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Professor Profiles: Business and Economics Department

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What do our professors think about teaching? What are their favorite local places to eat? The Activist interviewed many professors at the University of Cincinnati, Blue Ash College about teaching philosophy and asked them to share their best tips for students. We also asked about favorite Blue Ash restaurants and gave our professors the assignment of describing themselves in three words.

Here are the responses we got from five faculty members in the Business and Economics Department: Stan Adams, Keshar Ghimire, Patrice Gillespie, Jim OBrien, and Monica Widdig.

Stan Adams

Headshot of Stan Adams

Academic Department: Business & Economics

How long you have been a Professor at UCBA: 30 years

1. What is your personal teaching philosophy?

Learn and share the joy of learning.

2. What tips and tricks would you offer incoming students that would help them succeed in your class?

Be serious, goal oriented and read, read, read with a highlighter in hand.

3. What is your attendance policy?

I take attendance every class; I flex its role in grading.

4. Three Words to Describe Yourself:

Fair, caring and curious.

5. What is your favorite spot to eat in Blue Ash?

Parkers or Truvas

Keshar Ghimire

Headshot of Keshar Ghimire

Academic Department: Business and Economics

How long you have been a Professor at UCBA: 3 years

1. What is your personal teaching philosophy?

I believe teaching is mostly about helping students figure out ways to learn. With that in mind, I try to share my enthusiasm for the subject in hand and show students all the fun ways to learn what the subject has to offer.   

2. What tips and tricks would you offer incoming students that would help them succeed in your class?

Come to class regularly, engage with the material actively, ask questions and do not settle until you are satisfied, and set reminders for all the deadlines.

3. What is your attendance policy?

Participating in class is usually worth around 5% of the overall grade.Three

4. Words to Describe Yourself:

Friendly economics professor.

5. What is your favorite spot to eat in Blue Ash?

                     Udupi Cafe

Patrice Gillespie

Headshot of Patrice Gillespie

Academic Department: Business and Economics

How long you have been a Professor at UCBA: Since Spring of 2013 – 6 years

1. What is your personal teaching philosophy?

Successful teaching occurs when learning takes place. It may sound cliché for a professor to announce that she has learned at least as much from her students as they have from her, but I believe that to be true. It is not only my students who learn from the class. As a teacher, I also learn to become a better teacher from my students.   believe that teaching is an important call in my life. I devote my time and effort fully for my students when I am teaching a class as if I am on a mission because I have been given this incredible opportunity to be a part of other people’s life learning process. This opportunity comes with a big responsibility.   I see my responsibility as preparing this generation of business professionals to be the employees that I would want to hire!

2. What tips and tricks would you offer incoming students that would help them succeed in your class?

All professors say on the first day that students should attend all classes.  Attending class is very important because lectures take place and the things discussed in those lectures can show up in the future test.

If you think that you are spending too much time in a class or you are falling behind, go see the professor during their office hours.  It may seem intimidating to go to office hours, but if a student has questions on a particular topic or is reaching for a way to receive more help, there is no better option than going and talking to the professors.  Going to the office hours are beneficial because all questions could get answered by the one person who knows the subject better than anyone.

One tip I always give is for students to develop a system of study that is efficient and effective.  It is always best to start with the reading material and take book notes.  Define all key terms from the material.  Then transfer the key points to remember to file cards.  Even though writing out all those notes can cause massive hand cramps it is worth it.

To achieve a passing grade on any test or exam flashcards are college student’s best friend.  They are a cheap but useful tool to help students succeed in classes.  College students can make a stack of flashcards based on the notes given in class or maybe possible study questions and review them as many times as need to feel prepared.

3. What is your attendance policy?

Attendance is a part of the grade in every class I teach.  Your grade is based upon the % of time in class.

4. Three Words to Describe Yourself:

My one-sentence mission/vision is to live life completely, honestly, and compassionately.

