Follow Your Dream, Follow Your Passion

Answering phone calls and text messages from students in need of help at 11pm may not seem like your ideal Friday night, but for McDaniel’s accounting professor Kerry Duvall, it’s what she lives for.

Duvall, now a full time accounting professor at McDaniel College, left behind a successful business career to follow her dream of teaching.

She was hired as a full time professor in the fall of 2014.

“I felt like I won the lottery when I got that job,” remarked Kerry.

Though she has only been teaching full time at McDaniel for a year, Duvall’s excellence in the teaching field is very apparent and she is admired by her students.

“…She is doing an excellent job of teaching. I base this on what students tell me, and this is reflected in the demand for her classes at registration time. From principles to intermediate to advanced levels of accounting, students want to be in her classes,” says Ethan Seidel, chairman of the department of economics and business administration.

“She makes accounting easier,” explains Garrett Diehl, a student in her Intermediate Accounting course.

But what makes Duvall such an excellent and admired teacher? Is it her knowledge of the accounting discipline? Or the fact that she is willing to aid students at 11pm on a Friday? Maybe, but it all comes down to her passion for teaching and unmatched desire to help her students succeed.

Duvall’s passion for teaching became obvious when she departed from her job as a Tax Department Manager at UHY Advisors in order to take a lower paying full time job at McDaniel College.

“I remember it very vividly, when Steve Jobs died, his Stanford commencement speech was what everyone was talking about. I listened to it and it was all about doing what you love and following that passion,” says Duvall.

Duvall’s number one goal is for her students to succeed. She seeks to help them be successful and better prepare them for their desired career paths.

“Every student is capable of being successful, you just have to find a way to reach them. And you can’t reach every student the same way,” explains Duvall.

“Students recognize that Professor Duvall is not only enthusiastic about teaching, but that she is knowledgeable and well prepared.  Students appreciate that she takes a genuine interest in them and that she is always available to help outside of class,” comments Seidel.

Duvall’s enthusiasm can be seen every day as she walks to her morning class with a wide grin and a variety of accounting books in her hands.

“Negativity is just horrible, if you are a negative person or don’t enjoy your job, every one just feeds on that,” describes Duvall.

“She loves teaching, she does a great job, and we [students] enjoy accounting just as much as she does because if it. She enjoys being in the classroom and working with the students because she feels she can prepare us go out an do what she did and maybe even do better,” clarifies Diehl.

Duvall currently teaches two sections of Principles of Accounting and two sections of Intermediate Accounting.

However, Duvall’s desire to help others succeed exists outside of the classroom as well. She advises between thirty and forty students with majors ranging from accounting to economics. Advising these students is another way Duvall feels she can help McDaniel’s students succeed.

Duvall also runs multiple “Interview Days” for the business department. These events connect students in the department with business companies and firms across the country.

Lastly, Duvall assists in the managing of McDaniel’s VITA program. This program is made up of business students who assist locals with their taxes.

After a favorable first year at McDaniel College, Duvall is very confident in her ambitious goals she plans to meet over the next couple years.

“I want to continue to grow the… department. My plan is to continue with Interview Day, I have already had several students get internships and full-time jobs just from this past Interview Day. I want to grow the accounting Internship Program and VITA program as well”, says Duvall.

Duvall also would like to get her PhD in accounting some time down the road.

“I would love to find a program where I could eventually get a PhD in accounting. But that’s hard to do because there is no part-time program and, right now, my McDaniel students are my priority.”