Teaching Excellence Awards

 Year Awarded: 2016

Faculty Award winner

Carlos Valdez

 College of Business Administration

 Marketing

I believe about teaching that it is a way to change the world. A course can be a small action but with great impact in students' lives if the course creates the appropriate learning environment where the students learn not only the theory but also how to apply it in real world scenarios.

I studied communications because I want to have a better world by helping others in communicating in a more effective way. My main professional goal remains the same but now with the focus of helping the future executives of corporate America to communicate with the actual and future consumers of the American market in the most efficient and effective way.

I believe that the learning process has to be student-centered so every action I do in the classroom needs to have a positive impact on the learning process of the student. As we say in marketing everything counts, everything has an impact on the consumer and everything communicates something to our market. The same with students, everything in our teaching methods counts, has a direct impact on them and all our actions communicate something to them.

I learned from my own instructors and from my twenty years of teaching experience to develop my teaching style which focuses on helping students to develop individual and group skills in real world scenarios. As a part of my grading strategies I assign points for individual work and group activities. The individual work tries to prepare the student for the group activities and the group activities try to simulate real world scenarios. For example I ask students to do a group project in which they act as a marketing agency and contact real businesses from the community to develop marketing projects for them as a part of the final project of the course.

This experience helps students to develop their leadership skills by working with the community in a professional way. As a result the students reinforce their professional character by respectfully working with others like their team members and their real client from the business community, integrity by presenting real data with real solutions, and excellence toward businesses and consumers by offering a good final project.

I am very grateful at the end of the semester, during the presentations of the final projects, to see how the students implemented the theoretical framework of the course in real business scenarios. It is in that moment that I know my teaching philosophy works, and that by helping students to succeed I am succeeding too in my professional goal of improving the communication between businesses and consumers in order to have a better world.