Nolan McDaniel, a sophomore from Morristown, TN, chose to attend Lees-McRae for the same reason that many students choose LMC: the small school environment with personal attention. “I chose Lees-McRae ultimately because of the value I place on being a name and a face over a number,” Nolan said. At LMC the average class size of 15 students and the 14:1 student to faculty ratio allows for very close, personal relationships with professors. This makes transitioning to college life go more smoothly. The community of LMC encourages students to become involved on campus.”
Nolan has done just that. He’s become involved in tutoring services, he’s a resident assistant in Tennessee Residence Hall, and he’s also a member of Order of the Tower, a presidential honor society.
Being a tutor at the Burton Center has been a rewarding experience for Nolan. “Mrs. Padgett asked me to tutor in the Burton Center after my first semester my freshman year. The Burton Center is a free tutoring service for all students. I enjoy most when a breakthrough is made with a student – the moment when the light bulb goes off. The most common misconception about tutoring is that the tutee is the one doing all of the learning,” Nolan explained. “Actually, I’ve learned some of my most valuable lessons while helping other students.”
He also enjoys being a resident assistant in Tennessee Residence Hall. “I decided to become a resident assistant because I saw first-hand how difficult the transition to college can be. As a resident assistant I can form relationships with students that help them transition to this new phase of life. This year, I am an RA in Tennessee, and my favorite part about it has to be the guys on my floor. They definitely make my job entertaining, and I enjoy every minute of it.”
Although Nolan stays busy with work outside the classroom, his academic studies certainly don’t suffer from the extracurricular work. Nolan is an honors student who is majoring in English and Religious Studies, and ultimately wants to attend law school. “The honors program allows me to associate with other students that hold education to the same level I do. It also gives me the opportunity to add honors components to any course I desire, which provides a more rigorous, in-depth study of a subject.”
“My favorite Lees-McRae professor is Dr. Michael Vines. He’s one of my religion professors. Dr. Vines teaches with the perfect mix of enjoyment and challenge,” Nolan said. “I find myself studying harder for his classes, because I know that there is a standard I must meet. Dr. Vines engages students through the rigorous content that he chooses in each class.”
Nolan has set his sights on law school, although he’s not sure exactly where just yet. “I plan to attend law school upon graduating. I’m not decided on exactly where quite yet, but that’s definitely my plan. I want to work in criminal prosecution while focusing on special victims.”
Beyond Nolan’s work and studies on campus, he still manages to find time to have fun. “My favorite place on campus is Wily’s. After a long day of hard work and studying, it provides the perfect atmosphere to wind down and grab something to eat. There are always people to socialize with in Wily’s and you never know when you might stumble in during a special program.”