By Casey Carroll
There are certain people in life who we admire, aspire to be like, and whose personalities merit our respect. Those people make us feel capable of anything, encourage us when we feel most discouraged, hold us accountable, and believe in us—no matter what the circumstance. This is an exact description of my mentor, Dr. Penny Clayton MBA ’83.
Dr. Clayton is not only the enthused accounting professor who convinced me to major in accounting four years ago, but is an irreplaceable mentor who has guided me toward a successful start to my professional career. With her guidance, I accepted my dream position with the Transaction Services team at BKD in Kansas City, even before the beginning of my senior year. Dr. Clayton is a phenomenal professor, brilliant role model and loyal friend. I have never met a professor so dedicated to the success and well-being of her students.
With her experience, Dr. Clayton has mastered the incredible balance of assistance and accountability. She has always been my advocate: willing to help me, not only in the classroom and professionally, but also personally. Students know that Dr. Clayton helps those who help themselves. “Coasting” is not in her vocabulary, nor will she allow it to be in her students’ vocabularies. This instills perseverance and success in her students that serves them far beyond the classroom.
It has been a joy and a blessing to have been under the tutelage of Dr. Penny Clayton during my time at Drury University. I will miss her terribly, but I know that I will feel her presence as I use the knowledge and skills she’s provided me. Even though I will not see her everyday, I am comforted by the fact that our relationship will continue as I enter a new phase of my life.