Every week, Hiram College News will profile one faculty member. Check back at the beginning of each week for the new profile.
This week, we feature Gail Ambuske, professor of management and communication, and department chair for Management, Economics and Accounting.
I have been here for 31 years. Initially I came because of a relationship that I had with another professor at Hiram who had been in graduate school with me. She called me when a position became open. I came because of the school’s reputation and also because of a friendship I had developed, and I stay for the same reasons.
I would tell them Hiram College’s education is the most practical education they can acquire for the 21st century. This is an education that will give them the agility they need in the modern world to change jobs and/or change careers. The ability to adapt to changing circumstances will be essential in the world of work in the future. It is incredibly practical.
I would describe it as a learning community. It is a place where learning is first and foremost, but it is also in a small community setting where people know each other, encourage each other, and thrive in a close network of relationships.
I love the format for our semesters and 12-3, primarily because it allows me to take students abroad during the 3-week sessions to places that might be too expensive or perhaps perceived as too foreign for students to go for an entire 15 weeks. I think it works well – short, intensive opportunities to learn, as well as extended time for certain subjects. It is a great system.
I would describe them as very diverse – economically, ideologically, ethnically and academically. I would say for the most part they are highly motivated to learn and interested in becoming involved in a small campus community with opportunities to enlarge their horizons.
In a way I would describe them similarly to how I described our students. They are a very diverse group, but for the most part they came to Hiram for the same reasons. They love the small environment, enjoy the opportunity to continue to learn and grow themselves and are committed to teaching and scholarship.
The relationships that I have developed with my colleagues and friends – but also my opportunities to continue learning. I have had a chance to take students to study in the European Union, Japan and China that I never imagined I could do when I first came to Hiram. I developed an interest and the college encouraged me, and now I travel with students quite frequently. So, it is the relationships, the teaching, and the opportunity to continue learning that has kept me here.
There really is not a typical career path. Our students go into a wide variety of organizations. They go into manufacturing, sales, banking, sports organizations, nonprofits, a whole wide variety of organizational settings. But, I would say that what is typical is our students tend to move up in those organizations fairly rapidly. Unlike students who may have a more narrow focus as undergraduates, our students have a broader understanding of organizations and the people within them, and as a result find themselves in positions of responsibility more quickly and higher in the organization.