Matthew Seeger, Ph.D.

--- Professor and Dean, CFPCA, Wayne State University, MI, USA ---

One of the biggest challenges for college professors is insuring that real-world demands of work and of professions are represented. Most professors have career experience working as teachers and researchers and don’t necessarily have detailed understanding of the needs of other professions. At the same time, we are expected to help prepare the next generation to move into business and professions. Guest lectures can be one solution to this challenge. Industry experts, corporate leaders, and business professionals can help insure that class content is relevant to the world of work.
What are the biggest challenges for college professors today?

Teaching college students is a great privilege and responsibility. It is also demanding especially given the very dynamic expectation and changing needs of college students. Students today are more diverse and require that information be presented in different and multiple ways. They must master increasing complex concepts and ideas and they have completing and sometime conflicting interests. At the same time, colleges are expected to do more and learn more than ever before. The biggest challenges then are engaging students where they are and in meeting their very diverse needs.

As someone committed to academic leadership and the practice purpose what do students need in days business environment?

Students today need both the technical skills as well as the soft skills and they need to be comfortable and capable with change. Technical educations focusing exclusively in the STEM fields are simply not sufficient for success. Communication, emotional intelligence, interpersonal skills, creativity are critical. In addition, change, innovation and disruption are inevitable and success requires a fundamental capacity to adapt.

What are your thoughts on the guest speaker method?

Guest speakers accomplish two important goals for the college classroom. First, speakers draw significant attention to the real world context for the information and skills being discussed. This often includes more detailed information about contemporary issues and developments that are occurring in business and industry. Second, they provide a different and credible voice that can present ideas in different ways. In particular, the guest speaker can speak to how information and ideas are applied in the organizational context. I also have found that speakers also learn news ideas, come to have a deeper understanding of the issues college students face and may come to see things in new ways.

Matthew Seeger, Ph.D. Bio:

Matthew W. Seeger  is  Dean of the College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts at Wayne state University. His research concerns crisis and risk communication, health promotion and communication, crisis response and agency coordination, the role of media, including new media, crisis and communication ethics, failure of complex systems and post-crisis renewal.   He has worked with the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Center for Food Protection and Defense, the International Food Information Council and with the Food and Drug Administration and the World Health Organization.  He is author or co-author of over 200 articles and 11 books.

Spotlights
I love talking about my work, life, and perspectives. It's a very engaging and fulfilling experience for me to be able to connect with people openly and honestly on that level.
- Adeet Deshmukh
Guest lecturing is rewarding in that it allows me to stay abreast of what the next generation is thinking and what the top academics are concerned about and it allows me to give back and share my wisdom with tomorrows society leaders.
- Rishad Tobaccowalla
There is a distance between the world of academia and industry-- giving back to students with a professional's perspective tightens that distance and gives students invaluable direction for their future.
- Jared Nicol
The divide between the industry and academia is widening. The next generation of graduates are being armed with knowledge and skills that are irrelevant by the time they graduate. Professionals must collaborate with professors and cultivate classrooms where everyone benefits.
- Richie Etwaru
Bringing in communication professionals to guest lecture in my classroom is an excellent way to bring the material home and to further inspire students and to educate them on the various opportunities in our industry.
- Michelle Truelson
One of the biggest challenges for college professors is insuring that real-world demands of work and of professions are represented. Most professors have career experience working as teachers and researchers and don’t necessarily have detailed understanding of the needs of other professions. At the same time, we are expected to help prepare the next generation to move into business and professions. Guest lectures can be one solution to this challenge. Industry experts, corporate leaders, and business professionals can help insure that class content is relevant to the world of work.
- Matthew Seeger, Ph.D.
Most rewarding experience for me is getting students excited about a career in Consumer Insights, and seeing the value of anthropological thinking to consumer research
- Timothy Malefyt, Ph.D.
I am very motivated to share my life and professional experiences with students, so that I can bring some insight into the world of entrepreneurship, which is the most scary, grueling yet rewarding career path there is.
- Gaye Tomlinson
Speaking provides an opportunity for me to teach and share information that can change lives.
- Karen I. Wilson, Ph.D.
Guest lecturing provides an opportunity to connect with community at-large
- Mugdha Yeolekar, Ph.D.
I like talking about PR because it’s something everything thinks they understand - but they really don’t know how it is different from advertising or marketing. I break it down in simple terms and make the tactics and theories very digestible.
- Andrea Holland
I have been very fortunate in my life and career. It’s my pleasure to share my experience to help others get their start.
- Don Lupo