When my students ask me for something interesting about myself, I tell them that during my last week at Notre Dame (when I was about their age), I was "graduated, married, and drafted." As a result, I spent five years in the U.S. Navy on a nuclear submarine, was married for 25 years and have two beautiful daughters, and am still a Notre Dame alum. I tell my students that they don't need to make all of their life decisions in one week.
What my students say about my being from Chicago is also true. I raised my family in Northbrook, a northern Illinois suburb, and I moved to Wisconsin from Lincoln Park. But I also have deep roots in this state. My parents met at Whitewater (then a State Teachers' College), my mother's family settled in Green Bay in the 1840's, and my father's family labored to build the Racine & Mississippi Valley Railroad in the 1850's. I started teaching at this University about 12 years ago and bought a house nearby in Somers about 4 years ago. So, I can legitimately rout for the Packers or the Bears, and the Brewers or the Cubs, depending on which team is doing better.
I have an unusual background for a teacher in that I worked on LaSalle Street in Chicago's financial district for 20 years before pursuing a PhD and coming here. I held challenging jobs with some brand name firms (JPMorganChase, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, and MerrillLynch-BankofAmerica), and sold one of the largest contracts ever awarded by the U.S. Treasury to collect corporate taxes electronically. I learned a lot about business, which I try to incorporate into the classroom. I earned my PhD in Managerial Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago and wrote my 500-page dissertation on Strategic Measures of New Product Success. Most of my research publications are in that area, though I now enjoy doing research in new areas with my outstanding faculty colleagues.
My teaching includes Strategy and Marketing courses for the MBAs and undergrads. The MBA courses mostly start at 6pm, so I tend to teach and work on campus in the afternoons and evenings. It's definitely not a 9-to-5 job. In my MBA courses, I use Harvard Businesss School cases and enjoy seeing the experienced student teams solve problems and debate contemporary business issues. My undergrad courses engage students in weekly chapter tests, shorter case studies, guest speakers, on-line business simulation, and client projects in the SEG Center. When I was a student, I was often bored by long lectures, and I think my students prefer a variety of activities in the classroom.
Outside of teaching, research, and service, I enjoy family, travel, and the outdoors. I visit my two daughters in Chicago often. One lives in River North with her husband and my three-year-old grandson Liam, who is so cute. The other lives in Wrigleyville with her fiance', and we are all excited about going to Jamaica for their wedding this December. I like traveling and just came back from teaching at the Sarajevo Graduate School of Business in Bosnia-Herzegovinia. There was an active shooting war in Bosnia just 20 years ago, and it's inspiring to teach the MBAs who so want to see their country achieve its potential among European nations. I turn an acre of land at my new house into gardens during the summer. I also teach during the summer, but mostly at night, so I can enjoy playing the many great golf courses in Wisconsin with my friends.
For the future, I hope more standout students pursue the destination Marketing program we have at this University. Everyone involved in Marketing and Sales (including Dr Knight, Mr McPhaul, and I) are proud of our amazing students' many accomplishments in earning academic awards, recognition in national competitions, and success in grad schools. I enjoy staying in touch with our fine alums and hope they continue to keep me current on their careers, even after I am retired. Knowing that I have somehow helped students succeed is probably the most rewarding part of teaching.