|Business runs in the family for associate professor|
|Written by Ariana M. Taylor, Daily Vidette Reporter|
|Monday, 30 April 2012 12:06|
Providing syllabi, assigning coursework, and utilizing the infamous Blackboard are only a few of the many similarities amongst ISU professors, making it difficult to stand out. Nonetheless, Barbara Ribbens, associate professor of management and quantitative methods and director of International Business Institute, exemplifies distinctiveness as she encourages students to study abroad.
After receiving her MBA at University of Wyoming and a Ph.D. at University of Conneticut, Ribbens joined the College of Business faculty in 2011. Although she is fairly new to ISU, Ribbens is certainly not a stranger to the classroom setting, as she has a background in teaching strategy, organizational theory, and decision making.
“I’ve taught for almost 20 years and most recently, I worked at Western Illinois University for 12 years. I began working in human resource management in my undergraduate years and sort of bit by bit I was pulled into higher education and teaching. Becoming a teacher was totally outside of my framework,” Ribbens said.
Born in Wisconsin, Ribbens mentioned that as an adolescent, she was surrounded by people in the business field. She is enjoyably following in her father’s footsteps, but the idea of business is not appealing to all of her relatives.
“When I was growing up, my dad had a business in our home. People in business are in our blood so I never thought of doing anything else. Now my 16-year-old daughter says, ‘I’ll do anything but business,’” Ribbens added.
Ribbens teaches introduction to international business and focuses on vigorous and effective learning.
She can attest to the advantages of traveling, for she has instructed courses and seminars in Bolivia, Russia, the Netherlands, and Mexico. Ribbens continues to encourage interested business students to study abroad.
“I work with all business majors that want to do study abroad. I work on developing international programs for students and staff in the College of Business,” Ribbens explained.
“I really enjoy helping students think and helping them learn what they are capable of. I really like to challenge students and put them out of their comfort zone,” Ribbens said.
“That’s one of the reasons why I got into the international business program [because] it stretches students and I really love watching them grow,” Ribbens added.
When she is not working, Ribbens enjoys walking and bike riding. It comes as no surprise that the director of international business also takes pleasure in traveling since she “like[s] to explore new places.”
According to Ribbens, the importance of utilizing professional staff and seeking assistance is imperative. She believes that students should not disregard inquiries that may potentially benefit their education and career. She added that no dream is too big to aspire to and she encourages students to ask more questions concerning their future.
“I tell [my students] to follow their dreams and to think big because it’s a lot easier to take a bigger dream and scale it down than to take a little dream and miss opportunities,” Ribbens said.
“[Students] should think about what [they] want to do and we’ll find a way to make things happen,” Ribbens added.
Although she is unable to “guarantee anything,” she is willing to research and find out information to assist the concerns of students.