Meet the Professor: Dr. Andrew Fodor
Tuesday, November 8 2016 12:00am
Dr. Fodor utilizes a customized, flexible teaching style to connect with a diverse range of students.
By Marshall Payne
Students, like puzzle pieces, are all different. For the pieces to fit together correctly, you need to find an appropriately shaped match. Students all have different learning styles, absorb information differently and at different rates, and are motivated and intrigued by different ideas. The wide variety of individuals within any classroom means that a “one size fits all” approach to teaching won’t work for everyone – only for those whose minds happen to fit with the particular puzzle piece shape the teacher is using.
Realizing this concept, Dr. Andrew Fodor, associate professor and chair of the Finance Department, has been able to connect with more of his students by understanding them as individuals, seeing how they respond to different teaching styles, and creating a personalized approach that works best for each student.
“That’s why I prefer in-person classes to online,” said Fodor. “It allows me to gauge the student’s familiarity with the material, and get a sense of what’s working and what’s not. That is much more difficult to do with online courses.”
Dr. Fodor teaches undergraduate and graduate students. He enjoys teaching both for different reasons.
“With undergrads, I enjoy helping them not only academically, but also with their personal growth, said Fodor. “They are so young and have so much to learn, and any time I can positively impact someone outside of the classroom, it’s a great feeling. I also love teaching graduate students, because I am able to get a bit deeper in the material and teach some higher-level concepts.”
While acknowledging the need to cover certain foundational concepts of the classes he teaches, Dr. Fodor likens his willingness to be flexible to traveling.
“When you travel, it’s nice to have a general itinerary of what you’re going to do and where you’re going to go, but it’s also important to stay open enough so that if an exciting, unexpected opportunity comes up, you can take advantage of that in your lecture," said Fodor.
Emphasizing class participation is another tool that Dr. Fodor uses to not only gain a better understanding of his students, but to also further their personal exploration of the subject matter. With undergrad students who may be less inclined to participate in class discussions, he values giving his students ideas to build off and explore, encouraging original and critical thinking.
“One thing I’ve noticed is that there is consistently more engagement and learning when the students take an active role in leading the direction of the class," said Fodor.
Five pressing questions for the Professor:
Do you have a favorite place to eat in Athens or on campus?
Ninety percent of the time I eat at Brennan’s, Buffalo Wild Wings or Salaam. I’m pretty boring with my food choices and I tend to stick with what I like.
Do you have a favorite spot on Ohio University’s campus?
The faculty commons in the library is my go-to spot. It’s a nice, quiet area to get work done, especially when I need to be somewhere for an extended period of time.
Which season do you like best in Athens?
Spring. Seeing the new life, and when things are getting warm again. I love the weather in Summer, but the fact that everyone clears out of town makes things a little less interesting.
What events have you enjoyed in Athens?
I really like the events where students and faculty get to interact with one another . The College of Business socials are great, particularly the MBA dinner at the OU Inn.
What have you liked most about working with students and faculty at Ohio University’s College of Business?
The relationships you get to build are what makes all of this worthwhile. The culture here makes all of the interpersonal interactions amazing.