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June 13, 2011
Suzy Murray loves to borrow a quote from Mark Twain.
“I was born excited,” she said. “That is my teaching manner. I bring a lot of passion to my classroom.”
If you watch Murray with her students, it’s easy to see that passion as she leads them into the fast-paced world of business.
Murray started at Piedmont Tech working in student development, first in admissions then with student activities, but she really wanted to go into teaching. While her bachelor’s degree is in communications from UNC Wilmington, her master’s degree in human resource development from Clemson is geared to education.
“That degree at Clemson is very instructional, design and development focused,” Murray said. “Once a position opened up, I moved over to the faculty side.”
Murray has been teaching in the business technologies division for more than 10 years, but she herself has never stopped learning. She has earned her professional human resources certification and certified online instructor designation as well as numerous other certifications she utilizes to better prepare her students. She was recently recognized with the Piedmont Technical College Visionary of the Year award - a peer-selected honor presented to the faculty member that demonstrates innovation and excellence in teaching.
“It was an honor that they would think that much of me and what I have tried to accomplish,” she said.
During her tenure at Piedmont Tech, Murray said the greatest change she continues to see is the technology. While preparing the students for the current challenges they will face, she knows she must also prepare them for what is coming.
“The main business concepts will always remain the same,” Murray said. “The biggest change is taking technology and incorporating it in a useful way.”
Murray explained that the technology should be useful rather than just “throwing technology at them to say you’re using technology.” She said that most businesses are prepared to teach potential employees the specific software used, but they want employees who have a strong technological base.
One of her biggest accomplishments with preparing the students has been the implementation of the GLO-BUS project.
“We created the Management 240 class to be the capstone course of the business curriculum,” said Murray. “We wanted the students to be able to demonstrate a cross-functional integration of management, accounting and other business courses to solve management problems.”
With the project, students are divided into teams and assigned to run a digital camera company in head-to-head competition against companies run by other class members as well as companies run by students from other colleges and universities around the world. In the three years the project has been in place, two of Murray’s teams have tied or placed first in the overall competition.
“This project has been more successful than I could have imagined,” Murray said. “It shows that we are giving our students the same quality education they could receive at any four-year institution and providing them with the tools to compete in the global market.”
Murray said that helping the students find the job they want is top priority.
“That’s the bottom line for me – jobs, jobs, jobs,” she said. “I want them to be employable. That’s why they are here.”
For more information on the business program, contact Murray at (864) 941-8445 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo Caption: Suzy Murray, right, works with a student in a business class at Piedmont Technical College. Murray was recently recognized with the Piedmont Technical College Visionary of the Year award - a peer-selected honor presented to the faculty member that demonstrates innovation and excellence in teaching.