The next adjunct Communication professor in our series is Julie Scher-Smith. She holds a degree in Economics from Emory University and a MBA in Finance from the University of Chicago. Along with that background, she has this to say about her experience teaching:
Teaching public speaking is a passion of mine. As a management consultant and manager of recruiting and training I realized that communication skills were paramount to being successful and being promoted. Analytical skills could get you answers but communicating them and attaining understanding and agreement required another skills set. Consultants often deliver presentations to share findings and to solicit new business; they lead team meetings and conduct informational interviews; yet they are seldom trained on the soft skills. So—- while working at Bricker & Assoc in Chicago, I got certified in public speaking so that I could then create my own course and train my colleagues (the other consultants). I have also taught adult education programs.
What has been your favorite course to teach?
CO101 is my favorite course to teach as every student is capable of being a success. It is not uncommon to have real anxiety about public speaking and this class is a wonderful means for overcoming that and attaining real skills that are leverageable in one’s personal and professional life. I like that although students might at first dread this course and enroll reluctantly to fulfill a requirement for the major, they soon come to enjoy class and embrace learning. I am a life-long learner and this class offers opportunities for growth and success for everyone.
Do you have any interesting hobbies?
Outside of the classroom… I enjoy yoga classes, and long beach walks. Last year I trained and became a cyclist to bike the Pan Mass Challenge (200 miles in 2 days) to raise money for cancer. I have two daughters who have recently gotten me to test my fear of heights numerous times at the new Adventure Park at the Discovery Museum (zip lines in the trees).