Q & A with Dr. Carney-Hall

Can you please tell us a little about your family? 
My husband Eric and our little shih-tzu Oreo are excited to be joining the Hendrix family.  Oreo (nicknamed Buzz due to a flat-top given by the groomer one day) has been in my life for 12 years; while Eric is a bit newer.  We got married in Branson, MO in 2007 with a small family wedding.  My parents both worked in higher education at LSU until their retirement in 2000.  My dad is a tremendous mentor in my life since he served as a Career Services Director.  He says Mom and I are just clones.

Why Hendrix?  
The students, faculty and staff are amazing.  The College’s commitment to engaged learning is tremendous.  I have enjoyed learning about the vision and direction of Hendrix and am excited to be a part of that momentum.  As a distant second, I will also admit that the Iowa winters are a bit cold, so I’m happy to be in much warmer climate and closer to family.

What is the greatest lesson you've ever learned?
Hmmm…I can’t just have one “greatest lesson” because I believe in always learning and growing.  One of my favorite quotes is from a former student Reggie who reminded me one day during the middle of a very busy orientation session, “you will achieve excellence way before you reach perfection.”  It helped me remember that perfection is not the right goal, but excellence is much more appropriate.

  1. “Just because I don’t agree with you, doesn’t mean that I didn’t listen or understand.”  In a previous job, I was really working to make my case for a change in the department.  I had probably talked to my supervisor/mentor at least three times about the issue and continued to meet resistance.  I really couldn’t understand after I had presented a logical, thoughtful, well-researched solution why he would continue to say “no.”  In my heart of hearts, I didn’t think he was listening or wasn’t trying to understand.  On our last conversation about the issue, he outlined all my arguments demonstrating clearly that he had heard me and understood where I was coming from.  He then thoroughly explained his position (which I heard and understood, but disagreed with) and very thoughtfully disagreed with my arguments.  It was then that I realized that if I was capable of hearing and understanding, but disagreeing with him, that he was capable of doing the same. 
  2. “Doing” and “experiencing” are not the same thing.  I love to travel!  My first big international trip was when I was in college.  Two friends and I went backpacking for three weeks in Europe.  We saw everything we could see, crammed as much as we could into our time, and left completely exhausted.  I “did” a lot, but I didn’t really experience the culture or soak in the experience.  When I went on Semester at Sea a few years ago, I took the time to “experience” the culture, the people and the environment.  I was much more reflective.  I learned more and grew more as a person.  Sometimes, we focus on the “doing” and don’t fully experience things.

What was your major in college?   
General liberal arts (or general studies as it was called at LSU at the time.)  Shaquille O’Neill and I were at LSU at the same time and we actually share a degree.  He finished a little later than I did, but I suppose it’s the closest thing we share.

What are you most curious to learn about Hendrix?  
The culture in general – traditional events, the campus climate, and how best to support students.  I’m also curious to learn how students are maximizing their Odyssey experiences and integrating those experiences in their lives.

What is your favorite possession?  
My wedding ring.

What did you want to be when you were a child? 
I always wanted to be a teacher of some kind.  One of my favorite childhood pictures is of me sitting in a circle with my dolls, reading them a story.  Student affairs staff seem to like sitting in circles, so I think it was destiny.

Do you have any pets? 
Yes, my adorable, spoiled-rotten dog Oreo.  He’s the cutest thing in the world, just ask him!

What is on your iPod?  
I’m a radio listener and I listen to a mix of stations. 

Where are you from/where were you before Hendrix?  
I consider Louisiana “home home” since it’s where my parents live; however, I am moving to Conway from Mt. Vernon, Iowa where I served as the Dean of Students.  My family moved around a bit when I was younger, so I was born in West Virginia, grew up in Mississippi, and then graduated from high school and college in Louisiana.  I am a Southerner at heart and am quickly adapting to the “ya’lls” and “fixin to’s.”

What was the last book you read?
World Without End by Ken Follett.  I loved his book, Pillars of the Earth, and this is the sequel.

What would be your dream vacation? 
My dream vacation includes the beach, reading, great food, friends and fun activities.  I like a mix of relaxation and activity, but love breaking the routine and being in the sun.

Salty or sweet?  
Sweet. 

If you could only bring one thing with to a deserted island, what would it be?  
A boat.

What is your favorite TV show?  
I’m a Law and Order junkie – mostly by habit and because it’s always on.

Coke or Pepsi?  
Absolutely Coke – and not the diet stuff!

Meat or veggies?  
Meat