The following Professors have been nominated to be this year’s Stukent Professor of the Year.
Please review their information below and cast your vote for who you think should win.
Voting will close on Monday, May 9 at 10 a.m. MDT.
Debika Sihi is an associate professor at Southwestern University. Before earning her Ph.D. in marketing at the McCombs School of Business, Debika worked at Public Strategies, Inc. and Deloitte.
Dr. Sihi teaches digital marketing and a capstone course that focuses on innovation in business. She is co-founder of Southwestern University’s Lab for Innovative Ventures and Entrepreneurship (LIVE) and an avid supporter of Emancipet, an animal welfare organization in Austin, Texas.
Dr. Sihi’s research explores technological innovations and disruptions in marketing. She has published works in peer-reviewed marketing and business journals, including the “Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice,” “Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing,” and the “Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science.”
Stukent Professor of the Month, September 2016, Certified CPA. Dr. Sihi is a CPA (certified public accountant). She loves keyword research for search engine marketing and researching the tax code.
Rutgers School of Business
Stacy Smollin Schwartz has been a full-time marketing professor at Rutgers Business School for seven years. She has been the founding director of the online MS Digital Marketing program for the last three.
Prior to Rutgers Business School, she worked as a learning and development consultant for the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), where she launched the only ANSI-accredited professional certifications in the digital media industry. She has held marketing leadership roles at Virgin Mobile USA, Hospital for Special Surgery, and the internet advertising pioneer DoubleClick, which she joined back in 1996.
Schwarts is also the board president for Sharsheret, a national nonprofit organization that serves women and families facing cancer. Schwartz earned an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA with the highest honors from Penn State University.
Associate member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences (IADAS), the judging body of the Webby and the Lovie Awards (2018-present), Awarded Rutgers University Presidential Award for Teaching Excellence (2019), Awarded Thomas H. Mott Award for Excellence in Teaching (2018 and 2019), Awarded Dean’s Meritorious Teaching Award for Outstanding Teaching (2018),
After a prodigious 30-year career in branding and advertising communications, Lance Saunders retired from the business world to teach. Before his retirement, Saunders was the Chief Operating Officer of DDB Canada, one of the largest advertising agencies in the country. He’s advised many Fortune 500 clients, including Bell Canada, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, H&R Block, McDonald’s, and Kellogg’s … just to name a few!
Saunders is now consulting and teaching part-time at Seneca, where he loves teaching the next generation of advertisers and marketers. As an accomplished wildlife and nature photographer, he has also provided pro bono branding and communications counsel to internationally known photographers such as David DuChemin, Ejaz Kahn, Roberto Dutecso, and Wayne Fisher.
Over his 30-year career, Saunders has won many prestigious national and international advertising awards. However, his greatest accomplishment is working with Pacific Wild to ban the trophy hunting of grizzly bears in British Columbia. Since then, he’s dedicated himself to helping organizations save the natural world.
Mountainland Technical College
Brandon Anderson is a digital marketer and educator with over 10 years of industry experience. He has an extensive background in digital marketing, advertising, and marketing consulting for technology, financial, and service-based companies. Over the last three years, he has built an elite digital marketing program at MTECH, resulting in over a 90% completion and placement rate for high school and adult students.
Anderson’s program has a 90% completion and placement rate for students. He has also pioneered and developed a digital marketing and analytics course standard curriculum for the Utah System of Higher Education (USHE).
Marlene Frisbee fell in love with marketing while working for an international marketing company. In 2005, Frisbee started teaching as an adjunct professor at Asheville-Buncombe Tech. In 2011, she accepted a full-time position in the business administration department — she became chair of that department in 2015. She teaches all the marketing and business courses offered at the college, and she generally has about 15 – 25 adjuncts teaching for her each semester. Accounting, business administration, marketing, and economics are all under the business administration department’s umbrella. She is also an advisor for the Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) chapter on campus.
Frisbee believes her experience in the marketing and business world brings a “real-life” perspective to her students. She enjoys sharing her experiences.
