Nancy Levenburg, Ph.D.
B.S. in Business, Miami University; M.B.A. in Marketing, Western Michigan University; Ph.D. in Management, Graduate College, The Union Institute and University; Post Doctoral Studies: Institute for Management and Leadership in Education, Harvard University; Certificate Program in Online Teaching, University of California - Los Angeles
What do you like most about teaching at Grand Valley?
I like working with the students. I especially like it when there is a student whom I can mentor individually, a student who comes with a particular issue that they are very passionate about. We can brainstorm and figure out how to take this further; whether to take this student to a conference or if it is something that I can help them research more in depth.
What is your favorite class to teach?
Management Science. I love working math problems. I like the fact that in this particular class it involves linear programming. It seems that so many times it can be hard to know the optimal solution, but management science provides ways to think about the optimal solution; say, how many bank tellers should be open at a certain hour or how many workers to have for a construction project.
What do students like best about your class?
I'm willing to help them. I give numerous opportunities to help students succeed. I let them have choices for how their grades will be achieved. They can pick from a couple of plans on how to be graded; exams only, a lot of homework, whatever works best for the student.
How do you contribute to the success of your students?
I always make time to answer questions, I set up exam review sessions that any student could come to, and I make sure and give out worksheets in class that are very helpful. I also created the homework helper on blackboard so any student at home doing homework can get help. I check it regularly and will give you clues, ideas, and places to re-read in the textbook.
What advice would you give to prospective students?
It would be the same thing that I said to my daughter when she asked me what was the difference between high school and college. If the professor says read it or do it, then read it, do the assignment. And ideally read just a bit more than what they said, then you put yourself in a position where you can really impress the instructor. You can show you've gone beyond the bare minimum. It helps with getting a reference in the future.
What is the most rewarding aspect about teaching at Grand Valley?
When students really get it, especially a student who has struggled. When finally the light comes on and they have got it. Also, when they walk across the stage at graduation, especially a student who I have known for a long time. When I have been on the commencement platform, there are times when I even stand up and give them a handshake or hug. They did it. They accomplished great things.
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