Pam Carstens
Roger and Mary Baxter Professor of Business Administration and World Affairs

Pam CarstensEducation
B.A. Coe College
M.B.A., Ph.D. The University of Iowa

What research or projects are you currently working on with Coe students?
Rob Kuennen and I are currently working with a student on a project that's attempting to determine how organizations use their websites to communicate their corporate social responsibility policies and practices. In this project, we're defining corporate social responsibility broadly, and we're looking at everything from environmental policies to diversity programs. As the project evolves, we hope to try to measure whether people go to corporate websites to search for this type of information and if they do, whether the information influences these people's purchase or career decisions.

What is your favorite class to teach and why?
My favorite classes always seem to be the ones I'm teaching when I'm asked this question. This semester I'd say that my favorite class to teach is Advertising because it's a class where it's easy to see that students are really learning something throughout the semester. Early in the semester, most students think that advertising is much more simplistic than it really is. But as we discuss advertising and look at examples of advertising (the good and the bad), students start understanding both the art and the science of advertising, and most never see advertising in the same way as they did prior to the class. Next semester I'd likely say that my favorite course to teach is Business Ethics. It's a course in which students are forced to think about their views on how businesses operate and how employees make decisions. It's interesting to listen to students as they start to question and perhaps alter their own views of the business world.

What is your favorite website?
Right now one of my favorite websites is the Stride gum website. It's a great example of a website that's being used to both inform and entertain. The Stride gum ads included on the site are just funny in a strange sort of way, and the videos on the Matt's Place tab always make me smile. Who wouldn't want to have Matt's job?

Who is playing on your iPod?
Much to the disappointment of many of my colleagues, I frequently listen to music by artists or groups like Justin Timberlake, Lifehouse, Pink, Five For Fighting, Sia, and Jason Mraz. But you'd also find R&B, showtunes, jazz, alternative, Latin, and classical music on my iPod.

What do you do outside of class?
I like to travel, go to movies, and work out my frustrations on my treadmill. I also like to bake and do crafty kinds of things like working with tiles, quilting, and painting anything from walls to pottery.

What is the best getaway location, local or abroad?
When I want to get away and I don't have much time, I go to a movie. If I have a little more time, I go to Chicago to walk around, shop, and go to museums or performances. If I have even more time, I travel to another country. I don't have a favorite getaway spot when traveling abroad. I just try to go somewhere I've never been before - and the list of places I've never been is still a long one.

What is your favorite thing about Coe?
Without question, my favorite thing about Coe is our students. The vast majority of Coe students are hard-working students who understand the value of an education and who will increase their efforts to meet challenges. When Coe students show that they care about learning, they discover a wide variety of opportunities to enhance their education - from internships to study abroad to working on a research project with faculty. And if students need support, they'll also find faculty, staff, and even other students willing to offer support.

What makes Coe stand out from other schools?
As compared to large universities, business, accounting, and economics courses at Coe are small, allowing us to focus on more interactive learning. The classroom experience is personalized, and through the use of individual and group projects, students are able to apply what they're learning in class to strengthen their research, decision-making, writing, and presentation skills. And because we're able to take the time to get to know our students, faculty are available to help students make decisions about study abroad options, internships, student-faculty research opportunities, and graduate school applications. Unlike many other small schools, Coe offers a broad range of courses in business, accounting, and economics, all taught by faculty who have attended graduate school specifically in the fields in which they teach. In addition, Coe's location in Cedar Rapids provides a wealth of opportunities for students who want to do volunteer work or internships during the academic year.

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