Service is love.
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Knowledge is power.
While I teach a variety of business courses at Saint Martin's University, I tend to teach the undergraduate marketing courses every year. Here's a sample of what I'm teaching in 2020-2021.
Fundamentals of Marketing: Analysis of marketing concepts; consumer demand and behavior; marketing functions of the firm; institutions in the marketing channel; people, product, price and promotion strategies.
Integrated Marketing Communications: Today’s marketers integrate and coordinate a diverse set of marketing tools (IMC) from media advertising to social marketing, within an increasingly fragmented marketplace that maximizes consistent message impact at minimal cost.
Sales Management: Selling is a fundamental part of business and everyday life. We are each called upon to pitch our ideas and directives to others. We may want to convince another to buy a product or service, or to subscribe to our point of view. This course investigates persuasion and influence as the foundations of selling effectively within any career context.
Consumer Behavior: An introduction to the field of consumer behavior, which draws from several disciplines including psychology, biology, and economics to explain the processes consumers follow when selecting, consuming, and disposing of products and services.
Teaching is love.
Active, student-focused learning helps students learn; I like to think that I’ve flipped a flipped classroom. Students drive our discussions and provide input on nearly everything we do. That means we do a lot during class meetings. Every semester brings something new and special.
In place of a model that emphasizes a process of reading/lecturing/discussing/assessing, I work toward a model where students choose how to engage with content. They use internet sources to bring topics, questions and examples to class. They get choices about how they want to be assessed. I try to rely less on prescribed textbook reading assignments, recognizing that every student reads and comprehends material at a different pace. Right now, I like courseware because it's updated more often than traditional marketing texts.
When I can, I prefer trade paperback texts, industry-accepted e-books and open source materials. College is already expensive. Choosing the right materials is critical to the outcome of the course. Simulations, activities, case studies and real-world projects round out my syllabi. Learning has to be productive and engaging.
My theoretical understanding of students has grown throughout my career. In working with the diverse student population at Saint Martin’s, I have come to see the utility of extreme care, servant-led teaching. By getting to know the needs, goals and capabilities of each student, I can help each one discover and work within their own potential. I remember my own priorities in college - I had to work to pay for my education. While I would love to be first on the list for all of my students, I know that's unrealistic. A student who is struggling in another class needs to put that one ahead of mine. A student who participates in sports, may have different goals during the athletic season, as opposed to the off-season. A student who struggled in high school might benefit from extra care and mentoring to achieve above-average grades. At least in my classes, kindness and compassion seem to yield better outcomes than strict enforcement of rules.
Saint Martin’s students seem to value a learning experience where they are appreciated as important humans, where they can contribute to our community and learn from mistakes. Rather than calling on students, to determine whether they prepared for class, I ask them to share what they know. This relieves the pressure to contribute the “correct” answer and eventually gets everyone talking. If they misunderstand concepts, I might redirect, but usually someone else in the class provides an example or clarifying explanation. They learn really well from each other.
We complete a lot of projects. Often these happen organically, coming to light as the semester unfolds. Sometimes students tell me that they would like to learn a specific skill or understand a topic better. These interests find their way into our classes.
My goal is to set students up for a career in marketing. Many of them have (and will) find work in the sales and marketing field right after graduation, or even before. However, we always connect skills and coursework to greater meaning, whether they be transferable to other career or personal interests, or in developing into a thriving adult. I have walked this journey with so many students -- and I value our time together. Each student takes away personal and valuable insights, or at least that is what I strive for in every class, and with every student.
I joke that I'm the only student who never moves on. Every semester, I learn the same content over and over. But in all seriousness, I learn so much from my students that I never want to graduate from teaching. They keep me focused and humble. My students are amazing, fun, kind and important. They each contribute in meaningful and unique ways. I get to spend every day with great people, in the pursuit of knowledge and growth.
I am truly blessed.