Our fourth faculty spotlight highlights Deborah Hudson. Deborah has enjoyed an academic career for the past twenty-five years. Prior to academia, her early career was in the field of music. She was an Interim High School Band Director, as well as Music Director of the Children’s Choir at her local church. After earning her MBA at Winthrop University, she was Chief Financial Officer for the North Carolina Center for Applied Textile Technology, a state agency within the education sector, now part of Gaston College. While at the Technology Center, she earned the Microsoft Master Instructor certification.
After earning her Ph.D. from Clemson University, she transitioned to the classroom. She was an accounting, business, and computer applications instructor at Gaston College. Dr. Hudson was appointed as Chair of Accounting, followed by the appointment as Associate Dean in the Business/IT Division. During her tenure at Gaston, she was awarded the Division Teacher of the Year. She was responsible for the SACS reporting of the division, as well as the ACBSP reporting of the division. She served as the faculty sponsor of the Accounting Club, and she also served as accounting advisor to the annual ACBSP regional competition for business students. She retired from Gaston College in 2014.
• What is your role at UofSC Union, and how long have you worked here?
I found that I was not very good at retirement. I retired from Gaston College in 2014. I missed the classroom. I was hired at UofSC Union in the fall of 2016. I have loved every minute of it. My colleagues are highly specialized in their respective fields, and I am so impressed with the amount of scholarly research produced by this esteemed body. I am an instructor of business, accounting, and computer science at UofSC Union.
• What brought you to UofSC Union?
I had worked at UofSC Union right after graduation from Clemson University. I developed long-lasting friendships with many of the greats at UofSC Union– and even served on the search committee for Dr. Denise Shaw, Dr. Avery Foust, and Dr. Hugh Rowland. I also served on the Faculty Senate. It was one of the best experiences of my life. I left USC-Union when I was offered a teaching position at Gaston College, which was only eight miles from my home. I stayed at Gaston until retirement, and then returned to USC-Union when a position became available.
• What is your favorite part of your job?
Without a doubt, the student interaction is my favorite part of the job. Each year, I learn so much about the different learning styles of the generations. Each generation has a distinctive set of traits. As a baby boomer that tends to be ‘set in my ways’, the delightful younger students give me such a broader perspective.
• What is the most challenging part of your job?
Reaching all students, not just the gifted. I tend to adopt a philosophy of ‘no college student left behind’. I was trained first as an educator, and then as an accountant. My undergraduate degree in music education has given me the foundation to recognize and understand different learning styles. I am forever grateful for my early training.
• What classes do you teach and what do you want people to know about your classes?
Accounting: I teach two accounting classes: Principles of Finance (ACCT 225), and Managerial Accounting (ACCT 226). These classes equip students with skills that serve throughout life — skills such as integrity, appreciation and respect for rules, the beauty of the role of math to measure the health of a business.
Business: In business, I teach a variety of management classes (MGMT 371, 374, 376, MGSC 290, PCAM 151). In addition to the chapter topics, I include little known facts about Fortune 500 companies that brings these companies to life. We look at the stories behind the company, such as looking at the most beloved CEO of a Fortune 500 (Jim Senegal of Costco, now retired) and what makes him so beloved. What can we learn from his management style? We look at one of the richest CEOs in the world, Warren Buffet, and his daily habit of breakfast at McDonalds on his way to work with a strict budget of $3.00 per day. What can we learn from him?
Computer related classes: I teach computer science related classes (CSCE 101, and CSCE 102). I try to make sure all computer related classes have at least a basic introduction to Excel, which is a needed skill in the marketplace today. In fact, it is one of the most tested areas of companies who administer a skills test during the interview process. I add videos about the logistics of Amazon, an incredible maze of robots, people, and technology. I also include videos about Walmart, the good, the bad, and the ugly. I love sharing the real-world aspect of studying the business world. I hope I get to teach all USC students, even those who are not in business. Business offers practice knowledge for everyone, regardless of discipline. I hope everyone will give us a try.
• What are your hobbies/interests (other than making UofSC Union great)?
Cooking. First, let me say, I am not a chef. I am an old-fashioned granny cook. My favorite meal to prepare for my weekend guests is the traditional southern meal of gravy and biscuits with all the “fixings” as we say in the south. If you are interested, come up for a visit. Reading. I just read the fun stuff, such as Grisham, Baldacci, and Lee Child. Technology: Learning as much as possible about new and emerging technologies. I am especially interested in AI, artificial intelligence. If you have never watched the YouTube video of “Watson – Final Jeopardy”, I promise it will bring renewed hope for the discovery of cures for many of the worlds dreaded illnesses. (https://youtu.be/lI-M7O_bRNg )
• What is the most helpful advice you’ve received?
When I was doing my student teaching as a High School Band Director, my supervising teacher told me that he only gave one piece of advice to beginning teachers. He told me if I wanted to stay happy, to “Stay out of the teachers lounge”. At first, I thought he was referring to the actual lounge until he explained that the teacher’s lounge was any location where people were complaining. He advised me to stay happy and avoid the potential trap of seeing the worst rather than the best.
•What is your life philosophy?
The biggest influence of my life, which is also my life philosophy, comes from the book of Psalms 19:14: “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.”
In summary, I love the outlook of Dolly Parton, who is fond of saying “I love everyone”. I have learned from observation over the years that everyone has a story, and their story is unique. It is worthy to be told and celebrated. I hope my legacy will be that I loved everyone, especially those that were difficult to love. Unconditional love brings such joy to the soul.