Student Spotlight — Emma Harden

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Student Spotlight — Emma Harden

Emma Harden; Music & Math

Emma Harden; Music & Math

Emily Hannah

Emma Harden; Music & Math

Emily Hannah

Emily Hannah

Emma Harden; Music & Math

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College is one of many ways to flesh out inner talents, however, straying away from a career in one of your many interests is a justifiable act. Meet Emma Harden, a charismatic and kindhearted math major in her fourth and final semester at Panola College.

Born in Tyler, Emma has always grasped a natural affinity for music. Now age 19, she was surrounded by music from early in her life. Both of Emma’s parents shared interests in the melodious art. Her father was a theatre teacher for 10 years, and her mother was a Piper at Panola College when she attended. This led to her eventual placement as a choir member at the college she attends today.

Despite her musical prowess, Emma was encouraged to pursue a major that she would be able to fall back on. The reality is that the arts continue to be cut from schools nationwide. Reasons for this include an improved budget and a furthered focus on core classes, draining life from available electives.

“I went through five choir classes in four years because my school didn’t support the organization,” Emma states. “I knew the choir teachers were treated differently than the rest.” Knowing this was a wise and mature decision for her sake, she decided she would become a math major during her second semester.

Emma had always been adept at math courses from a young age. Her grandmother, recently retired, was a sixth-grade math teacher, leaving Emma with a plentiful bounty of support and learning if she so needed it. When asked about her experience with the field of math at Panola, Emma immediately gives a positive response.

“The teachers are amazing,” she exclaimed. “I had Dr. Watlington and Professor Zabcik, who supported me so much.” She continued to praise the math teachers who both skillfully taught and uplifted her spirit and confidence.

Still following her passion, Emma continues to take two choir classes while continuing to focus on math. She is a shining example that it’s possible to pursue passions even if the degree it pertains to isn’t achieved. Emma made the mature decision to choose a career that offers professional opportunities and financial stability, and one she enjoys.

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