By Jennifer Levy, MA
Program Development Manager/Senior Instructional Designer
As Kettering University Online’s (KUO) Program Development Manager and Senior Instructional Designer, I have the pleasure of talking with professionals and contributing faculty members from a variety of backgrounds. This time, I chat with KUO Contributing Faculty member Dr. Beth-ann Kauppila. Dr. Kauppila, raised in the eastern part of Massachusetts between Boston and Cape Cod, received her Baccalaureate, Master, and PhD degrees from the Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.
During Dr. Kauppila’s 22-year tenure with the Department of the Navy, she was a Director of Counseling Services, Program Manager for various behavioral health programs, and Program Developer for a Crisis Stabilization Program at a major military medical center. Independently licensed in two states, Dr. Kauppila holds a national board certification in advanced clinical practice, and has practiced as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker for 22 years treating people in various stages of life development suffering from mental illness, particularly service members across various platforms in garrison and combat environments. Further, she designed and conducted various qualitative social science research projects focused on military women to enhance clinical practices and increase successful service opportunities for those serving in the military.
The following are excerpts of our conversation:
Jennifer Levy: First, thank you for your service. Which skills have you found to be transferable from your military career to your civilian career?
Dr. Kauppila: The transferable skills are my ability to adapt to change and challenge myself beyond my own belief of ability or expectation of ability. I also value celebrating diversity and appreciating the talents each unique individual brings to the concept of a team-oriented approach.
Jennifer Levy: How has your experience in the military influenced the way you teach?
Dr. Kauppila: I have directly practiced, in demanding and constantly changing environments, much of what I am now teaching online. The military instilled values such as a dedication and commitment to those I serve. The military also helped me to develop and practice leadership skills throughout my career in various ranks and positions. I value attention to detail and the role of mentorship. I taught military officer students enrolled in an accelerated graduate program, and appreciate the demands and commitment necessary to perform academically at the graduate level at a rapid pace!
Jennifer Levy: In brief, what is your teaching philosophy?
Dr. Kauppila: To create a collaborative learning environment in which active participation and respect for diversity in lived experiences enriches the learning process for all. My hope is that each learner reaches their optimal growth potential by practicing critical thinking skills and applying advanced knowledge, with exceptional leadership principles, through using best practices in their professional life.
Jennifer Levy: How did you come to teach for Kettering Online?
Dr. Kauppila: I met Dr. Wallace at a social event and she was talking about the history of KUO. She inquired about my professional life experiences and then encouraged me to consider teaching for KUO. I was invited to participate in the Faculty Online Training Program and have enjoyed teaching with KUO since then!
Jennifer Levy: Which courses do you teach for KUO?
Dr. Kauppila: I teach Healthcare Management, Managing People and Organizations, Leadership, and Organizational Behavior.
Jennifer Levy: What would you say about your Kettering students?
Dr. Kauppila: The learners with whom I have collaborated are goal oriented, motivated, self-directed, and diverse thinkers! They enrich the collective learning experience because of the professional and personal lived experiences they share in the online environment.
Jennifer Levy: What has surprised you most about teaching online?
Dr. Kauppila: That the online format encourages all to participate in a collaborative learning environment, which adds a depth and richness to the course experience for all.
Jennifer Levy: What particular skills, characteristics, or personality traits do you think companies are looking for in new hires?
Dr. Kauppila: Companies are looking to hire people who are emotionally intelligent, willing to learn new things, and adapt well to change. They also like potential new hires to have solid leadership principles, confidence in their own competency, humility, and the ability to ‘think outside the box while also knowing how to color inside the lines’ - this is my parallel to professional practice that is legal, ethical, and innovative.
Jennifer Levy: Which hobbies do you have and/or what do you do for fun?
Dr. Kauppila: I enjoy traveling, reading, exercise, enjoying my dogs (both are rescues and bring such wonder and love into my home), motorcycle rides, and pool/ BBQ get-togethers with friends! I would like to add that I am grateful for the privilege to be a part of the Kettering University Online faculty and community. I could not hope for a better opportunity to use my previous experience and training as I transition back into the civilian sector! Thank you!
Kettering University Online thanks Dr. Kauppila for her extensive military service and participation in this interview. Be a Student: Combine Your Military Experience with an Online Master’s Degree!
Your years of service have honed a variety of skills such as critical thinking, communication, and the ability to make quick decisions in an ever-changing and high-pressure environment. Also from your service, you know what it takes to be a leader and the importance of core values such as teamwork, loyalty, and dedication. Kettering University Online also knows these values well. For more than 100 years, Kettering University has prepared graduates to lead, build teams, and foster innovation.
With a graduate degree from Kettering University Online, such as an MBA, Masters in Data Science, Masters in Engineering Management, Masters in Lean Manufacturing, Masters in Operations Management, Masters in Science Supply Chain Management, and the cutting-edge, groundbreaking MS Engineering-ECE-Advanced Mobility Focus, you can capitalize on skills gained in the military with the expertise a master’s degree provides. As a graduate of Kettering University you are part of an extensive alumni network with connections to notable organizations such as General Motors, Bosch, Boeing, Fisher-Price, Whirlpool, GE, and NASA to name a few. See the difference when your career is Kettering Built.
Kettering was chosen by students nationwide as the top university for career preparation in a survey conducted by The Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education. Kettering continues to produce C-suite alumni in thousands of different business sectors and across disciplines.
Visit online.kettering.edu to speak with a professional advisor now and get all the need-to-know information about Kettering University Online and its online graduate programs.
Be a Teacher: Consider Teaching for Kettering University Online!
If you are interested in becoming a contributing faculty member or a subject matter expert with Kettering University Online, send your curriculum vitae and a cover letter to Dr. Christine Wallace at firstname.lastname@example.org and maybe someday we will shine the Faculty Spotlight on you!