In 2019, Frisbee was named Professor of the Year. For the past 12 years, she has been a Phi Beta Lambda Advisor for the A-B Tech chapter. In April 2022, she was named Advisor of the Year for North Carolina. Frisbee is honored and humbled by these recognitions.
Jason Dojc is a veteran marketing agency strategist who moved into academia, and he’s now the program coordinator for Seneca’s Creative Advertising Program. The self-proclaimed “unaccredited anthropologist” spent his agency life helping clients understand how digital, social, mobile, and other ‘geeky’ things affect their customers’ behavior. He turned that knowledge into effective marketing strategies. Now, he’s training the next generation of marketers to do the same … well, he hopes they’ll do it even better.
During the pandemic, Dojc joined the Faculty Champions mentorship committee, where he used the strategies he’d learned as a freelancer to help other professors adapt to online learning. Together, the educators were able to navigate two years of online learning. For the last five years, Dojc has also been a volunteer ski instructor for athletes living with disabilities. He says, “Seeing my students progress in their skiing [abilities] is great, but seeing the smiles on everyone’s faces … is priceless.”
University of Texas at Arlington
Dr. Lauren Brewer is a clinical assistant professor of marketing at the University of Texas at Arlington. In eight years of teaching, Dr. Brewer has taught eleven different course preps across three modalities. Her current course offerings include social media marketing and retail marketing. Since 2017, Dr. Brewer has won the award in her department for most students taught in an academic year, an honor she hopes to pass on to another faculty member in the future!
Dr. Brewer received the Outstanding Clinical Faculty Award from the College of Business in 2019. She was nominated for the Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2019, the Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and Ward Endowment in 2021, and the President’s Award for Transformative Online Education in 2021.
Dr. Brewer has been fortunate to work with dedicated faculty and determined students. Because of this, her greatest accomplishment at the University of Texas at Arlington is being promoted to clinical associate professor for the 2022-2023 academic year. Dr. Brewer says, “Words cannot express my gratitude to the marketing department and the college of business for their continued trust in me to share my experience, knowledge, and passion for marketing with my students.”
Minnesota State Technical Community College
Sarah Dixon-Hackey is a digital marketing instructor at Minnesota State Technical Community College in Moorhead, Minnesota. Alongside teaching courses in content marketing, social media, email, and MMS marketing, Dixon-Hackey serves as the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Liaison for Clay County Public Health and is the Social Media Ambassador for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention ND chapter. With a professional past rooted in the non-profit sector, she challenges students to capture the power of digital marketing and its capacity to create transformative social change.
2022 – Appointed State of ND Field Advocate for the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention, 2022 – Became a Certified Instructor for Mental Health First Aid, 2021 – Featured Speaker for Stukent Webinars: Bringing Diversity into the Classroom, Stukent Professor of the Month, November 2022.
Rhodes State College
Traci Bitler has been marketing and management courses in Lima, Ohio. She earned a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Northwestern Ohio and brings over 30 years of industry experience to the classroom, along with six years of classroom experience.
Bitler is a dedicated teacher. She focuses on student success, which is evident from her stellar student evaluations. Bitler is very active in course creation, design, and development. She redesigned the marketing degree program at her university, bringing the marketing degree into alignment with current trends and ensuring her students are prepared to enter the workforce.
In addition, Bitler is active in the community. She volunteers in the Lima Public Library’s Summer Reading Program with her registered therapy dog and farm animals. Bitler helps underserved youth participate in the Allen County Horse 4-H program by allowing the children to use her horses and teaching them how to care for, ride, and compete in horse shows. She is an Allen County 4-H Volunteer, an Allen County Fair Volunteer, and a member of the Northwest Ohio Beekeepers Association.
Bitler has been married to her amazing husband, David, for 32 years. Together, they live on a 12-acre mini-farm along the Auglaize River in Ohio with their horses, cows, goats, chickens, ducks, dogs, cats, and a parrot. They have a wonderful daughter, a son-in-law, and two beautiful granddaughters.
Bitler’s proudest moment as a professor occurs every year at commencement, where she tearfully cheers on her graduating students. She has watched her students grow and overcome challenges, and she is so very proud of everything they have accomplished. Bitler says, “I feel blessed to have been a small part of their education and career journey.”