Q&A with 2014-15 Outstanding Faculty Award (Service) recipient Judy Hack
Associate Professor of Hospitality and Tourism Management Judy Hack, the 2014-15 Outstanding Faculty Service Award recipient, has served Purdue Calumet since 1985. In response to the questions below, she reflects on her commitment to faculty service.
Q: What are your primary areas of academic interest and specialty?
A: I enjoy teaching Organization and Management, Human Resources Management and Tourism/Resort Management the most. But, truth be told, since I have been here a long time I have taught almost everything in our Hospitality and Tourism Management curriculum except Accounting and Finance, Cost Controls, Lodging, Marketing and Nutrition courses.
Probably Tourism-related courses are at the top of my happy list. I am a world traveler, and that relates nicely to tourism courses, where I can share my experiences. Plus, as I tell my students all the time, travel is a great educator.
Q: What does faculty service mean to you?
A: When I started at Purdue Calumet, my associate department head, Dr. Rose Ray, asked me how I was going to be a good citizen of the department, the school I was in and a good citizen of the University, and she encouraged me to focus on service. It helps to have a mentor.
While faculty must do teaching, research and service, there are some choices to make on what is primary, secondary and tertiary. My order for the tripod is teaching first, service second and research third.
While that order will rarely get you promoted to full professor, it is what I wanted to do. Since I was starting my academic career late after spending 16 years in the health care industry, I knew my career at Purdue Calumet would be shorter and I wanted to make the most of it doing what I enjoyed, and that meant service.
I think we all have a responsibility to leave this university in a better place than when we came. Helping others (faculty, staff and students) is very gratifying and rewarding.
Q: What fuels your commitment to serve Purdue University Calumet?
A: Students fuel my commitment. They keep you young and on your toes. Plus, my curriculum work has resulted in many new degree options and career opportunities for students.
Q: Why do you believe faculty service is so important in higher education generally and at Purdue Calumet specifically?
A: I went to a Purdue Board of Trustees meeting many years ago at (the former) Woodmar Country Club; there was a trustee at each table for dinner, and the trustee at my table asked me to give specific examples of how we were making our students better citizens of Indiana.
That really made me realize how important that is in higher education locally, statewide and to the world. To realize you can make a difference is a very sobering thought. It means you are responsible for future generations. Students look up to faculty and they love coming back to campus to visit you to tell you how they have made a difference in their industry and in society.
‘I think we all have a responsibility to leave this university in a better place than when we came. Helping others (faculty, staff and students) is very gratifying and rewarding.’
Q: How do you believe students can benefit from service provided by our faculty?
A: Faculty serve students in many ways–as career advisors, academic plan advisors, student club advisors, study-abroad advisors, community service project advisors, civic engagement effort advisors, and, frankly, life advisors.
Faculty are good listeners and have great life experiences that can benefit students who are struggling with insurmountable problems. Since 80+ percent of our students work and attend college and many have families, time management advice from faculty is always welcome.
Serving on University committees may sound boring to some outside the university, but when you see the outcome of your work benefiting students, the rewards are great. I love attending Commencement and seeing those students so excited about achieving their goal.
Q: Please share an example of a particularly gratifying service endeavor in which you have been engaged at Purdue Calumet.
A: Wow, that is tough because there have been so many gratifying service endeavors. Two of my favorites are a Spring Break Volunteer Program with the Dean of Students Office when our students gave their whole week of spring break to volunteer in multiple community service projects in Hammond.
One was at Haven House, and it was exciting to see the education major working with the children on games that stimulated their thinking; the nursing student working with mothers on basic first aid to save trips to emergency rooms; and the psychology student helping with case information or intake.
Another gratifying endeavor would be my efforts to establish Experiential Learning at Purdue Calumet as a graduation requirement, but in the process giving students options in service learning, civic engagement, practicums, undergraduate research, cultural immersion, internships, co-ops and design projects.
Writing the Experiential Learning Graduation Requirement proposal for our Faculty Senate to adopt was exciting and rewarding, and helping faculty identify or design those courses was so very rewarding, as well.
Q: How does your commitment to service help you in other aspects of your role as a Purdue Calumet faculty member?
A: Well, I think commitment to service humbles you and makes you a better person; if you can imprint that on your students you have succeeded in your journey in life, too. Much is expected of you as a faculty member at Purdue University Calumet, and I am so proud of my colleagues for their commitment to students, to service, to research and in everything they do.
Q: How have you grown personally and professionally from your service activities at Purdue Calumet?
A: I am at a stage in my life at this university where people see me as a voice of reason in faculty debates on important issues, as a faculty shared governance leader in the University Senate, as a curriculum development sounding board or as just a helpful friend.
I can move easily from faculty to administrative/professional staff to service employees without seeming “too faculty.” I can call them as I see them now in a way that doesn’t offend but makes people stop to think about what we are doing. I think I am a much better teacher in the classroom today because of these personal and professional experiences.