McDaniel professors lend expertise on financial wellness
Social Work professor Jim Kunz and Accounting professor Kerry Duvall have been selected to present in the Centennial Conference’s four-part speaker series, Pillars of Excellence. Kunz and Duvall have collaborated on efforts to educate students on the topic of financial literacy, including workshops to help students better understand their personal finances.
McDaniel professors Jim Kunz and Kerry Duvall are lending their expertise on financial wellness for the Centennial Conference’s four-part speaker series, Pillars of Excellence on Nov. 19.
Kunz, a Social Work professor, and Duvall, an Accounting professor, have a goal of helping student-athletes gain a new perspective when it comes to money management. Kunz and Duvall have collaborated on efforts to educate students on the topic of financial literacy, including workshops to help students better understand their personal finances.
They also have been involved in the McDaniel College Student Success Committee’s financial wellness working group and assisting with the administration of a national survey examining financial wellness along with Amy Ramnarine, assistant professor of Economics and Business Administration. Distributed in partnership with Trellis, a nonprofit company that helps students succeed in college, this survey will help inform the work of the committee to better support students.
The goal of the Centennial Conference presentation is to help student-athletes better understand and discuss their finances in a fun way. Student-athletes will complete a “Money Habitudes” assessment, which entails looking at money habits and attitudes and how these might affect students’ financial wellness.
“My hope is once they figure out where they are, then we can talk about ‘what does that mean?’ There are no good or bad ‘habitudes.’ They just lead to people making different decisions It’s just like everything else,” Kunz said. “The more you know about yourself, the more informed your decisions can be.”
In the second part of the workshop, Duvall plans to talk about credit score and the importance of having a good credit rating, especially among college students.
“I believe that it is imperative for college students to be exposed to financial education before they enter the world after graduation,” Duvall added. “It is a life skill that is applicable to every single person, regardless of major. One of the areas that I like to focus on is credit and the related credit scores. A few simple steps can be followed while they are in college, which would begin to build a good credit score for when they graduate.”
Duvall, the site coordinator for McDaniel’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, teaches students how to prepare tax returns for low-income residents and assists in filing their taxes for free. She also heads the Economics and Business Administration Department’s Interviewing Day, which helps to secure internships and full-time job offers for students. She has been recognized as a Charles A. Boehlke, Jr., Engaged Faculty Fellow in 2018 and as the Phenomenal Woman of the Year from faculty in 2019.
Kunz, who has been at McDaniel for more than 10 years, teaches policy, macro practice and research, as well as mentors students, particularly those involved in social work advocacy. In 2019, Kunz was honored as a Charles A. Boehlke, Jr., Engaged Faculty Fellow. He’s also been recognized with the Alan G. Penczek Service-Learning Faculty Award from the Maryland-DC Campus Compact in 2014 and Social Work Educator of the Year from the National Association of Social Workers, Maryland in 2011.
The Centennial Conference is offering four facilitator-led virtual educational sessions for member institutions. Other topics are focused on mental health, diversity and inclusion, and professional development. While the Centennial Conference provides athletic competition among institutions, it also finds ways to contribute to the holistic development of student-athletes through these events.