College of Business Has Several Faculty Members Retiring; Three in Marketing

With changes to the State Teachers Retirement System’s benefit structure, the College of Business will see nine faculty retire this year. Over the next three issues of Biz News, we will provide brief summaries about these dedicated and inspirational teachers who have had a positive impact on the students.

In this issue, we will spotlight three retiring marketing faculty members, Mr. Jeff Bryden, lecturer; Dr. Bob Wu, associate professor and chair; and Dr. Mark Bennion, associate professor.

Jeff Bryden

Bryden ’66, ‘67 is ending 16 years of teaching at his alma mater, interrupted by a one-year “sojourn” at Miami Dade College in 2006-2007. He says, “I had the privilege to emulate what my BGSU mentor, the late Dr. Maurice Mandell, did for me:  Blend on-the-job advertising industry practice and experience with academic concepts and theory; preparing students for success in the marketing promotions industry.”  Over the years Bryden brought his thirty years of business experience from one of Ohio’s largest advertising agencies he co-owned to the classroom.

He adds, “Along the way, I’ve learned a lot too – it does work both ways.  I witnessed and worked with many talented colleagues who work long hours developing new, exciting, learning techniques to increase student interest, participation and outcomes.  I’ve learned, also, from former students who, through the magic of e-mail and on-line forums like LinkedIn, continue to share stories of their success, network with each other, and often serve as mentors for recent graduates seeking employment.”

As an undergraduate teacher, Bryden received numerous awards including the Department of Marketing’s Outstanding Teaching Award, the College of Business’s Advising Award, and BGSU’s Outstanding Alumni Service Award.  His professional affiliations and awards with advertising organizations are extensive. Bryden served four years on the BGSU Alumni Board with the last year as chairman.

Bob Wu

Dr. Wu joined the BGSU marketing faculty in 1981 after teaching at Moorehead State University. Dr. Wu has served as chair or interim chair of the marketing department for more than seven years. During his years as the department chair, the department launched an advanced program in which the department’s Marketing Advisory Council members were assigned to mentor a select group of students.  The department’s Service Marketing Institute (SMI) hosted the first Marketing Alumni Day in 2013.  It was so successful that it expanded to two days, with this year’s event set for April 2 and 3.  In addition, the department implemented the newest specialization – sales and services marketing, one of the few AACSB schools in the country that has a focus on services marketing. To go along with the specialization, SMI hosted the first ever undergraduate services marketing case competition, with the BGSU team and their coach, Dr. Dwayne Gremler, capturing the title.

The marketing chair has taught a range of undergraduate and graduate marketing courses, published extensively, and has advised hundreds of marketing students over the years.

Dr. Wu states, “On one hand I am excited about the possibility of living a life in which I don’t have to ‘plan’ anything. At the same time, I fear the loss of not regularly coming to a department that I’ve called ‘home’ for the past 34 years. I will miss faculty, staff and students in both the department and the College.”

Dr. Wu has shown his energetic, steadfast devotion to the marketing department.  In his final year as chair, he wanted to leave as his departing aspiration for department faculty the three words – “Inspire; Connect; Succeed.”  According to Dr. Wu, he wants to inspire faculty and students; connect students with faculty, alumni, their fellow students, and business executives; and lay the foundation and opportunity for students to succeed in their chosen career paths.  As part of the inspiration, Dr. Wu formed a servicescape committee to provide physical evidences through photographs on the walls and those three words mounted on the wall outside the marketing department office.  He says he hopes these “evidences” will inspire prospective students to pursue their business education in the Department of Marketing.

Dr. Mark Bennion

Dr. Bennion is retiring after 35 years at BGSU.  He has taught undergraduate courses in areas such as sales management, principles of marketing, and business-to-business marketing as well as marketing management courses at the graduate level. Dr. Bennion helped to develop business-to-business marketing curriculum and served on the committee to establish the new sales and services marketing specialization.

With his expertise, he served as the director of the Business-to-Business Marketing Institute and was the College of Business study abroad coordinator for six years. Dr. Bennion was instrumental in expanding the study abroad program in both China and Europe.

The associate professor was also honored with the College of Business Outstanding Advisor Award in 2007 and served as a co-advisor to the BGSU team that competed last fall in the International Institute for Business Development (IIBD) Case Competition which placed third in the world.

The College would like to thank these outstanding faculty members for their many years of teaching and service to the College and to the marketing department. We wish them the best!