JWMI profiles our distinguished faculty in a new featured series “Faculty Voices.” Learn what sets our program apart and how our faculty drive success for JWMI online MBA students. Read additional faculty profiles here, or read stories from our diverse student and alumni community, via “Winning Voices.”
Assistant Dean of Faculty
How have your professional experiences in the business world prepared you for this teaching position?
I have a long career in finance and business development. I’ve developed and managed multiple billion-dollar U.S. Department of Defense contracts and was CFO of two publicly traded financial firms. I’ve raised capital and developed business plans for firms in renewable energy, publishing, direct marketing, precious minerals, and general financial services.
I wanted to bring my experience to an academic setting and was impressed with the JWMI business model and its practical approach to the application of the MBA curriculum. I knew I could help grow this program (and be part of the growth). I use my experience in the classroom to continually challenge students to take their understanding and application to the next level. I find they appreciate and value the experience I bring to our discussions and their learnings.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and the credentials you have earned.
I earned my BBA from Temple University (Finance/Economics); an MA from Temple University (Economics) and I am currently working on my Doctorate (DBA) from California Southern University.
What curriculum and content do you teach at JWMI?
My area of teaching focus at JWMI includes Finance, Economics, and New Business Ventures. I also teach a Financial Acumen course for FedEx (as part of our corporate partners initiative).
Describe your teaching style and how that benefits JWMI students?
Jack Welch describes the program as a “trade school.” I embrace that concept and see myself as the catalyst for students to be exposed to and understand key concepts and theories of the class applied to their everyday business situations (make the teaching relevant to their work). I downplay grades and encourage the students to share their experience so we can all learn from each other. My approach centers on the Jack Welch principle “More brains in the game.”
How do you mentor, coach, inspire passion in your online classroom?
Because JWMI is an online program, it’s extremely important for me to connect personally with my students. I call each student at the beginning of the quarter, introduce myself, and encourage them to reach out to me as often as necessary. I look for signs of hurdles and make sure I am aware of any life constraints that they may be facing. It enables me to give personal and relevant feedback. The key is to be very responsive to questions, timely in feedback, and most importantly, approachable.
I often continue to work with students even after they finish my class. For example, when teaching New Business Ventures, students go through an exercise where they can draft a unique business plan. I frequently continue to work with students on their project even after the class completes.
Given JWMI’s 100% online MBA platform, how do you make yourself available to students?
I am very proactive in fostering a seven-day a week, dawn to dusk, open office hour policy. Our students are busy professionals juggling families and life, and I need to be available to them on their time. This includes our international students.
How do you adjust your style of teaching to a diverse student body?
I try and break down the course material to be as practical as possible. I take abstract concepts and relate them to everyday activities, and I emphasize the “why is this concept necessary/important.” I also employ the Socratic method (asking and answering questions to stimulate critical thinking to draw out ideas and concepts.
What hobbies or activities keep you busy when you aren’t teaching?
I am currently finishing my doctorate, which keeps me busy, so I can relate to the work that my students are asked to do. When I’m not teaching or studying, I enjoy exercising and hiking.
Are you a published author? Please share more about the books and publications you have written.
In addition to select articles that appear in the Homeland Defense Journal, I am also a published author, having written the following books:
- Public School Emergency Preparedness and Crisis Management Plan—published by Roman and Littlefield (ISBN 1605906700)
- Capital Planning and Investment Control (CPIC)—The Definitive Guide to Completing the OMB Exhibit 300—published by Government Horizons, Inc.
What advice can you share with prospective students who may be looking at JWMI for their MBA education?
Before you sign up, make sure you have carved out the time to succeed and have your support system in place. There is a weekly time commitment, and it’s important to set yourself up for that commitment. Visualize yourself going through the week and when and how you would make time to do the coursework. I have to do this with my doctoral program so I can relate to what our adult learners are going through. Lastly, make sure you have the proper support system in place, and remember, you are not alone on this journey. Your professors, fellow students, and alumni are here to support you throughout your journey.
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