Spotlight Profile: Claudia Mich
Linking Theory and Practice
December 17, 2020
Even as a child, Claudia Costiuc Mich, associate professor of marketing at Purdue University Northwest, had a love of teaching—she would teach her siblings at the dining-room table. While it’s a long way from there to a classroom at PNW, Mich still approaches education with the same enthusiasm.
“I always knew I loved teaching,” says Mich, “and that my passion was to share information with others and have an impact.”
Learning to Learn
It is that passion for teaching that Mich channels into all of her classes, from professional and advanced selling to marketing strategy and consumer behavior.
After earning a bachelor’s degree in marketing, international business and sales management and an MBA from the University of Akron, Mich spent three years in sales for corporate America before earning her Ph.D. in marketing from Kent State University. Her corporate experience proved invaluable in developing her classes and teaching style at PNW.
Mich looks to engage her students with a teaching approach called scaffolding. This comprehensive process uses a variety of instructional techniques to gradually give students greater responsibility and ownership of their learning. This comprehensive approach prepares her students for their future roles in the business world.
“The more I allow students to really take ownership of their learning, the better they learn,” explains Mich. “It’s not just the content in the course itself–they learn how to learn. It teaches them how to take initiative and be resourceful.”
Linking Theory and Practice
Another hallmark of Mich’s teaching style is her ability to construct classes in a way that links theory and practice. “The whole point is to help students learn while doing,” says Mich. “I’m firm believer that if you don’t apply something right away, you’re going to forget it.”
This concept led her to develop the White Lodging Professional Selling Lab at PNW. This hands-on learning space is built on a foundation of personal interaction and networking between sales professionals and students.
Mich sought out partnerships with several Northwest Indiana and Chicagoland businesses, creating official sponsors that not only support the lab monetarily but also donate a fair amount of time and expertise. “Our sponsors are very much involved in the program,” states Mich. “These companies meet, mentor and network with the students, giving them feedback in the classroom setting. The goal is that these companies will be able to recruit students that are trained in professional selling.”
Mich has dedicated her career at PNW to providing students with the necessary skills to succeed in the business world. She adds, “I love to see the growth of students over the course of the semester, as students and also as individuals. It’s really satisfying to see what an impact education has on their lives.”
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