Marketing and management professor wins distinguished educator award

by Diana Petrovich, Staff Writer

Courtesy of Dawn Edminston

Many students and faculty were not surprised to hear word that assistant professor of Management and Marketing at Saint Vincent College and director of the Health Services Leadership graduate program, Dr. Dawn Edmiston, was recently recognized by the Pittsburgh Chapter of the American Marketing Association as Distinguished Educator of 2010. In addition to teaching several marketing and management courses, Edmiston is involved in numerous business and student-organizations on campus. She co-chairs the Integrated Communication Committee at SVC and is also a marketing consultant for the Fred Roger’s Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media. She serves as faculty advisor of the Women in Business Club, an organization that she personally founded with the hope to inspire female students at SVC in the same way she was inspired by participating in a Women in Business Club while working toward her Master’s Degree at Colombia University. Edmiston also has served as faculty advisor to the Multicultural Student Coalition and shares advising duties for Marketing Matrix with Dr. Thomas Cline, Professor of Marketing and Statistics.

Students are perhaps most affected by Edmiston’s dedicated involvement; her teaching evaluations are full of various accolades from students, such as:

“She is one of Saint Vincent College’s greatest assets. She is not only effective in her teaching skills, but also in her personal and genuine care for her students.”

“Dr. Edmiston is one of the most incredible teachers that I have encountered at Saint Vincent. Being a senior, I have met many professors. Not only does she teach material in an extremely effective way but she makes the class.”

“Dr. Edmiston is a passionate professor who takes pride in what she is teaching. She makes me want to learn.”

“She is a genius! Wonderful!”

Reaching the students on both a personal and professional level is a process that is second nature to Edmiston. “I think most important [in teaching marketing] is making sure the students know that the content relates to their lives,” said Edmiston. She said further that in all of her classes, she tries to relay not only the information of the class, but also the fact that the information being relayed is an important lesson. Edmiston assigns her Principles of Marketing classes, the introductory marketing course at SVC,  a Personal Marketing Strategy Paper, through which students apply their knowledge of the marketing process (the well-known Four P’s –  product, price, place, and promotion) to market themselves to “customers” such as future employers. Next fall, this project is going to be added to the syllabus of all Principles of Marketing sections, a change that Edmiston feels will help students “see the presence and importance of marketing in their own lives and in organizations after school.”

Her theories and practices have certainly been successful. In addition to this recent recognition, she was recently awarded with a Alice L. Beeman Research Award for Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation in 2008, and the Quentin Schaut Outstanding Faculty Award in 2009. On top of receiving awards for personal excellence, her contribution to Saint Vincent College can be seen in the success of its graduates. Dr. Gary Quinlivan, dean of the Alex G. McKenna School of Business, Economics, and Government, said, “Thanks to Dr. Edmiston and Dr. Cline, based on our 2010 ETS senior business exit exam, our marketing major is ranked in the top 7.5% of the nation compared to 685 other accredited business school (AACSB and ACBSP).   [I might also note that] we rank top 10% in Global Issues, Dr. Edmiston’s teaching of Global Marketing directly impacted this score.”

“I have sat in on two of Dr. Edmiston’s classes,” Quinlivan said, “she uses technology very effectively and is well organized. Most importantly, she utilizes a Socratic teaching pedagogy. In the classes I sat in on, Dr. Edmiston received multiple responses from virtually every student in the room.”

Students respond in way with Edmiston that touches her sentimentally. Her first teaching position was at Howard University, a historically African-American school in Washington, D.C.

“The students there [at Howard] were so passionate; [the entire establishment] spiritually moved me,” said Edmiston. “I was always hopeful to find that spirituality again along the path of my teaching career—and did at Saint Vincent,” she continued. “I smile everyday here and feel truly blessed to know my students.” Edmiston said that she often asks her students what they like about Saint Vincent and finds that their responses correspond with her own feelings. “It’s a special community,” she added.

Senior Marketing major Deanna Klick feels she has been on the receiving-end of Edmiston’s teaching, and feels more than positively affected.

“Her marketing expertise is evident in the course work, but more importantly, she treats every student with the utmost respect and care,” said Klick. Klick also serves as the President of Women in Business President and Vice President of Market Matrix. Last year, she was awarded a $2000 scholarship by the Pittsburgh Advertising Federation. Klick is thankful for Dr. Edmiston’s presence as an instructor at Saint Vincent. “Having her as an educator has been an inspiration for my career and my life. I will never again have a teacher or mentor quite like Dr. Edmiston.”

A well-deserved honor, Edmiston’s Distinguished Educator of 2010 award is pleasing, but not unexpected by students, colleagues, or even superiors. School President Br. Norman Hipps, O.S.B. said, “[Dr. Edmiston] is a very competent individual in the field of marketing. She has helped with the Fred Rogers Center tremendously and throughout the college in various aspects. She is a very fine teacher. But her award is not a surprise.”

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