Nora Junaid is an instructor and course designer in the Operations and Information Management Department at the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Her teaching focuses on the importance of integrating computing applications into work processes, making it more appealing and accessible to students majoring in business studies. She has made tremendous strides within the department, transforming an introductory course into an applicable and inspiring one. She optimized teaching lab times by implementing better software, improved lectures by streamlining the curriculum into applicable topics, and organized communication to be able to answer every student email. Around 1,200 students take her course every year. In addition, she has spent time on many high-impact service activities in the department, including the Department Curriculum Committee and a number of faculty search committees.
Nora is also the subject matter expert and course developer for the Head Start General Business Studies Certificate Program, a partnership certificate with the Isenberg School of Management. Having intensive practical experience with new software development and implementation, she also holds two current consulting positions. She is the content reviewer for Pearson, where she reviews content for a web-based application, MyLab IT, that measures student proficiency in Microsoft Office software and technology-related topics. She is also the software consultant for GMZ Ship Management Co Hellas, Piraeus, Greece, where she provides advice on how to use information technology to meet business objectives and overcome current problems.
She holds a Ph.D. in business from Bentley University, a Business Analytics Certificate from Cornell, a Master of Business Administration, a bachelor’s degree in management information systems, and several certificates related to the information systems field. These certificates include Microsoft Dynamics – NAV 4.0 Trade & CRM 3.0, Data Mining and Business Applications, among other certificates. She also holds several teaching-related certificates, such as “From Koala to Kangaroo: Getting Your Students Hopping with Active Learning” and “Lecture Light Shine: High Wattage (and Low-Stress) Ideas to Engage Any Student!” Nora also holds a Community Member Badge from Microsoft Office.
Nora is passionate about teaching (read her teaching statement [DP1] below!) and is driven by the idea that teachers can change the world. She was nominated for the Distinguished Teaching Award (DTA), a student-driven recognition of teaching on campus, for the past three consecutive semesters: Fall 2017, Spring 2018, and Fall 2018. In Spring 2019 she was nominated for the Isenberg Outstanding Teacher Award. She is also the faculty initiate for Delta Sigma Pi. She loves meeting new students and sharing new knowledge with them that can transform their way of thinking forever.
Nora has shown a penchant for fully investing herself in optimizing her courses for students, particularly with an eye toward the integration and/or leveraging of technology. She has developed several teaching strategies that have enhanced student learning. During her doctoral studies, she created a technology/Internet-facilitated, team-based simulation for a core course in the undergraduate curriculum at Bentley, which was considered for utilization as a standard aspect of the course across roughly 30 sections that are taught annually. She has also taken part in testing and executing a large-scale, cross-institutional virtual team experiment and shared her experience and takeaways at the Teaching and Learning Conference at the Academy of Management Conference during Summer 2015. Most recently, she developed a mobile application that keeps students in the know about the latest happenings in the tech realm and her course. You can check it out on the page about her course.
Nora has taken part in several case-writing activities, one of which earned second prize for the Video Case Competition sponsored by the Academy of Management and Emerald Publishing. Her work has been featured in several journals, such as the Business and Society Review Journal, where she earned the Best Paper Award. Her latest work proposes a new construct specific enough to be an indicator of variance in new IT appraisals and adaptation: technological proactivity. She developed a measure of technological proactivity and tested its potential to explain variance in adaptation behaviors.
We are like chameleons, we take our hue and the color of our moral character, from those who are around us." (Locke, 1689).
The words above reflect the Lockean doctrine, which assumes that the mind at birth is a form of tabula rasa, a blank slate void of all characters. Over the course of time, the malleable innocence of the mind gradually fills up with content created by a wide array of experiences that one encounters. As an educator, this notion has a huge impact on my teaching style and methods. During their college years, students arrive with a portion of their mindsets that is yet to be developed. This is a huge responsibility that must not be taken lightly; every word and thought we convey to them has a transformative influence over their thoughts, career paths, and ultimately the construction of their adult identity.
Teaching is a transformational process that requires adequate preparation and extensive planning. Each class should be mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive, as every group of students brings in a different perspective and a unique learning experience. Each of my sessions has a particular vision, and each discussion is the result of careful preparation and thoughtful facilitation. Often students feel overwhelmed by an abundance of desperate information in a lecture. My goal is not to leave my students perspective and understanding clouded in overstimulation but to impress the importance and relevance of the information, grounding topics in case studies familiar to the students. This way, students leave with a tangible application of the material presented in lecture as opposed to being inundated with abstraction.
Lecturing is perhaps the most challenging form of teaching, as its one-sided nature often causes students to dissociate from the material. To alleviate the burdensome nature of a lecture, I facilitate conversation between me and my students, making connections between the sources, utilizing business cases. In an effort to engage the graphically inclined, I use charts and videos in addition to stories and timelines. I implore my students to see how business cases (success and failures) are full of chaos and contingency, full of what’s, how’s and whys, people, events and institutions. Although I try to employ a diverse set of sources and address multiple concepts, I take great pride in the linear consistency of my lectures.
It may take struggling to learn how to address the right questions, or days of searching for the right information, or subverting one’s own ego to let students thoughts emerge, or days of careful planning and organization of a presentation. It may take years of tinkering to get right... Yet, there is nothing in my professional life that brings the same joy and excitement as meeting new students and sharing with them new knowledge that can transform their way of thinking forever. It is a great gift and a great pleasure to share the subject matter I love most with others.
Cornell Certificate Program: Business Analytics.
ISO 9001: 2008 Quality Management Series Foundation Course
ISO 1400 Environmental Management Course
Data Mining and Business Applications
Microsoft Dynamics NAV trade & Dynamics CRM 3.0
Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative - Social and Behavioral Research
From Koala to Kangaroo: Getting Your Students Hopping With Active Learning – Cengage Learning
Lecture Light Shine: High Wattage (and Low-Stress) Ideas to Engage Any Student! – Cengage Learning
Reasons Students Hate Group Work and Why I Assign It Anyway – Cengage Learning
Engaging Today’s Students: Maximizing the Potential of each Learner - McGraw Hill
Online Learning: Are Students Adequately Setup for Success? - McGraw Hill
Addressing Affordability with an Unlimited Love of Learning – Cengage Learning
Selected Student Testimonials
Throughout my tenure at Isenberg, I have had so many phenomenal professors. My favorite of them all is Professor Nora Junaid in the Operations and Information Management (OIM) department. I enrolled in Nora’s introductory OIM 210 class my first semester in Isenberg. That semester, in order to satisfy an Honors requirement, I worked with Nora after classes to conduct research on information systems. Specifically, she and I established a meta-analysis that lists studies examining personality factors and technology use determinants. Throughout the class, Nora was my mentor, not only in our research together, but way beyond that. She introduced me to OIM, helped me understand its potential career paths, and inspired me to pursue the major. The best part about sitting in Nora’s class was that she always walked in the room filled with enthusiasm. She was one of the most engaging, helpful, and dedicated professors I had at Isenberg. Without her, I may have never pursued OIM as a major.