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Meet the Professor: From mountains to teaching, Tammy Reynolds keeps climbing higher

Wednesday, September 23 2015 12:00am

Executive-in-Residence Reynolds switched from the corporate world to academia without missing a beat

By Brianna Wilson

20160915Tammy Reynolds BwsWhen I first called Professor Tammy Reynolds for our scheduled interview, she warned me that she was on the last mile of her 15-mile hike through the mountains of Colorado, and that she may lose reception. I offered to reschedule, but she insisted there was no need. Reynolds’ dedication extends far beyond completing an interview whilst trekking down a mountain, though. She’s incredibly passionate about her students—and it shows. That’s why, in 2012, she left her 20-year plus corporate career at companies like Marathon Oil and Whirlpool to pursue teaching.

“I can’t even imagine a better job,” she said. “You have the opportunity every single day to positively touch students’ lives.”

Reynolds tries to be mindful of that responsibility each time she steps into the classroom. “Students are just learning about the business world, so you have to choose your words and examples carefully,” she said. “You want to teach great lessons, but do it in a really positive way that inspires them and helps them to be a better person and professional.”

She does this by focusing less on lecturing, and more on being a facilitator who uses case studies and real-life examples to spur thoughtful discussion. Once a week, she puts students into groups and asks them to role-play difficult conversations. For example, one student is an employee and another is a manager. The manager is then asked to address negative employee performance. “I think those are really powerful,” she said. “You can read a textbook and know what you should do, but once it becomes real, it isn’t so clear cut.”  

Inside the classroom, Reynolds focuses on helping the material “jump off the page” to really resonate with students. She takes this same level of enthusiasm outside the classroom. In addition to teaching, she is co-director for the Select Leaders program, director of the Emerging Leaders program, and faculty advisor of OHIO Women in Business.

She also urges students to get to know her and their other professors. “Stop by, talk with them after class, pick their brain. Really take advantage because the faculty at the College of Business are amazingly approachable and really care about their students,” she said. “Extend your learning beyond just the immediate classroom.”

- Potpourri –

Five pressing questions for Professor Reynolds

Do you have a favorite place to eat in Athens or on campus?

"Zoe. I like Zoe a lot."

Do you have a favorite spot on Ohio University’s campus?

"College Green. It’s the hub of everything."

Which season do you like best in Athens?

"I love fall in Athens. It’s gorgeous. We’ve lived a number of different places but fall here is just the best."

What performances or sporting events have you enjoyed?

"We love Ohio University football games – we’re pretty regular attendees."

What have you liked most about working with students and faculty here at Ohio University’s College of Business?

"I love working with the students. I find it intrinsically rewarding to be able to make such an impact on their lives – to help them develop as professionals but also just as individuals. When you take a keen interest in the students, they recognize that and they then seek you out. I really enjoy the opportunity to know them."