“I love mentoring. It’s a leftover from my corporate life. So, it’s a natural that I love teaching,” says Dr. Richard Vaughan, assistant professor of business administration.
Vaughan’s students benefit from his 22-plus years of business experience, during which he earned numerous awards in marketing and operations while working for a Fortune 50 information company. As a director of marketing with full profit and loss ($480M revenue) portfolio management across the nation, he was responsible for providing strategic direction, conducting competitive analysis and developing best in class strategy, structure and process improvement. This is the high level of real world experience Vaughan brings to the classroom.
“It’s important to balance the academic perspective with the real-world perspective. Theory should apply to the real world,” maintains Vaughan, who holds a doctorate degree from the University of Phoenix. He has also earned numerous technical (VoIP) and project management certificates and is a Registered Communications Distribution Designer (RCDD).
“I try to awaken ideas in my students and help students develop them so that they look at the world differently,” said Vaughan, who teaches at both the undergraduate and graduate levels in the College of Business. He believes it is as important to “deconstruct” as to construct to develop a full understanding of marketing. “We are bombarded by marketing wherever we turn. It’s important to look at what the message really is, the way it is crafted. We have to look beyond the tagline,” he said, noting that he took his class to the Auto Show in Chicago. “It’s marketing mania there, marketing in action!”
“I bring a lot of energy to the classroom,” said Vaughan, “and I like to bring in daily events of the business marketing world—Apple’s new product line. Ford’s newest product and marketing campaign.”
Vaughan not only brings the world to his classroom, he takes his students to the world. Last spring, Vaughan took 40 students to an international business experience in Ireland. He and his students visited senior leaders at the Guinness Storehouse, St James’s Gate, Dublin Business School, Nortel Networks and the Galway Chamber of Commerce. “Ireland is booming with business and is high on the international business radar,” Vaughan said.
Vaughan also recently developed a new business technology course because technology has a “huge impact on business,” said Vaughan. “Think about business 10 years ago. Fast forward to think about how technology will impact you, your field and your career. I tell my students they have to evolve with technology to be employable.”
The impact of technology on business is something Vaughan thoroughly appreciates; his upper level management positions in operations serving Fortune 100 customers included projects such as supervising the design and implementation of the voice and data network for American Medical Association, Arthur Anderson and Co., Sears Tower, McDonald’ s World Headquarters, The White Sox’ US Cellular Field (1993), United Center, IBM, World Cup Soccer (1994), University of Illinois, Evanston Hospital and the 1996 Democratic Convention.
The mentoring that Vaughan provides his students takes time and patience. “It’s a slow process, but well worth the effort,” according to Vaughan, much like the tree farm of Colorado spruces that he has tended for more than 17 years.
“It’s my favorite tree. I love this great, hardy tree. I give them away to people,” added Vaughan, who calls himself a “tree hugger,” an environmentalist and card-carrying member of the Arbor Day Society. Vaughan plants 10 trees a year from seedlings and tends their growth. He applies this same care and patience to his students. He gives the trees as gifts to friends and his knowledge and encouragement is gift to his students. Vaughan subscribes to “Don’t judge each day by the harvest, judge it by the seeds you plant.”
The care and enthusiasm that Vaughan brings to his classes and his trees is seen throughout every aspect of his life—to his hobbies of photography (You can see his photos on a hallway bulletin board.), travel, hiking and camping; to community service as a school board member, catechism teacher, coach, United Way volunteer and most recently as a Big Brother.
A family photo in Vaughan’s office was taken at a recent Y Me – Chicago race to support finding a cure for breast cancer. His wife, Beverly is a breast cancer survivor and each year they and their three children join the Y Me run. “I’m the slowest guy in the family, and I always finish last, but we know that this is important time we spend together and we’re grateful to all be together,” Vaughan said.
“I try to instill in my students and my children that you should always accept the challenge to improve yourself and the world every day. I believe in the saying that if you’ve been given much, then much will be expected in return,” Vaughan said.
Dr. Richard Vaughan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Richard Vaughan’s courses include Marketing, Human Resources, Sales, Business Technology, Sales Management, Leadership and Team Building and Organizational Behavior.