business news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

Just wanted to take advantage of the moment to bring your attention to a growing Food Marketing program at Siena College, in Loudonville, New York, a half-dozen miles north of Albany.

I was invited to drive up there last week to talk to a 9 am class taught by Dr. Russell Zwanka, who has parlayed a long career in food retailing into a teaching career that brings real-world insights and experience into the classroom. I've known Russell for years, so I was thrilled for the opportunity; I know that his students are always well-prepared and interested (and they read MNB!). Even at 9 am.

I think a good time was had by all, and I was impressed by the students' mindset and enthusiasm ... and I was interested to hear that Russell has big plans for the food marketing side of the business school, hoping to turn into a great resource for the industry as well as a source for future leaders on both the retail and supplier sides. I'm glad to give those plans a little publicity here.

It was somewhat Eye-Opening to me, on the drive home, to think about all the campuses I've visited over the years to talk to students. You can add Siena College to a list that includes Cornell University, Western Michigan University, USC, Michigan State, the University of Florida, St. Joseph's University, and, of course, my home away from home - Portland State University in Oregon, where I'm privileged to be a member of the adjunct faculty. (For some reason, despite the fact that I've made numerous offers, I've never been able to get the school from which I graduated - Loyola Marymount University - to let me come teach a class. C'est la vie)

I mention this because, as I've done before, I highly recommend the experience to you. If there's a school near you, go there. Volunteer. Speak. Even more important, listen. Spending time on campus with students is energizing in so many ways ... and yes, Eye-Opening.

KC's View: