Elaine Young, Ph.D. currently serves as the lead faculty member overseeing Champlain’s online marketing and communication program. She has been a committed member of the Champlain community for 21 years.
Tell us a little bit about your professional background in marketing and communication.
I have worked in the field of marketing and communication for more than 10 years, before becoming a professor. I specialized in non-profit work in New York, Washington D.C., and Vermont. My background in non-profit marketing had me building out content that highlights the true value proposition of an organization and brand. While I did not intend to become a college professor, my non-profit work naturally turned into a perfect content fit for educational coursework that matters to students and makes for a meaningful education.
What brought you to Champlain?
I joined the Champlain community in 2000 when I initially served as an adjunct faculty member teaching in the e-business management program. At the time, I had just received my master’s degree in internet strategy management and wanted to try my hand at teaching. After meeting with the e-business management program director, we decided I would start teaching the course. As they say, the rest is history and I’ve worked at Champlain ever since!
Having been an adult learner myself, I know what it takes to go back to school - the demands, commitment, and sacrifice. I have so much respect and empathy for our students and I want to help them thrive, just as some of my professors helped me.
Over the course of my 21-year tenure at Champlain, I have worn many hats to best serve our students. I’ve been a program director, an assistant dean in the Stiller School of Business, and have climbed the ranks from assistant professor to full professor. Additionally, I have developed and taught online courses to Champlain students in both undergrad and MBA programs, and now in the bachelor’s degree in marketing and communication degree program. I really enjoy teaching every course I’ve taught, as these courses are opportunities for me to connect with our students, teach new material, and engage on important issues that interest me on a personal level.
What are some of the things you like most about working at Champlain College Online?
Champlain is very special and it’s one of the main reasons why I’ve worked here for as long as I have. I hold a deep appreciation for our college’s ability to create relevant and current programs with courses that truly best serve our online adult learners. Our partnerships with employers help us keep our programs focused on supporting the growth and success of our students individually.
I also appreciate the passion of the individuals I work with. In order to be a strong online instructor, professors need to have passion for the courses they teach, patience with their students, and an approachable personality that translates into an online learning environment. It has been my experience that my colleagues share these traits and we all believe in the value of education and how it can help to elevate our students so they can reach new levels of success. It’s apparent that we’re all deeply committed to our students’ successes - no matter what area they work in. The entire Champlain community is ready and willing to support students and celebrate their every win!
What do you think makes Champlain’s online bachelor’s degree in marketing and communication valuable to students?
Our program offers students a competitive and unique blend of marketing and communication skills that directly mirrors what is happening in the industry. This bachelor’s degree is most valuable to students who are committed to succeeding in today’s increasingly complex business world, as our coursework integrates industry certifications and project-based work to give students the integrated marketing and communication skills necessary to take the next step in their careers.
I also believe that our coursework is more meaningful as a result of having online students coming together from all over the country - and the world! Our students hail from all over, and their diverse backgrounds enrich our online classroom. In order to be successful in this program, individuals need to be passionate about storytelling, connecting with others, and demonstrate an engagement in brands and organizations. We’ve done a fine job of bringing adult learners together who share these qualities to continue and/or advance their learning in meaningfully valuable ways.
What are some of the trends you see shaping marketing communication education over the next few years, particularly in the online education space?
I believe technology will continue to shape, impact, and even disrupt the marketing industry, as we’ve seen happen time and time again. The creation and widespread use of new social media platforms, for example, is guaranteed to continue to affect how consumers use technology and how marketing and communication professionals will need to adapt their strategies to stay relevant in today’s complex business landscape.
Our program will respond accordingly, by creating opportunities for students to get hands-on experiences with production practices, video content, social media platforms, and digital marketing. These experiences and the subsequent knowledge students will gain will continue to be an important component in our online learning environment. Our challenge, as educators, will be to help our students get the access they need, regardless of where they are located.
What’s something you’d like students to know about you that they might not know otherwise?
When I lived in Washington D.C., I worked for an environmental non-governmental organization where I had the opportunity to work on events that featured President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore. Coming to Vermont from D.C. was quite a change for me and it clearly agreed with me as I’ve lived here since 1997!
Also, I am an avid World of Warcraft player, which many people find surprising.
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