Teaching is both theoretical, practical for Meyer

In academia, a line is often drawn between those who are practitioners of a craft and those who study the craft. Michelle Meyer does both.

The adjunct professor in the Daniels College of Business marketing department was presented the Ruth Murray Underhill Teaching Award at the University’s 2008 Convocation ceremony. The award is given annually in recognition of excellence in teaching by an adjunct faculty member.

Meyer, currently the director of the Industrial Products Industry Group for Hitachi Consulting, has taught a logistics management class in Daniels’ supply chain program since 2003.

She came to teach at Daniels on the invitation of Carol Johnson, associate professor and chair of the marketing department. The two met through the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals.

“I asked Michelle to first participate by giving a guest lecture in my logistics class, and the students loved her presentation,” Johnson says.

After her guest lecturing became regular, Johnson asked Meyer to take on a class.

“I was thrilled when she finally made that call to me because of her knowledge in the field, her communication skills and her compassion and caring for student learning both inside and outside the class,” Johnson says.

Meyer’s class, an introduction to supply chain management, covers inventory management, warehouse management, procurement, supply chain information systems and demand management. The class is open to both undergraduate and graduate students and often contains a mix of students who are new to the topic and those who are seasoned pros.

“The grad students keep you on your toes,” says Meyer, noting that many of the graduate students are her peers, currently working in the industry. “These folks are really sharp;    they bring lots of perspective and can share real-world theory with the undergrads.”

Rather than requiring a class project, undergraduate students in Meyer’s class can participate in national logistics case competition. “Each quarter I have three or four  students who had no idea what transportation management is. One time an art major ended up in my class by default, but they always have a good time.”

“My goal is to get at least one or two converts [to the logistics industry] from each class,” she jokes.

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