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Bauer’s Business Mind
From his experience at Perdue Farms and nearly 30 years at Tasty Kake, Dr. Joseph Bauer continues to instill his valuable knowledge to his Business Management students.
Dr. Joe Bauer, Lecturer in Business Management, has almost four decades of eclectic real-world experience in the business, including his time as a Food and Drug Administration officer, a manager at Perdue Farms, vice president at Tasty Kake, and a current farm owner. After stepping away from Tasty, Bauer felt it was time to pass his accumulated knowledge and experience to students at Washington College.
Teaching courses such as Entrepreneurship, Strategic Management, Marketing, and serving as an advisor for the Business Plan Capstone Option for students has allowed Bauer to deliver that knowledge, with enjoyment.
“One of things that I find here is that the quality of the student is genuinely and truly above other schools,” Bauer explained. “The fact that we a have small school, it is intimate in terms of dealing with individual issues; being able to meet with students one-on-one. You really get a sense of being a mentor, more than just an instructor. That matters.”
Sitting in Professor Bauer’s lectures allows students to learn what the ‘real-world’ is like, and how to succeed in the business sector. Whether it is about his daughter’s honeybee business or stories from Tasty, students get a unique glimpse of actual experience with Bauer who has ‘been-there’ and ‘done-that’.
“One of my priorities is that I can hopefully give the students more and better knowledge earlier on. Once you leave Washington College, your decisions can have life-altering consequences,” he said. “I want my students to be more informed and more knowledgeable to give them more wisdom. I try to impart that at some level on an ongoing basis to my students.”
Bauer feels that his teaching approach is one that students can make the most of when they graduate.
“My good fortune is that I have a lifetime of various real-life, in plant, and in business experiences that I can bring to bear in the classroom,” he said. “At some level I believe that it enriches the academic piece with people understanding that it is not just the learning piece but also the application piece that goes in conjunction with that. That is why I reference a lot of my lecture material to experiences in the business world.”
When he isn’t teaching or working on his farm, you can often find Bauer mingling with students on the Cater Walk or at Java George, talking about life, and, of course, future business plans. As an advisor to graduating seniors who choose to put together a business plan for their capstone, Bauer has helped students and alumni launch successful businesses, such as a water sports business owner by alumni TJ Heist, who was coached by Bauer throughout the entire process. “One of the things that I absolutely enjoy most about teaching is being able to convey to someone knowledge that they can truly use,” he said.
During his six years at WC, Bauer has appreciated the learning environment fostered by WC.
“I don’t think some folks realize the quality of both faculty, staff, administration, and students that we have here. I’ve been other places, I know what it is like, and it is not the same. This is a very special environment and one that is to be closely guarded and cherished by all,” he said.
—Andrew Chirico ’18