When I was a kid, I wanted to be ... a lawyer, because my mom told me I was the most argumentative child she ever met. Ha!

What would you rather be doing right now? I would rather be fishing on Mark Twain Lake with my husband. Honestly, I don’t really fish that much. I basically enjoy the sun and reading a good book until my husband starts catching the fish. Then I join him.

Shhhhhh! Don’t tell anyone that ... my biggest fear is probably public speaking, which may be somewhat odd for a college professor.

Other than your wedding day and/or the birth of your children, what was your proudest moment? Since I have two daughters, I refuse to limit my answer to just one proudest moment. Instead, I will give you one for each of them. My husband and I are both first generation college graduates. Our oldest daughter, Elizabeth, is a first generation medical student! When we learned she was accepted to medical school, and we got to observe her “white coat” ceremony, we were so proud! Our youngest daughter, Delaney, is a sports enthusiast. During her freshman track season, she set a goal to compete in four events at the state track meet. Some very experienced coaches told us that wasn’t a good idea since the meet would be so competitive and there would not be enough time for her muscles to recover between events. When we shared this information with Delaney, she said “I want to try.” She won three events, the 2-mile, 1-mile and 800 meters. She placed second in the 400 meters.

It really stinks when ... people are looking at their phones and not listening to each other.

What word in the dictionary would your face be next to? Loyal.

I always laugh when ... We have a miniature wire-haired dachshund named Ruby. When I get home from work, she jumps up and down, goes in circles and barks. I laugh every time.

Invite any three people, living or dead, to dinner. Who are they? I know this will sound cliche, but I would invite Jesus Christ and my family. My faith is very important to me, and I try to read God’s Word daily, but if I am being honest, I would love the opportunity to ask some questions. I also would choose my family because my heart has physically ached to spend time with family, especially my mom, during the COVID pandemic.

At the end of a really long day at work, I like to ... I enjoy my daughter’s high school athletic events. My favorite evenings are the ones where we are racing to get to a basketball game, softball game, cross country meet or track and field meet.

People who knew me in high school thought I was ... I think they may have thought I was “uptight” or “unfriendly.” Really, I was an introvert and shy.

My most unforgettable brush with greatness was ... Before I started working at Culver-Stockton College, I worked at the CPA firm Gray Hunter Stenn LLP in Quincy, Ill. While working at Gray Hunter Stenn, I once had to fly to Florida. I sat next to “Mean” Joe Greene during the flight. My oldest brother is a huge Pittsburgh Steelers fan, so this experience gave me a lot of bragging rights.

I would drop all my plans tonight if I had the chance to ... eat out at a restaurant instead of cooking.

If someone gave me a million dollars, there is STILL no way I would ... go skydiving.

America should be more concerned about ... As an accountant, I can’t help but wonder about the U.S. debt and how sustainable this is in the long-term.

I’m OK if there’s ever a national shortage of ... shoes. My husband tells me every time he cleans our garage.

When I’m on the internet, I always go to ... Canvas, which is Culver-Stockton’s learning management system. If I’m on the internet, I’m probably working.

What is the most useful piece of advice you have ever received? My mom gave me the following advice, which I have given to my daughters: There are three ways to really mess up your life. 1. Lose your faith in God. 2. Not finish your education. 3. Marry the wrong person. Almost everything else is fixable, so live fearlessly.

When I’m cruising down the road, I’m likely listening to ... old country music.

I always get sentimental when ... Weddings make me sentimental.

The older I get, the more I realize ... I need to stop sweating the small stuff.

If I had one “do-over,” I would ... I don’t really have any regrets per se; however, my husband and I do often wonder if we should have had more children, or adopted a child or served as foster parents. Adopting a child or serving as a foster parent is so noble.

My favorite item of clothing is ... not really clothing, but I would say perfume. When we cleaned out my grandma’s house, my mom gave me a bottle of her perfume. I wear it on special occasions. It reminds me of her and makes me smile.

If I’ve learned anything at all ... I hope I’ve learned to really, truly enjoy the moment.

Julie Straus, 46, is an associate professor of accounting at Culver-Stockton College and serves as chair of the Business, Education and Law Division. Straus and her husband, Greg, have been married for 25 years and have two daughters, Elizabeth, 22, and Delaney, 17. Straus grew up in Philadelphia, Mo., and after college, she and her husband returned to Philadelphia to raise their children.

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