Texas Tech University

Ph.D. Alumni Spotlight: Nancy Harp

Kaitlin York

Nancy Harp


How did the Rawls College prepare you for a career at Clemson University?

The Rawls College of Business prepared me for success by providing me with a solid foundation in statistics, archival and behavioral research methods. I believe the diversity of the training I received (e.g., parametric and nonparametric statistics, behavioral and archival methods, etc.) helped me to succeed by expanding the set of possible research questions I was prepared to examine. Beyond the excellent training, I benefited from the collegial faculty in the college who mentored and partnered with me on research projects. My professors treated me as a member of the team, valuing my opinion and challenging me with both writing and data analysis projects.

What research projects did you work on as a Rawls College Ph.D. student?

I was fortunate to work on several research projects during my time as a Rawls College Ph.D. student. I started five papers during the program, each as a collaboration with at least one faculty member of the college. Of the five papers started during my program, four are now published in respected accounting and finance journals. I was fortunate to work on a variety of projects, including a behavioral paper examining feedback effects and the role of reflective cognitive capacity, a paper on mentoring in the accounting profession, two archival papers examining mergers and acquisitions and an auditing teaching case.

What teaching opportunities were you awarded and how did they help shape you as a teacher?

During my time at the Rawls College, I taught both introductory accounting and senior-level accounting courses (one class per summer). It was nice to go into the market with the experience of teaching both lower and upper-level courses. I was able to get to know the students extremely well given the small class sizes and the daily meetings with students during the summer. Those first teaching experiences I had at Texas Tech influenced my current teaching style, which focuses on interactive learning and individual attention.

What advice do you have for students trying to decide what school to get their Ph.D. from?

Potential candidates should talk with current and previous Ph.D. students at each program they are considering. I would recommend asking specifically about the collegiality of the faculty within the program. Look for a program where the senior faculty have both the time and interest in working with students (beyond just the dissertation paper).

What do you believe were the best aspects of the Rawls College Ph.D. program?

The best part of the Rawls College Ph.D. program was the interaction between the faculty and students. I really enjoyed working with the faculty, and I have continued to work with them after graduation.

How were your interactions with fellow Ph.D. students and Rawls faculty as a student, and do you continue to have relationships with them now?

The Ph.D. students in my program were extremely close. It was nice having friends in the program so we could study together, brainstorm research ideas and just hang out. As Ph.D. students, we were frequently included in social events with the faculty as well, which helped us get to know the faculty better and build lasting relationships. I continue to work with both the faculty and students from my program, and I consider them great friends.

How have the experiences you gained at the Rawls College continue to impact your teaching and research today?

My experiences at the Rawls College continue to impact me on a daily basis, as I continue to work with the faculty and students from my program on research projects. Also, when I was in the program, we were required to take a course in the Rawls College on how to teach. I am still applying the lessons I learned in that class to create an interactive, positive and active learning environment for my students.