In her twenty years of teaching, Dr. Melody Rawlings, NCU professor in the School of Business, has shared her experiences and knowledge to serve as a role model for her students. And that experience includes acting as a recruiter for a large law firm, a grant director for a non-profit organization, and a founder and CEO of an educational program for children.
Receiving a Master of Science and Technology and her EdD in Educational Leadership from Northern Kentucky University have allowed Dr. Rawlings to embrace the benefits of online education. Her focus is to help guide her students to create a vision to move from where they are to where they want to be in their personal and professional development.
1. Why did you decide to become a professor?
I became a professor because I have a passion for guiding others through the learning process and encouraging them to reach their potential and achieve their educational goals. I believe every student is unique and brings valuable contributions to the course. While every person is capable of learning, there must be a desire to learn in order to master new concepts and skills. I encourage learning by creating an environment where students can feel comfortable asking questions and they can engage in stimulating application about the topics and material being presented. I love to see students make connections between concepts taught in the courses and their experiences and interests. I strive to be creative in my teaching methodologies and believe in maintaining a strong instructor presence to motivate student success.
As a professor, it is my desire for students to see the benefits of becoming a servant leader who teaches and influences the behavior of those whom they lead. I seek to build students’ self-confidence and equip them with the tools needed to develop into knowledgeable and caring leaders.
2. What do you see is the biggest challenge for students pursuing Masters and Doctorate degrees? Do you have any tips for students thinking about NCU?
One of the greatest challenges I see for students pursuing Masters and Doctoral degrees is finding ways to balance work, family, and education. It seems there is not enough time in a day to meet all the demands and this creates a lot of stress. Without good time management, it is often not possible to meet deadlines. I encourage students to get into the routine of working on assignments throughout the week and not waiting until the last day or so before the deadline. By not putting off work, it reduces stress and the quality of work is higher since there is time for the important tasks of proofreading and editing before submission.
3. What interests do you pursue outside of teaching?
When I’m not at my desk in front of my computer, I can be found in the kitchen cooking up something healthy. I enjoy trying new recipes and working to make healthy taste delicious! I also enjoy hiking and spending time outside and seeing the wild critters here in Kentucky such as deer, wild turkey, and many types of birds.
4. Being an online professor allows you to be pretty flexible. If you could teach from anywhere in the world, where would it be?
If I could teach from anywhere in the world it would be Switzerland. I love mountains and hiking and there is no place on earth more beautiful than the Alps. One of my favorite memories is hiking high up in the Alps, having some delicious Swiss chocolate, and enjoying the breathtaking vistas!