Dr. Brian Ray, our Career Management professor and former Associate Dean of the Heavener School of Business, realizes the importance of an online education and the true impact it can make.
“Our online students often balance work, school, and a family. Because of this, online students are often able to take the lessons learned in a course and quickly implement it in their daily lives.”
Realizing his passion for educating undergraduate students in his early 20s, Dr. Ray knew he wanted to work at a university, and his professorship teaching online students has truly filled that desire. He says, “the best part of being a professor is finding those students and really helping them explore their future career options and make them aware of some they had not thought about previously.”
The best part of being a professor is finding those students and really helping them explore their future career options…
Dr. Ray’s favorite part of working with online students is the one-on-one sessions and Skype interviews that he has. He emphasized that “students need to take the initiative to make their experiences with faculty as interactive as possible.” While he recognizes the challenges of distance learning, he finds joy in helping students regardless of their location.
The feedback Dr. Ray receives makes his job all the more worthwhile. “There is no difference in capability between our online and on-campus students,” Dr. Ray makes sure to note as he recalls the work of his online students. Students keep him updated for years, even after the program. He’s constantly hearing about a birth, marriage, or other good news in the lives of his former students.
One of his favorite examples is Brandon Metz, whom he inspired to persevere through tough times on the road to getting his degree. Metz, who now has a successful business career, says that the constant feedback he received really propelled him through the online program. “I needed someone to believe in me again, provide a little encouragement, and confirm that I was on the right track. Your response was about perseverance and that was the spark I needed.”
Dr. Ray inspires our online Gators to be better, and we would not be the same without him.