James Summers-Business Department Chair-South Bend
Aug 11, 2014
• James Summers—Difference Maker at the South Bend Campus
• Instructor and chair of the business department
• Recipient of two American Catalog awards, Echo Leader award, and Direct Marketing Association awards
• Serves as president of the Diversity Utilization Board for the City of South Bend
• American National University faculty member since 2013
• Has over 30 years of experience in the field of marketing and communications
• Has run his own business development consulting firm since 2005
• Holds a bachelor’s degree in English and journalism from the University of Wisconsin
• Gained experience as director of creative services at Hammacher Schlemmer and head of virtual commerce department at Whirlpool
“My career history enables me to share real world experiences related to course materials. I share successful management experiences and bad ones. I share my learning experiences and those of current clients. These make the classroom discussions real, not theoretical.
“I like to ask [my students] to tell me how what they are learning can be applied to better manage their own careers. I like to challenge them to explain how they can improve local businesses with what they have learned. I invite business leaders to come meet the students and speak to the classes. I challenge the students to make connections that can be leveraged for opportunities when they graduate.
“Visits to local businesses have led to the best teaching moments. The Microsoft Office class met with the administrative assistant to one of the senior executives at a local organization and learned that what they were studying were not only the tools she used daily, but that the software applications they were mastering was advanced training she had not yet received. Another great experience occurred while we were visiting a local printer. In a conversation with the designer, one of the students rattled off the project evaluation checklist we had covered in class. The company president stated that it was a more thorough and complete list than the one they used, and he expressed how impressed he was with the class.
“I think what we do better than others is to align our professional connections with students anxious to transform their lives. By knowing the business needs in the community and the business executives needing to fill those needs, American National University provides a tremendous resource. Because I have family currently serving in the military, I especially like the focus American National University has on making sure we create the greatest opportunities possible for our veterans.”
James Summers is an instructor and chair of the business department at the South Bend Campus. He has more than 30 years of experience in the marketing and communications fields.
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