Centers of Distinction

Andrew Harding '14

Hiram College is a place where students will find mentors for life, through staff and faculty that put them first.

Student-athlete Andrew Harding ’14, of Akron, has found that out, both on and off the soccer field.

 On the field, he’s seen his soccer game improve because of the one-on-one attention he gets from his coach. And off the field, his coach has been someone who he can go to for advice on any life situation.

“If I ever need to talk to somebody, and I don’t want to talk to my friends, I can talk to him if I need a different opinion,” Andrew said. “He’s there for me, for school, basically anything I need, which is really nice. He’s always guided me in the right path.”

He’s received that one-on-one attention from his professors as well. An accounting and financial management major, he said their attention to students extends well beyond the office hours listed on their syllabus, and professors at Hiram are there for students “24/7.”

“They give you their cell phone (number), and if you have questions last-minute, before the test at night, or a big project, they’re always there,” Andrew said.

“First at Hiram” has also meant for him that he got to be a starter on the soccer field his freshman year.

“I had personal goals for myself, that I wanted to start all the games and play in all the games and make an impact,” he said. “I guess coming in as a freshman, I didn’t know what was gonna happen… I knew I could play, it was just a matter of work ethic, so I just pushed myself.”

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The interconnectedness of Hiram College – the way athletics, education and other extracurriculars blend together to create a liberal arts experience – has served him well, he said, and improved his grades and his soccer skills.

“What surprised me, is that I got better grades (than in high school),” Andrew said. “I’m more adapted to the college life than high school.”

He’s already seen just how much his Hiram College education will benefit him post-graduation, as he recently completed an internship with the U.S. Marshals Service.

“Hiram prepared me, in that it felt like I was just going to college,” he said. “It taught me to be responsible, on time, how to manage my work with my summer soccer and my summer classes and schedule.”

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