By Dan Henson
We’ve all heard of teachers who go the extra mile, but not very many who would travel from Waco to Atlanta, Ga., just to help their students compete in a professional selling competition.
Charles “Chuck” Fifield, senior lecturer of marketing, was presented with the 2013 Academy of Marketing Science’s Outstanding Marketing Teacher Award in a ceremony on Thursday. Fifield’s colleagues nominated him for the award for routinely going above and beyond what is required of him as a teacher.
Dr. Andrea Dixon, associate professor and director of the Keller Center and Center for Professional Selling, said “he is willing to engage with students in a structured classroom setting, but he will pour hours and hours of time into students outside the classroom, working with them, whether it’s on a project during his office hours, or whether it’s serving as a coach to students for a competition, which is totally unrelated to what he gets paid to do.”
Dixon said in her work with Fifield she was able to see the contributions he makes to students inside and out of the classroom, based on how the students engage with him.
Dixon traveled with Fifield to a professional selling competition in Atlanta with a few Baylor students, where she said she saw the engagement the students had with him as a reflection and a carryover of the relationship he created in the classroom.
“In thinking about the contributions he makes to students, I felt compelled to nominate him because of the commitment that I see he has to teaching and students learning. The commitment to teaching and learning is so critical today to creating student success,” Dixon said.
Dixon put together the award application on behalf of Fifield. Dixon herself won the award while working at the University of Cincinnati. She said Fifield was a great candidate for the award.
“He is someone who is very passionate about his content, at the same time he is equally passionate about the students, and that’s what makes for an award-winning teacher,” Dixon said.
The selection committee for the award is made up entirely of previous award winners, which changes each year to avoid the committee becoming a group of people that nominate only their friends.
“These are people who have been nominated and have been identified as award-winning teachers, and then they give back and make this selection happen as well,” Dixon said.
Fifield will travel to the Academy of Marketing Science Conference in Monterey Bay, Calif., to receive the award in a public setting, at which time he will give a presentation of his teaching methods.
“When I first learned about it I was shocked and surprised,” Fifield said.
Fifield worked for 32 years in the corporate world before becoming a teacher. After starting as a commercial real estate loan officer at Bank of America in 1969, he worked his way up the corporate ladder at a few different companies, until he founded Southwest Financial Group in 1973. He served as the president there until 2001.
“Even in industry, the organizations he led and the people he was responsible for, he had a very strong focus on their development and mentoring them, and built very strong training programs,” Dixon said.
Fifield has served on the Baylor faculty for the past 11 years, during which time he has contributed to four different programs, including Marketing, Professional Selling, Music and Entertainment and Sports, Sponsorship and Sales.
“It is nice to know that before I hung up my teaching hat, that somebody recognized my work,” Fifield said, as he eluded that he is nearing the end of his teaching career.
Fifield commended his colleagues for nominating him for the award, as he could not have won it without them recognizing his efforts as a teacher.
“He puts a great foot forward for Baylor,” Cincinnati junior Jim Oltman said. Oltman took Fifield’s Professional Selling and Communications class last semester.
Oltman also said that Fifield is always looking to better his students as people, as well as working with them to improve their résumés before they enter the business world.