Faculty News

Immersive Internships Yield High ROI

By Pauline Stamp, PhD
Assistant Professor of Business Administration

My mission is to transform lives: That’s what motivates me to develop teaching strategies that engage students in practical and challenging learning experiences.

Pauline Stamp

In my classroom, it’s not about grades; it’s about learning. It’s not about homework; it’s about preparing students to handle the complex teamwork and communication demands they will face as professionals.

When students come to my class, they come to work for my “company.” I am their CEO and they are employees. From day one, I challenge them to think differently about why they are here and what they want to get out of their Hartwick College experience. I challenge them to go beyond just learning about business to doing a deep dive into real decision-making as business professionals. As Marcus Hudson ’18 recalls, “Professor Stamp pushed us out of our comfort zone until we felt comfortable tackling any obstacle in business.”

For 14 weeks, my students are immersed in learning by interning with a business to tackle the kind of assignments that they are likely to face in a professional setting. My priorities include helping them understand that their college education is an investment in themselves and their future success.

Students quickly learn that return on investment (ROI) is not their course grade or even their final transcript; rather, it’s a fully developed career portfolio with samples of work completed during their years at Hartwick. In the process, they learn how to interact effectively with business owners and recruiters—how to make a strong first impression that they can back up with a robust portfolio and a persuasive elevator pitch.

Internships are the centerpiece of BUSA 350, Social Media Marketing (SMM). In this J Term course, students work as junior social media marketing consultants for real small businesses. After consulting with their clients, the interns develop an SMM plan that addresses the client’s social media needs. With each assignment, students learn to manage matrix-reporting relationships, keep meeting minutes, and collaborate with business owners who have very little time but high expectations.

Students conduct meetings using camera-to-camera technology, work within deadlines, and deal with rejection and criticism—all skills they will need after graduation. At the end of the semester, they present their SMM plans to their clients with the goal of getting an internship offer and implementing their plans.

To date, 90% of Hartwick’s Social Media Marketing students have received internship offers, and several of those have led to full-time employment upon graduation. This year, our clients included alumni: Stella Spanakos ’78, co-founder of The Nicholas Center, and Joanne Georges ’17, project manager with Vara Safety.

Feedback from alumni and clients continues to be a reliable measure of our success. Allie Ricci ’18 says, “The guidance of internships led me to become the director of marketing and social media for a creative marketing company at the age of 22.”

I am convinced that graduating students are greatly strengthened by exposure to real-life, immersive internships during their time at Hartwick College. Lives are being transformed.

A Fond Farewell

Four faculty will retire at the end of this academic year, each leaving a powerful legacy as educator and mentor.

Professor of Art History Elizabeth Ayer, PhD, joined the Hartwick faculty in 1992, received tenure in 1998, and earned promotion to full professor in 2006. And expert in Italian Renaissance painting, architecture, and sculpture, she has led more an dozen J Term classes to Italy. She is pictured with student at the Roman Colosseum in 2018.

Elizabeth Ayer


Professor of Sociology Reid Golden, PhD, retired in January. He joined Hartwick’s faculty in 1986, received tenure in 1992, and earned promotion to full professor in 2005. Former Chair of the Faculty, he spearheaded the development of Hartwick’s criminal justice major. Golden, who has led many J Term courses to Ireland, is pictured in 2012 with students at Carrowmore megalithic cemetery.

Reid Golden


Professor of Physics and Computer Science Robert Gann, PhD, is retiring after more than 40 years at Hartwick. The top candidate among 300 applicants, Gann joined the physics faculty in 1978, received tenure in 1985, and earned promotion to full professor in 1993. A devoted mentor, he initiated Hartwick’s Awakening program for new students in the 1980s.

Robert Gann


Professor of Biology Stanley Sessions, PhD, P’14 joined the faculty in 1989, received tenure in 1994, and earned promotion to full professor in 2003. An expert in limb regeneration in amphibians, Sessions was awarded a Fulbright Grant in 2015 to continue his research on the blind cave salamander in Slovenia. Students have been his research partners and co-authors for decades and many collaborate as alumni.

Stanley K. Sessions holding salamander in toadary

To honor one or more of these unforgettable educators, consider making a gift to Hartwick in their name.
Go to www.hartwickalumni.org/give or contact Assistant Vice President Sue Ferris at 607-431-4021 or ferriss@hartwick.edu.

Faculty Recognition

The contributions of four faculty have been rewarded with tenure and promotion to full professor, effective September 1, 2020.

Education Department Chair and Associate Professor Elizabeth Bloom, EdD, is has been a member of Hartwick’s faculty since 2005. Her doctoral degree is from Binghamton University.

Mathematics Department Chair and Associate Professor Min Chung has been on the Hartwick faculty since 2004. He earned his doctorate from Indiana University.

On the faculty since 2006, Parker Troischt is an associate professor of physics. His doctorate is from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.

Coordinator of the minor in graphic communication, Associate Professor of Art Joseph Von Stengel has been on Hartwick’s faculty since 2007. His MFA is from the University of Oregon.

Two members of the faculty have been granted tenure and promoted to the rank of associate professor, also effective September 1.

Jing Chen, PhD, joined Hartwick’s political science faculty in 2016 and is currently an assistant professor. She earned her doctorate from Princeton University.

Pauline Stamp, PhD, is an assistant professor of business administration who joined Hartwick’s faculty in 2014. Her doctorate is from Fielding Graduate University.

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