A multi-tasker by nature, Anna Parkman always likes to dive into two books at once.
“I read a lot. My practice is to always have two books going: one fiction and one contemporary press. Sometimes its business press but right now I’m reading everything I can get my hands on about food and agriculture,” she explains, reflecting on how one of her favorite pastimes has been impacted by her recent appointment as an instructional faculty member in AEDE’s Agribusiness and Applied Economics program.
Parkman will continue to multi-task at AEDE as she teaches numerous core requirements in the department’s Agribusiness and Applied Economics undergraduate program, including “Principles of Agribusiness Management” and “Strategic Management” this fall, while also helping to direct the department’s required internship program. In the spring, she will continue to teach strategy, while also tackling marketing and human resource content, as well as oversee the internship program.
“I bring to the department a lot of experience teaching business courses to individuals who come from a variety of industries. I understand business curriculum applied broadly and I’m excited to bring that perspective to AEDE,” she says.
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Parkman received a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Social Work from Cedar Crest College, an MBA from the University of Charleston, and a PhD in Organization and Management from Capella University.
Most recently, she was an associate professor of Management & Organizational Behavior at Ohio Dominican University in Columbus where she also served as Ohio Dominican’s Director of Graduate Business Programs. Prior to arriving in Columbus, Parkman served as the Cecil I. Walker Chair of the Jones Division of Business at the University of Charleston, in Charleston, West Virginia.
In her “Principles of Agribusiness Management” course she looks forward to teaching students basic management principles and how to apply them to a variety of businesses.
“I love that class because it’s dynamic and students have lots of experiences they can bring to the classroom,” she says. “Most of us have seen business decisions executed well and poorly. It’s really nice to test those decisions in the classroom against standard theories of practice.”
Her strategy course is a capstone, which excites her greatly. “The students come in having experienced the whole curriculum and they now get a chance to apply what they’ve learned to the bigger picture. In this course, they will grapple with questions like, ‘how do you set direction for a company, or move a unit within a company in the right direction? And equally as important, how do you take your own business, your farm or your construction company and move it any one direction over a long period of time?’” Parkman explains.
The strategy course includes a half-semester simulation exercise where students develop a business strategy as a team and then compete against other teams in the course to successfully operate their companies. Together, the teams make decisions related to marketing, finance, production and product development, impacting the success of the fictional companies.
“In our simulation, depending on each decision a team makes, everything changes each round – it’s really dynamic, challenging and fun and it really tests for the ability to understand our program’s content and make decisions in how the content is applied to real-life scenarios,” Parkman explains.
Regarding advice that Parkman would give to students enrolled in AEDE’s undergraduate programs, she says there are three things that are critical to her: communication, preparedness and attendance.
“I am a big believer in communication, including being aware of what’s going on and if you don’t understand, communicating that. If you think you’ve got it, show me; if you have special needs, let me know. Communication is key,” she says. “Assume that I want to hear from you.”
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She also hopes that all students will understand the importance of attending class and not only just showing up, but arriving prepared and ready to engage. “I know students have probably heard this over and over, but attendance is a critical factor in being successful. Be prepared with regard to not only content but also what you want to do with that content. Some of our classes are going to have students from a variety of interests. We can engage in a conversation a lot better if you are intentional about how the content might apply to your interests,” Parkman explains.