As assistant professor of practice in marketing the past five years, Steven Welton brought more than 30 years of professional marketing experience to the classroom. He taught both graduate and undergraduate business students and earned the College of Business MBA Distance Teaching Award his first year and the Department of Marketing Teaching Award this year.
Having taught hundreds of undergraduate students at Nebraska, Welton recalls many student achievements. One of his proudest accomplishments includes coordinating class projects with business partners at Lincoln Industries.
“I taught an experiential learning class each year working with Lincoln Industries. It gave students the chance to confront real-world business problems and learn first-hand how to work on a project with a successful local company. It was right up my alley in terms of my job experience, so I was able to help students work their way through the complexity of team-oriented projects,” he said.
In addition to teaching, he served as advisor of the American Marketing Association (AMA) student organization. This allowed him to facilitate mentoring partnerships between students and local business people.
“There’s a huge networking benefit for students to meet marketing professionals in the community. We lined up mentors for every student that wanted one. It let students visualize their careers through the eyes of local professionals. It created internship opportunities for students, and we’re lucky because the Lincoln AMA chapter is very active,” said Welton.
Working in strategic marketing for the insurance industry most of his career, Welton shared valuable insights with his students.
“I led teams or worked in every single marketing function you could find in an organization. It helped me go from one subject to another in the classroom and put all the pieces together for students, because I have experience doing all of those functions. Ultimately, it helped make the classes applicable,” he said.
Welton spent several months prepping for his first teaching assignment which was an online MBA course. He attributes his MBA Distance Teaching Award both to his preparation and approach to students. In teaching MBA students online, he wanted his classes to have practical appeal.
“Many MBA students have extensive work experience, and a lot of them are business owners,” said Welton. “They want to learn things they can apply immediately. The original course I taught was in service marketing. I designed it looking for ways to advance student careers and make their businesses successful. The class grew from under 20 students my first year to more than 40 this past year.”
Welton plans to continue teaching MBA courses as an online lecturer. He intends to spend his additional free time with his family including two grandchildren.