5. What is your favorite spot to eat in Blue Ash?

Blue Ash chili

Kent Lutz

Headshot of Kent Lutz

Associate Professor

Entrepreneurship/Finance

University of Cincinnati, Blue Ash

1. What is your personal teaching philosophy?

  My passion for teaching is totally centered on the student. I act as a facilitator of learning as the real learning takes place with each student. I believe each student has internal strengths that they are gifted with that aids in their learning process. I engage my students in significant classroom discussion and dialogue. They work together in teams, or pairs and may take responsibility for leading the class discussion on a particular learning objective. I use case studies that students are responsible for analyzing and presenting different points of views. Since a major part of my career was in the private sector, I am able to share many real world experiences with my students, which add value to their learning experience, and students tend to really appreciate those real world examples. Usually students have very specific projects that they are responsible for completing such as business plan development in my Entrepreneurship course, or managing their own real time investment portfolio in my Investment course.

2. What tips and tricks would you offer incoming students that would help them succeed in your class?

Certainly attend class, be engaged with their team projects, be willing to share their ideas, know that there is no such thing as asking a bad question, keep up with their regular assignments, seek help when they need it, get to know their classmates because networking is a key learning outcome of college, make sure they review and understand the course syllabus, and have some fun in the class.

3. What is your attendance policy?

Attendance is required unless there is an extenuating circumstance, and if an absence is going to take place I like to know ahead of time. Attendance does represent 10% of a student’s grade, and I have students sign in for each class.

4. Three Words to Describe Yourself:

Entrepreneur, Leader, Passionate

5. What is your favorite spot to eat in Blue Ash?

No question that it’s Parker’s Grille

Lizzie Ngwenya-Scoburgh

Headshot of Lizzie Ngwenya-Scoburgh

Academic Department: Business & Economics

How long you have been a Professor at UCBA: 10 years

1. What is your personal teaching philosophy?

My goal is to make sure that every interaction with a student in my class should leave them feeling better about themselves and seeing their abundant potential to learn and become a good leader. What tips and tricks would you offer incoming students that would help them succeed in your class?

2. What tips and tricks would you offer incoming students that would help them succeed in your class?

Develop a positive attitude even to things you may not be fond off—they are all life lessons.

Make sure you ask questions, never be afraid to ask for help.

Develop good time management by doing what you “need” to do so that you will have time to do what you “want” to do.

3. What is your attendance policy?

There is a strong correlation between grades and attendance. You paid a lot of money to be here so, you might as well show up and get a good ROI (return on investment).

4. Three Words to Describe Yourself:

Extrovert, Caring, Connector.

5. What is your favorite spot to eat in Blue Ash?

I eat healthy so I prefer to pack my own lunch and snacks. It’s not odd to see me eating my yogurt or drinking a smoothie between classes.

Jim O’Brien

Headshot of Jim O'Brien

Academic Department: Business and Economics

How long you have been a Professor at UCBA: 16 years

1. What is your personal teaching philosophy?

I try to convey skills and information to my students that will help in their future jobs, whether or not they get a degree from UC.

2. What tips and tricks would you offer incoming students that would help them succeed in your class?

I try to convince the students to study in a different way than high school; and to learn the class material through practice and use instead of just re-reading.

3. What is your attendance policy?

There are point for coming to class and there are no excused absences.

4. Three Words to Describe Yourself:

Better to call my wife about this one.

5. What is your favorite spot to eat in Blue Ash?

Fretboard Brewery

Monica Widdig

Academic Department:   Business and Economics

How long you have been a Professor at UCBA:  Since 2011

1. What is your personal teaching philosophy?

I believe professors are here to teach and share their knowledge, and to help the students understand the material.  Ultimately, students are responsible for their own learning.  Everyone is capable of learning, some of us just have to work harder than others.  You get out what you put in.

2. What tips and tricks would you offer incoming students that would help them succeed in your class? 

Come to class!!!!  Do your homework, and spend time on the homework to gain a deeper understanding of the concepts.

3. What is your attendance policy?

After missing two classes you begin to have points deducted from your points earned.

4. Three Words to Describe Yourself:

Dedicated, Caring, and Student-centered.

5. What is your favorite spot to eat in Blue Ash? 

Brown Dog Café’ (try the chicken salad!)

Monica Widdig stands with the Bearcat mascot.

About Carrie Leeper

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