Department head steps down to return to the classroom
By Alejandra Arreguin—
After spending time inside and outside of the classroom, Dr. Joanna Shaw is ready to spend more time in the classroom with her students. When the opportunity to serve as department head for the Department of Management College of Business Administration came up, Shaw took the position.
After 17 months as the department head, Shaw is deciding to go back to teaching.
“I want to step back down out of department head for two reasons,” said Shaw. “Number one, I love teaching. It’s my favorite thing do to. It is why I love to do what I do.”
Dr. Shaw said that being the department head doesn’t give her the same relationship with students as teaching does.
“In here, you deal with a lot of students, but they are the unhappy ones, the sad ones, the mad ones, the scared ones. But it’s been a blessing, because I get to intervene to help them get back where they need to be or where they were.”
“Number two, my family, she added. “Although being the department head is great and has some really good moments, I’m not home as much with my two twin girls.”
It wasn’t until last year on Thanksgiving day when Shaw decided to make a change.
“So, between the fact that I just miss my students and my little ones, it was an easy decision to say. It’s not that I won’t serve again. It’s not that I don’t want a leadership positon. It’s just that right now I want to be with my kids as much as I can, and I want to be in that classroom as much as I can,” said Shaw.
During her time as the department head, Shaw said she’s learned a lot of things that she feels will make her a better faculty member. She believes that sitting on the other side has allowed her to see how everything works across the university.
When Shaw was asked who would be a good recommendation, she said, “We have a great department, but Dr. Sue Joiner is at a great point in her life where she has the time to give to the role, and she is fantastic. She is going to be amazing. In fact, I’ve been teasing her, saying she’s going to be better than I’ve ever been in this role.”
“It doesn’t matter if I’m the department head or a professor or a leader in an organization. When you invest in people, a little investment can carry a long way, and I think Dr. Joiner has that same mentality of investing in students,” she continued.
Shaw said that she sees that Joiner is ready for a leadership position and recognizes that she can have a “huge thumb print” on the department.
Overall, she’s looking forward to be back in the classroom with her students, spending more time with her family and being a part of organizations she use to dedicate her time too, such as Delta Mu Delta, a National Honor Society in Business Administration, Alpha Gamma Delta, Residential Living and Learning and having Monday or Tuesday night dinners for students.
Shaw’s last day as department head will be on May 31.