NOTRE DAME PROFESSOR TACKLES ONLINE TEACHING WITH STYLE
Chad Harms’ Hawaiian shirt collection was made for such a time as this.
When the coronavirus pandemic shifted all of the University of Notre Dame’s courses online in March, faculty members had to move fast to revamp their syllabi for digital delivery. And so Harms, an associate teaching professor at the Mendoza College of Business, donned a floral patterned button-up shirt and got to work.
Harms is no stranger to the challenges and opportunities presented by online learning. Prior to joining Mendoza’s Management & Organization Department in 2010, he studied effective virtual schooling communication as part of a U.S. Department of Education grant. From his research, he knew that how he framed the mid-semester shift would influence how students in his “Foresight in Business and Society” undergraduate classes connected with one another and their work.
“My primary goal is to keep my students on track toward completing their semester,” he says, explaining how online learning requires faculty members to take additional steps to create a learning environment that could keep students focused and connected.
As a way to deliver course material in an engaging and flexible format, Harms started recording episodes of “TIKI Time,” a mini talk show filmed on a set, complete with thatched roof hut. TIKI, he explains, stands for “Technologically Integrated Kinetic Interface.”
Each episode featured a different Hawaiian shirt — Harms has about 38 to choose from — music, guest speakers and an adorable pet or two.
He shifted the course schedule to weekly requirements that allowed students flexibility in completing assignments and quizzes and encouraged more back-and-forth with students, scheduling meetings via Zoom for additional communication and accountability.
The unfolding COVID-19 crisis has offered a sobering pedagogical opportunity in a course focused on applying business foresight techniques such as systematic trend analysis and scenario development to complex societal issues. Harms incorporated a 2007 report from the Center for Infectious Disease Research & Policy at the University of Minnesota that lays out a flu pandemic worst-case scenario into his course material on the first day back. “Our students have to grapple with ambiguity about the future, and the current situation emphasizes the value a unique class such as Foresight offers this upcoming generation of business and community leaders,” he says.
Student feedback on the new class format has been positive. “I just wanted to say that was the best thing I have ever seen,” junior business analytics major Keagan McLaughlin wrote in an email.” You have outdone yourself, and the episode definitely brightened my day during this troubling quarantine.”
Inclusive Leadership, a new undergraduate elective exploring the issue of gender equity in the workplace, debuted in the second half of the spring semester. The seminar-style course drew 24 students and was taught by Jessica McManus Warnell, an associate teaching professor in the Department of Management & Organization. The class was developed in response to undergraduate student interest and the ongoing activities in the MBA program led by MBA Women in Business and Men as Allies clubs.
Undergraduate marketing students moved from theory to practice as part of an experiential learning course taught by marketing teaching professor Tim Bohling, who also leads the College’s Marketing and Graduate Enrollment Division. His new Applied Digital Marketing course gave students hands-on experience designing, executing, optimizing and managing budgets for live marketing campaigns for the graduate business programs at Mendoza.
Colin Gutzmer (FIN ’22) and Grant Worthington (FIN ’21) won the Notre Dame Institute for Global Investing’s Student Stock Pitch in February. The competition was judged by Katie Koch (ND ’02) and Jess Mattes (BBA ’06) from Goldman Sachs; Molly Shannon (ND ’88) and Wendy Cromwell from Wellington Management; and Patty Brady (BBA ’06) from the Notre Dame Investment Office. Twenty- nine students competed in the event and six made it to the final pitch. Gutzmer and Worthington are finance and applied math double majors. A new event at Mendoza, the Student Stock Pitch was co-sponsored by the Investment Club, Smart Woman Securities and the Wall Street Club.
“ There are times when you have to speak your mind even if your voice shakes.”
Cathy David (BBA ’85) was an Ethics Week
2020 speaker. This year’s theme was “Women
Lead.” She recently retired as executive vice
president of merchandising at Pier 1 and was
a 2019-20 Notre Dame Inspired Leadership
Initiative fellow. Watch her session at
Globalization, technological innovation, financial instability and ecological concerns bring new ethical questions and business challenges with them. These issues also raise the question: What does our world need from b-schools, the training ground for the next generation of leaders? Mendoza’s new tagline “Grow the Good in Business,” which debuted in spring, offers a fresh take on what has been an imperative at the College since 1921. It combines the College’s nearly century-long push to make business a force for good in society with its forward-looking mission to deliver a business education that instills in students a commitment to human flourishing.
We’d love to hear from you about how you’re working to Grow the Good in Business. Email us at MendozaBusiness@nd.edu.
Mendoza College of Business contributed to a cross-functional response of Notre Dame faculty and staff to 3D print several thousand clear plastic face shields at the request of local and regional medical systems. The College’s Education Technology team used its 3D printer to print face shield parts. When staff members began to work remotely, Jim Spencer, an education support technician, took the printer to his home and continued to run, as well as two of his own 3D printers, nearly around the clock to produce components.
Robert Lewandowski, assistant teaching professor of IT, Analytics, and Operations, has been appointed director of online initiatives at Mendoza College of Business. In this newly created role, he will work cross-collaboratively with College and University groups — including Mendoza IT, ND Learning, the Mendoza non-degree program — to enhance online learning. Ken Kelley, senior associate dean for faculty and research, said College planned to add the position even before the coronavirus pandemic. “There is much we can do in this space that, if done correctly, can have a big impact on people from around the world and increase the outreach of Notre Dame,” he says.
Four women from Notre Dame’s one-year MSBA program won the LASER PULSE & CGDV Data Visualization Hackathon this spring. The theme was “Visualizing Venezuelan Migration Issues in Colombia.” Yun Yan, Zhijing Zhao, Yunqi He and Weiyi Zhao, all members of the Class of 2020, submitted a project entitled “A Staggering Exodus into Colombia.” Their report provided analysis on where a majority of the Venezuelan refugees and asylum seekers are distributed around the world and how the inflow of Venezuelans has impacted Colombia’s economy and social development. Reports were judged on design and layout, data storytelling, exploratory analysis and insight from data. The team, which called itself “Why Women Code,” received a $1,500 grand prize.
Members of the Notre Dame Executive MBA Chicago Class of 2021 were among the first at Mendoza to transition to online courses when in-person classes were suspended in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Their 17-month program typically meets every other week at Notre Dame’s downtown Chicago campus. To stay connected as a class, they held virtual happy hours, threw an online bridal shower for a classmate, and raised money for the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Their “5×5” campaign invited people to donate $5 and pass the request along to five friends. Their efforts provided 16,650 meals through the charity.
“ Feeling blessed for the memories, but ready to carpe diem somewhere warmer.”
Management consulting major
Bruce Morris (BBA ’20).
Morris and accountancy major Kate Oh (BBA ’20) were named to the Poets & Quants for Undergrads 2020 “Best & Brightest Business Majors” list.