Tawnya Bernsdorf has made business her business, and it shows. A recent recipient of the distinguished “Professor of the Year” award at the Minot State University College of Business, she noted that it was made possible by her passion for all things business-related, and her love of teaching.
That’s not surprising. By the time she won the award during the 2016-17 academic year, she’d only been instructing for a relatively short while. Now in her third year, she’s as excited as ever.
“I chose Minot State to study business, in particular marketing, because it was affordable and provided a great program that would hopefully lead me to future opportunities, which it did,” she said about her alma mater, adding that it was a bit of serendipity that brought her back after graduation.
“I got started here teaching in an adjunct role due to my work in the logistics industry,” she said. “The university had an opportunity for a full-time instructor in marketing a couple months later and the rest, as they say, is history. I have found my passion and truly enjoy teaching!”
Prior to teaching, Bernsdorf worked as the university’s alumni director for six years before serving a two-year role in the nonprofit industry during the flood recovery, and later, with public relations at a logistics firm. That background provided her with a wealth of insight regarding her passion: marketing. That passion also provided her a research topic for her current doctoral studies in pursuit of a Ph.D. in marketing.
“Marketing is constantly changing with the changing technology and such making it a consistent opportunity to continue learning!” Bernsdorf exclaimed.
Although she enjoyed the research, there was one aspect of her current work outlook that stood out the most.
“Hands down, working with the students,” she said. “It is a joy to see them achieve success, to help them attain internships and to see them become passionate and prideful about a project they are in. They make this job not a job at all, they make it fun!”
Outside of the classroom, Bernsdorf has served as co-chair of the Community Links Committee with the Young Professionals group. She currently sits on the MiSU Academic Visioning Committee, the MiSU Marketing Committee, and the MiSU Online Studies committee.
Additionally, she is the advisor for the MiSU Collegiate DECA Chapter, receiving the honor of DECA Advisor of the year for 2017-18. Beyond that, she advises the Roger Looyenga Leadership Program at MiSU. She is involved in her community, sitting on the Souris Valley United Way board, the MiSU Beaver Hockey Board of Directors, the Sertoma Club of Minot and Delta Kappa Gamma Teachers Society.
“Being involved in the community is a very important part of my life and something that I truly enjoy,” she concluded.