Associate Professor of Marketing Jane McKay-Nesbitt, Ph.D., has adopted as her pedagogical model the 4-H motto: Learn to do by doing. “I never studied education, but I was a 4-H member,” says McKay-Nesbitt who uses interactive, engaging and dynamic group activities, such as competitive brainstorming games, to reinforce marketing principles.
Before coming to Bryant in 2008, McKay-Nesbitt had had a long and successful career in the financial services industry, most recently for RBC Financial Group, Canada’s largest bank. As a bank manager, McKay-Nesbitt witnessed the need for employees who were broad thinkers with knowledge about issues beyond finance. “It’s a tremendous asset for students to have the integration of business and arts and sciences,” she says. “I love this Bryant model.”
In August 2017, McKay-Nesbitt was named Co-Director of Bryant’s highly competitive Honors Program, which includes approximately 4 percent of each graduating class. The Honors Program welcomes a select number of high-achieving students who participate in rigorous Honors classes and, during their first year, a community service initiative. With guidance from an Honors Program professor, senior students research and write Capstone projects, some of which are published in peer-reviewed academic journals or presented at academic conferences. McKay-Nesbitt, who seeks to build awareness of the Honors Program through several new engaging initiatives, has already doubled the size of the Faculty Honors Council, from six to 12 members.
Although she and her students have received many awards, being named an honorary coach of Bryant’s Division I women’s basketball team in 2016 delighted the Canadian native, who enjoys teaching student-athletes, as they are often disciplined academic team players who can dig deep.
“Academia is a good fit for me; I explore ideas and love to write,” says McKay-Nesbitt, whose most recent research focuses on how the financial services industry’s social marketing impacts Millennials’ financial wellbeing. Incorporating commercial marketing concepts, social marketing is designed to positively influence people’s behavior.
“I tell my students, ‘Your education is a gift; gifts are given to us not for our own benefit but for the benefit of others,'” says McKay-Nesbitt, who is as committed to her students’ academic and professional successes as her Ph.D. advisor was to hers. “You have a gift; now, you need to give it to others.”
Co-director of Bryant's highly-competitive Honors Program
Recent research focuses on how the financial services industry’s social marketing impacts Millennials’ financial wellbeing
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