside and outside of the classroom. Some of CWIB’s members shared their profound appreciation for professors who personally made meaningful impacts on their lives.

William Coleman

Kate Taylor shared how Professor Coleman played a huge role in challenging her and helping her figure out what she wants to do in the future. Professor Coleman is in the finance department and taught Taylor’s Corporate Finance class last semester. In this class, the professor presented the students with materials they learned in class with real life scenarios they would see while in the working world post-graduate. Taylor explained how “He would go through financial statements and discuss how they would be structured as casework as a possible consultant and various other professions/fields.” Time is ticking for Taylor as a third year student to figure out exactly what she wants to do and this class has helped her narrow down where she thinks that will be.

“I've known since high school I really enjoyed finance and accounting, but his ability to apply our course material to the real world has further developed my interest. I've learned more about finance in his one corporate finance class than I have in other classes in the past. Professor Coleman provided his students' assignments that allowed us to practice various financial techniques and learn from our mistakes,” said Taylor.

Due to the teaching style and impact Professor Coleman has had on Taylor, she has decided to take his Financial Modeling in Excel class this semester as well.

Heather Cox

Emma Harwood shared how Professor Cox was her most influential professor in her time at Virginia Tech. Professor Cox is the Didactic Program Director for Dietetics and taught Harwood’s Emerging Issues in Dietetics, Foodservice and Meal Management, and Communicating with Food class. Professor Cox ensured that she was helping her students in every way that she could by having alumni come in to speak on their experiences, assigning projects applicable to dietetic internship-situations, and providing many resources to help her students further their knowledge. Harwood’s major goal is to get an internship or be accepted into a prestigious master’s program, and Professor Cox facilitated this by being one of her references on internship applications along with walking her through the entire internship process.

When asked what resonated with Harwood the most about Professor Cox, she shared:

“Mrs. Cox is full of jokes and makes classes fun, but I'd say she is most well-known for how professional she acts and her connections in the dietetics profession. She never failed to instill in us that we can do so many amazing things as dietitians! She is also all about Hokies supporting each other and always reminded us about the importance of networking and helped us feel confident that our Virginia Tech education would take us far.”

Audra Price

Nafisa Sayeeda considers Professor Price, her Business Law professor, to be a very influential person in her life. Price constantly amazed Sayeeda with her deep knowledge of the subject but also her passion for teaching others. She emphasized the importance of her students actually understanding the information instead of just absorbing it by being extremely patient and caring about each student’s progress in the class. Sayeeda shares how “I went to her office hours and she took her time to go through my test with me to help me understand the questions I missed and that helped me with the class overall.” Sayeeda believes that the content she has learned in this class will be useful in her future career as a business analyst.

Zack Sowder

As a Communication Skills teacher, Professor Sowder has made a significant impact on Shannon Kelly’s academic success. Communications classes in general are very useful no matter what major you are in. These classes help you develop a multitude of communication skills that can be used in multiple scenarios from presentations at work to speaking with new people. In addition to gaining these skills, Professor Sowder aided Kelly in her internship search and basic professional necessities such as cover letters and interviewing skills.

Professor Sowder went above and beyond for Kelly:

“[Professor Sowder] Offered me a position in the Communications Department Lab where I have gained experience in leadership, presentations, and helping peers succeed. His class was more than just lectures and exams, we bonded as a class and I made lasting friendships with people who I call my roommates and best friends to this day. Mr. Sowder continues to keep in touch with me and helps me with my work and internships to this day.”

These are only a few of the amazing Professors here at Tech that have had an impact on students' lives. The help of these professors is a crucial resource that students often take for granted when trying to prepare themselves for the workforce. On behalf of the students here at Virginia Tech, I want to formally thank all the professors for all that they have done and all that they will do to help us be successful!

By: Sierra Flynn

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