Hello and welcome! I am Barbara Collister-Priestley. I have been an adjunct instructor for that past 18 years, the past 9 of which have been with Concordia University in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I have taught such diverse subjects as Statistics, Economics, Financial Management, Leadership, Management, Marketing, Business Communications and Consumer Behavior. Being an instructor is the best job I have ever had! I hope this introduction will help you get a sense for who I am. I look forward to us getting to know one another as we work together over the weeks to come.
Prior to my career in higher education, I worked as a Director of Human Resources in the high-tech industry. My areas of expertise included Training and Development, Employee Relations and Employment. I have an MBA from the University of Santa Clara, Santa Clara, California and have completed all courses toward a Masters in Clinical Counseling Psychology from California State University, San Bernardino, California. One of the best educational experiences I have ever had was the year-long executive training program, “The Art of Executive Excellence”, developed by author and consultant, Stephen R. Covey.
Thoughts about Teaching and Students
My teaching philosophy or how I approach teaching is directly tied to my personal beliefs and values. It is impossible for me to separate the two. The following “buckets” best describe the beliefs by which I teach and the methods I use to implement them.
• Know who my customers are and how I can make them more successful
• Deliver the highest level of service to those customers, period.
• Live life with the highest level of personal integrity. Walk the talk.
• Never be afraid of feedback and apologize for mistakes.
• Make continuous improvement a way of life.
Each class is a work in progress. I continually search for new ways to communicate ideas or new examples to illustrate a point.
For students to learn (read: you!), they must find that the concepts are important and personally meaningful.
I am blessed to have the friendship and support of a wonderful family, which includes my husband, Tom, and my two children, Jessica (27) and Jim (25). When not teaching, I can be found in the garden growing organic vegetables in the summer and throwing clay on a potter’s wheel in the winter. Regardless of season, you can often find me in the kitchen improvising on recipes or creating new ones. Needless to say, I love to cook! My travels have taken me to many unique places: Kenya, Thailand, Indonesia, China, Malaysia, Greece, France, Great Britain, Spain and Portugal. My most memorable experience was riding a camel through the Sahara Desert while in Morocco. One personal goal is to hike all national parks in the United States. This summer I hiked Mt Saint Helens, Mt. Rainier, and Mt. Olympia National Parks.