I IS FOR INDIANA!
This map represents cities where 1,170 AU MBA Program alumni currently live.
J IS FOR JEFF!
“This was not my plan.”
When asked about his journey toward becoming the Director of the MBA Program, a simple theme recurred: many of the steps—like selling most of his possessions and moving 500 miles—simply weren’t in Jeff’s plan.
In fact, when Jeff began college, he majored in physical education, with an intention to coach and teach high school. He switched to business, but before finishing his bachelor’s degree, he served two years in the Army.
After serving in the military, Jeff finished his bachelor’s degree at Ball State University. He continued on to earn his MBA, and worked in the printing and paper industry.
During this time, Jeff began to teach as an adjunct. “I really liked teaching and I truly felt that it was my calling in life.”
In 1993, Jeff’s family—his wife and two children—made a commitment to return for his doctorate degree. “Our faith is very important to us,” said Jeff. “But we were in agreement that it was the calling for my life to teach.”
Jeff and his family held a liquidation sale to prepare for the move. “Literally anything that fit in our U-Haul could go with us, and we sold the rest,” said Jeff. “We started over with very little.”
Jeff moved to the University of Mississippi. While there, he had an assistantship and worked as the Assistant Director of Human Resources. The position included human resources, education and business roles.
After several years, an opportunity to teach at Anderson University as full-time faculty opened up, and Jeff applied.
“This was the one opportunity I would have left the University of Mississippi for,” said Jeff. “Our extended family was in Anderson and I grew up in the Church of God, so Anderson was home.”
He began working as full-time faculty in 2001. When the dean retired, Jeff—with his background in administration— transitioned into the director role.
As the director, he has two major responsibilities: one to serve as an academic adviser, and another to uphold his responsibility to alumni. As an adviser, he works to improve students’ experiences, making them as meaningful as possible. He also handles non-educational aspects of the MBA Program such as registration and planning class schedules, components of education that might distract from learning.
Jeff’s work with alumni includes “value-added opportunities”, or continuing alumni’s degrees and experiences through networking, as well as building the reputation and recognition of their degree.
His proudest accomplishment in the MBA Program is seeing the growth and accomplishments of MBA graduates. “It makes me proudest to see their progress and knowing that in some small way, I was involved in helping move their life,” said Jeff.
The greatest lesson he has learned has been a result of observing the uniqueness of people and how everyone has a story. “It is amazing to me how people’s background and experience help prepare them for their future in ways they never expected.”