Professor of the Month: Steve Rowland

Steve Rowland
Marketing Instructor

School: The Evergreen State College

Location: Olympia, Washington

Steve Rowland has spent a career using music, theater, and art as windows to explore issues in American history, society, race relations, human creativity, spirituality, aesthetic beauty, the nature of change, and human possibility.  He is committed to fusing business education with an understanding of society, ethics, and literature. 

Steve with his two children Cameron and Mariel

Rowland has won two Peabody Awards as the producer/director of radio documentaries: “Leonard Bernstein: An American Life, narrated by Susan Sarandon”  (11 one-hour programs) and “The Miles Davis Radio Project, narrated by Danny Glover” (8 one-hour programs).

Rowland is currently a Visiting Professor of Business & Media Studies at The Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA. He has taught at Columbia University, teaches Shakespeare courses in prisons, has lectured at dozens of schools and universities, and is past President of AIR (1998-2004), The Association of Independent Radio Producers. Rowland received an MBA from Columbia University in 2001.

He is the founder of a new non-profit called “Shakespeare Central” which will distribute media to teachers everywhere and encourage a multi-cultural understanding and teaching of Shakespeare.

Rowland has interviewed hundreds of musicians including Bob Marley, Fela Kuti, Art Blakey, Sonny Rollins, Max Roach, Betty Carter, Lester Bowie, Cachao, Smokey Robinson, Dionne Warwick, Stephen Sondheim, Mstislav Rostropovich, John Lee Hooker, Carlos Santana, Ahmet Ertegun, Leslie Uggams, Marin Alsop, Comden & Green, and many, many others.

He has conducted over 240 interviews (audio and video) about the world of Shakespeare now and was the lead interviewer for the Globe to Globe Shakespeare Festival in April 2012.  He is currently completing a feature-length documentary film entitled “Time Out of Joint: Prison Reflections on Shakespeare”

We asked Steve a few questions. His answers are below.


I have used Digital Marketing, Mimic Pro, Social Media Marketing, Mimic Social, and this quarter we will use Digital Marketing Analytics.

The name of the course is “‘Telling the Story: Digital Marketing, Literature and Ethics”. It is a 16 credit program (a bundle of 4 undergrad courses).  We take Stukent classes, do ethics case studies, read literature including Shakespeare and August Wilson, talk about ethics and current events and partner with a non-profit to do Social Media Marketing for them. 


My tip is to try to find ways to allow students to do some real world digital marketing.

What is truly unusual about our class is that we have partnered with an important Seattle non-profit called The Low Income Housing Institute. LIHI has been working to solve homelessness in the Seattle area for 30 years!

(LIHI has pioneered many important programs. They build brand new construction of 75-100 unit buildings, have created things called Urban Rest Stops which have free bathrooms, showers, and laundry for homeless people, and now are pioneering Tiny House Villages which are an immediate temporary way to get people off the streets, out of wet tents, and out of vehicles where they are often living with children – and into small communities of dry, safe shelters -with access to social services.)

Our students, while going through Stukent courses in digital marketing have now embarked on real-world projects with LIHI.  The students work in teams of 4-5 and each team creates a Social Media Marketing campaign on FB/Instagram to raise donations and awareness/engagement with LIHI.  The first time we did it, LIHI paid $7,000 for ads.  This quarter we have received a grant of ad credits from FB and are spending that money.  We create the ads, design the campaigns, select demographic target audiences and process/interpret the data – and, then making managerial decisions, we adjust our ads!

Steve at a groundbreaking for a Tiny House Village


In my other time, I am a jazz oral historian and also a documentary filmmaker.  I am finishing a documentary now about prisoners studying and discussing Shakespeare.  I am a big proponent of both Shakespeare and of prison education. 

Steve Conducting public oral history interview with Seattle Gospel Music Legend The Reverend Pat Wright

Thank you, Steve, and congratulations!

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