Before coming to the United States in 1970, associate professor and finance coordinator Ashok Kapoor worked at the American Embassy in his home country of India. “Both my cultural and religious background allows me to bring a very different perspective to issues of the day that we discuss both among colleagues and with our students.”
“Having faculty of diverse backgrounds is important to the richness of the academic programming offered in our department,” says assistant professor Fekri Meziou, Tunisian by birth. In his international marketing course, for example, students analyze the challenges of marketing products and services in different regions around the world. “This course can only be taught by someone who has traveled extensively and has immersed himself/herself during an extended stay in the life of the foreign countries.”
“In the current context of globalization,” Kapoor says, “my international experience comes in handy in all my classes … My work experience overseas provides many examples to my students and helps them keep an open perspective leading to better decisions both professionally and in their personal lives.”
Associate professor and department chair Magdalena Paleczny-Zapp was born and raised in Krakow, Poland, and taught in several European institutions before coming to Augsburg. “Students leave the place more open-minded than the day they came,” she asserts.
Senior Dulce Monterrubio, a native of Mexico City, credits Zapp’s own experience as an international business consultant with helping her understand that “being an international student here at Augsburg was just the first step, but that successfully adapting to a second, third, or fourth culture would be what truly would make me the international educator/professional I wanted to become.” Dulce is using her cultural experiences, which include studying abroad in Spain, in her current role as a program assistant in Augsburg’s Center for Global Education.
“When I got here [in 1990] and saw the amount of diversity in the department, I wondered if we would all work well together,” remembers associate professor Lori Lohman, who is a self-described Midwestern Protestant. “In a short period of time it became apparent to me that this would be the best place I would ever work. My co-workers are exceptional. We support each other. We respect and value our differences.”
“For me, it would be hard to work in a department where only one culture was represented,” says Zapp. “We bring to the class very different worlds. We represent different cultures, different countries, different religious beliefs … The benefits are immeasurable.”
The Department of Business Administration has 24 full-time faculty, more than 35 part-time faculty, teaching over 700 undergraduate and 300 graduate students.