• This is a photo of Kayla Reed, a student at Harding University.

    Kayla Reed

How Kayla is changing the world:

Kayla Reed is a junior accounting major from Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Not only is she on track to earn her undergraduate degree, but she is simultaneously pursuing a master's in business administration.

Reed’s journey to Harding began in high school. As a high school senior, Reed said she was torn between Harding and a big state school.

“I remember touring Harding and everywhere we went, people seemed to know each other,” Reed said. “When I went to the state school, I realized I was just going to be one of 40,000, and so the community aspect [of Harding] really was attractive to me.”

The personal relationships were ultimately what drew Reed to Harding. As a student, Reed said she quickly found community in the College of Business Administration (COBA).

“The amount of opportunities that COBA and Harding in general have presented me have been more than I would have hoped for.”

Reed said she is continually impressed by the individual attention students get in and out of the classroom from professors like Dr. Rich Brown.

“Dr. Brown reached out to me before I even stepped foot on Harding’s campus as a student, and that just kind of set things in motion. I was like, ‘This teacher has not met me, has not shaken my hand, and already wants to invest in me.’”

Reed said some of her favorite opportunities with COBA have been outside of the classroom on trips and through business competitions. Reed and her classmates had the opportunity to create their own business and develop a business plan. They then presented their plans at the state level to a group of investors.

Dr. Brown encouraged the students to spend time outside of class working on their proposals. Reed said he supported and guided the students along the way.

“He came up here on a Saturday, bought us pizza and stayed about seven hours — something he didn't have to do, so that just meant a lot,” Reed said. “He’s not the only teacher that does it, but he consistently will do that for any student.”

Reed said her relationships with her teachers are unlike anything her friends who attend larger schools have experienced.

“When I go home and talk to my friends, they can’t relate,” Reed said. “Their teachers don’t know their names, but Dr. Brown has met my grandparents, and he knows what I want to do after college. He knows what my parents do for a living. I just cannot convey how appreciative I am of him.”