Name: Joshua Reiter, Ed.D.
Department: Entrepreneurship and Management
Business Process and Quality Management
As a lecturer at Johns Hopkins, I teach part time (one class per semester) in the Entrepreneurship and Management minor. (I am also an Alum- but more about that in another blog) It is a great program as both Arts and Sciences and Engineering students take my courses so I get to know a very broad cross section of the JHU community.
As a member of the Adjunct Faculty, I typically teach one class per semester. In the fall I teach Business Process and Quality Management, and in the spring I teach Information Technology Management.
Both courses stress business decision making, leadership, data analysis, technical expertise, ethics, and teamwork skills. In addition, the Business Process class focuses on analyzing companies for inefficiencies and developing new processes to assure success. The IT Management course, while not a programming class, prepares the student to be able to better understand technology issues, terms and uses which will be of benefit in their future endeavors.
My classes are also relatively small- perhaps 30 to 40 students per semester which is great. Not only am I able to get to know all the students by name, but also the class time can be used for discussion as well as lecture. As you can imagine, I am intrigued hearing the views of the students on the subjects we discuss. I enjoy watching the students grow each semester from telling me what the book says, or what they think I want to hear, to being able to tell me what THEY think on the topic. When they tell me what they think, I know they “get it.” It is obvious the students, who didn’t even know what the course was about at the beginning of the semester, have become passionate and knowledgeable about the subject matter at the end of the semester. It is a very rewarding feeling for any instructor!
I also enjoy getting to know the students better during the semester. Because of the smaller class size, I am able to know each of the student names and sometimes can customize the lecture to include topics of importance to the class. I never realized how unusual this might be. I always thought it was important for me to not only address students by name in the class, but also to be able to understand them better and say hi to them outside of class.
One day I was on campus and I saw one of my students on the other side of the quad. I called out to him by name and said I missed him in class that day. He explained he had a meeting and was unable to attend, but would stop by my office hours to see what he missed.
At that time, an Admissions Tour was coming by and a parent noticed the discussion I had with the student. The parent left the tour and came over to me. He asked if I was a professor at Hopkins. I told him I was and he asked if knew all the names of the students in my classes. Without hesitation I told him I did. He followed up and said he was impressed that not only did I know the name of the student, but I also knew he wasn’t in class that day. I smiled and told him I make sure I am prepared for class so the students can learn. Obviously they can’t learn if they aren’t there, so I notice those things.
Clearly there are lots of benefits to a Hopkins education. One of the major advantages is because of the smaller size of the University, you can get to know your professors to engage them in discussion, assist with research, or even ask them for advice on a host of topics.
And those are a few reasons I think it is great to teach at Hopkins (and to be a student here as well!)