Excellence in Teaching
Dr. Mike Jones
Excellence in Teaching
Dr. Mike Jones
Professor of Marketing & Supply Chain Management
Read the student opinion of teaching forms on Mike Jones and you can see why he was named the 2009 winner of the President’s Award for Teaching Excellence at Southeastern.
Enthusiastic, fun, energetic, excited about teaching, really knows his stuff the positive comments from anonymous students run for pages, even earning a grade of “A+++” in all categories from one student.
An associate professor of marketing, Jones leads Southeastern’s supply chain management degree program, the only one in the state. The program integrates the knowledge and skills of marketing, purchasing, distribution, logistics, and information systems. “It’s a hybrid field that crosses several disciplines,” he explained.
It’s also an area that the state has defined as an important sector for economic development. Southeast Louisiana, including the Hammond area, serves as a major distribution center using the region’s network of interstates, ports, railways and air transportation.
"Part of developing an industry sector is the educational element, and I was fortunate to meet the logistics professionals with the state’s Department of Economic Development,” he said. “They helped to develop an advisory board of industry professionals, provided a grant, and included us in their network.”
That contact with real-world professionals helps make classroom experiences come alive for students.
“They give the students a real-world look at the profession,” he said. “The students really pay attention to those speakers and are asking questions the whole time. They’re asking themselves, ‘Is this something I would like to do?’”
Jones takes students directly to the industries he teaches about. Field trips include visits to the huge Wal-Mart Distribution Center in Robert; area ports and agricultural distribution facilities; and Ferrara Fire Apparatus in Holden, where raw materials come together to build fire trucks and equipment for shipment all over the nation.
“It’s a way of connecting the textbook and lectures to the real world,” he said.
Last year Jones led more than 20 students on a study abroad program to the People’s Republic of China. In addition to the cultural and sightseeing aspects such as the Great Wall and the Forbidden City, the program included visits to companies such as Hyundai Motors, steel and power plants, government sites and other agencies.
“In the history of the world, there has never been such a powerful explosion of growth,” he said. “In 20 years, China came from nowhere to be the world’s largest producer of dozens of products, including important ones like steel. I just wanted to see it and thought it would be a great educational experience for the students.”
With undergraduate and master’s degree from LSU and an MBA from Southeastern, Jones earned his doctorate at the University of Missouri. While working as a marketing instructor at the University of Southern Mississippi, he completed three summers of post doctoral study at Michigan State, Pennsylvania State and LSU.
Before coming to Southeastern in 2002, Jones was the part time Athletic Director at Auburn Montgomery University establishing sound management principles and marketing the program while also teaching in College of Business. He joined Southeastern in 2002 after several attempts to recruit him by Mike Budden, then-dean of the College of Business, who had been his dean at Auburn Montomery for eight years.
“He told me about the supply chain initiative that was being developed, and it was something that interested me,” he said. “When I came, there were no courses established; the first one we did was an independent study.”
Other courses were added to create a concentration in the field with the degree program finally getting state approval last year.
“A visit to Mike’s classroom is an uplifting experience,” Budden said. “He is friendly with his students, inquires about their status and course understanding and presents material that is real-world oriented and current.”
Jones’s interest in his students’ success is demonstrated by the more than $20,000 in scholarships he has raised from industry partners, such as the Traffic and Transportation Club of Baton Rouge, where he has served as president for the last several years. He has also assisted numerous students in getting their first real jobs in the industry.
“Here at Southeastern, I’ve been impressed with how hard many students are working to balance jobs, families and college,” he said. “One thing I noticed at other institutions is how impersonal teaching can become. I still appreciate the faculty I had who took a personal interest in me. I try to bring that personal element to my teaching by getting to know my students as individuals whether they’re an ‘A’ or a ‘C’ student and showing that I notice their work and performance.”