Green uses unique experience to educate students

Melissa Green has spent the majority of her career in higher education, and she spent her early time at Bluffton primarily with adult students—until last year.

Green was a marketing adjunct at Bluffton for more than 20 years before joining the faculty as a full-time associate professor of business and director of the MBA program in fall 2016. She said students are ultimately what brought her to Bluffton full time.

“I learn as much from the students as they do from me,” Green said. “It’s a really neat and strong learning environment.”

Green always knew she wanted to teach. Even when her career plan seemed to be taking her down different roads, she always found herself back in teaching or mentorship-type positions.

“I love the learning environment; it’s who I am—it’s what I’m about,” said Green. “I’m a lifelong learner, and teaching gives me an opportunity to learn.”

Her flexibility and understanding is what has made Green immensely popular among students. She’s not a cookie-cutter professor and adapts her classes to fit the subject and her students.

“I think my teaching style relates back to my years of experience. Having done marketing, advertising and sales, for so many years, I have a good handle on how things have changed, and yet the practicality that marketing is still an art and science,” Green said. “There’s no one set formula and is continuously changing.”

This way of teaching may not always line up with all students, but Green believes students can learn from these differences to become versatile for professional life. She wants students to develop skills to be quality professionals in their given fields. When it’s necessary, Green excels at being flexible and working with students to help them succeed.

“There’s so much out there for us to know and to learn, but we only have so much time. What’s important to the students and the class may be a little different than what even I think going into the classroom,” said Green. “But, I’m willing to find that middle road and keep it interesting and at the same time accomplish the goals we’ve set out to reach.”

Green prides herself on her creative techniques to keep students engaged. No two days or two classes are the same, but that’s Green’s way of keeping things fun and apply learning—all while sticking to class objectives.

“I know from my experience that one of the most important ingredients to a classroom is keeping students engaged,” Green said. “That has to extend beyond the concepts we discuss and the learning that occurs, to how do you connect best with students—even when it’s out of their comfort zones.”

Shelby Koenig, a junior marketing and business administration major, has taken numerous of Green’s classes and has enjoyed the adaptability and creativity in the courses. Koenig appreciates Green’s approachability and flexibility.

“She always goes above and beyond because she truly wants to see us succeed,” Koenig said. “She’s very relatable with what she teaches and how she presents the material.”

Direct interaction with students is among her favorite aspects of the job. Green loves to see lightbulbs go off in class when students truly relate to the material and understand how the concepts can impact their daily lives.

“Bluffton is all about relationships,” said Green. “And, that’s what teaching is all about.”

Teaching isn’t just a paycheck for Green; she truly cares about her students and wants to see them do well in future careers and life after Bluffton.

“One of my biggest objectives, is to give students the tools so they can create a tool box and use in their professional lives when they leave,” said Green. “Whatever their major may be, they can take those tools they’ve learned from my classes and actually keep it and use it.”

Green doesn’t view graduation as the end of an era, but aims to continue the line of communication with students.

“I love getting emails or calls from students who have graduated,” Green said. “It’s so rewarding to hear from students and hear how they’re applying what they’ve learned in their jobs.”

Green aims to mold students into critical thinkers, learn alongside students through each of her courses and see her students succeed.

“I look at a lifetime of opportunity for us to grow together, both in professional careers and life,” said Green. “That’s what it’s all about.”

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