Posted: Friday, December 11, 2015 8:45 pm
From an outsider’s perspective, the firm and articulated voice coming from HSC 229 might seem to only address the concepts and theories of an Organizational and Management Theory course, but according to students, Dr. Rowlanda Cawthon’s classes transcend lessons about the business world.
Cawthon started working at Northwest University as a visiting assistant professor for the College of Business in August 2015. Within her first semester at NU she has earned respect from students as well as from administration and teaching staff.
“Rowlanda is a very bright person and she comes to us with a lot of experience in management from her career before she went on for graduate work. She is well qualified with her doctoral degree in management, but also what makes her fit really well at Northwest is her vibrant spirituality,” said Joseph Castleberry, the president of NU.
Before she started teaching in 2010, Cawthon dedicated her time to the criminal justice profession, working for the Washington State Department of Corrections for over eleven years. During her time there she held multiple positions that ranged from Office Assistant Senior to Correctional Unit Supervisor, managing 104-bed living units at Mission Creek Corrections Center for Women. According to Cawthon, the significant change from a state agency to a Christian university has been very positive.
“In terms of environments the two places are very different, for example I couldn’t talk about Christ to an offender. However I could still motivate and inspire them in other ways. Often times we look at offenders as people who should be condemned, but there is so much opportunity to be able to speak life into these individuals, as well as there is opportunity to speak life into students here on campus,” said Cawthon.
From a business management and leadership perspective, Cawthon brings her real life experiences into the classroom, giving students tangible examples to work with. She discusses the opportunities she had to engage with executives while working for the Department of Corrections so that students can apply the course concepts and theories to their own personal and professional lives.
“I love her personal examples. She is a great professor because she relates the course concepts to her personal life,” said Arami Kidame, a senior marketing major who is in one of Cawthon’s management classes. “She has a way of empowering her students to be transformational leaders. She not only teaches, she speaks life into students and inspires us to not only be great managers in the work place, but to show Christ and love through our work,” said Kidame.
Cawthon’s charismatic and authentic approach has been well received at NU, as her testimony inspires students to leave her lectures knowing how important it is to walk in their authentic self. According to students’ feedbacks, she has been setting a positive example for them to look up to.
“Professor Cawthon is truly unique as a professor,” said Mackenzie Byrne, a junior business major at NU. “There are not very many professors like her that have such passion and ability to inspire students to live and work towards their full potential like she does. She wants to pull and inspire the greatness out of each of us, to ultimately see us embrace and live to our full potential too, in all that we do,” said Byrne.
Cawthon’s main goal as a professor is to help students to walk in authenticity. She encourages them to find out who they are and how they can contribute to the environment where they work. She hopes that getting the answers for these questions will lead them to realize their full potential and self-worth.
“While it’s important to learn theories, processes and aspects of business and management, I truly want my students to feel comfortable and empowered walking without fear in their authentic self. I think authenticity connects to spirituality, and when you merge those two you walk fully in yourself and you walk in wholeness, and that enables you to be more successful personally and professionally,” said Cawthon.