Learning from some of the world’s top business scholars is a major component of a Warrington education.
But it’s not the only one. The College emphasizes and welcomes the experiences of business professionals whose guidance and personal insights complement Warrington’s full-time faculty.
What’s even more fulfilling is when those returning successful professionals are Warrington alumni. Here’s a look at a few alumni who give back to the College through teaching.
When retired entrepreneur Steve Stolberg volunteers to help a struggling business, the first thing he asks from the owner is the company’s financial statement.
The responses are strikingly similar.
“I usually get a blank look,” Stolberg said. “They’ll then look inside a file cabinet and pull out an envelope—that’s usually sealed. Owners and entrepreneurs are typically scared of accounting. That’s a huge impediment to running a business.”
Stolberg is helping Warrington students avoid that trap. Stolberg’s graduate-level class, Entrepreneurial Profitability Metrics: The Power of Financial Information, emphasizes the importance of keeping accurate and complete financial information.
“What I’m doing is demystifying the financial statement.” Stolberg said. “You need the information from that statement to make smart business decisions.”
Stolberg is certainly experienced in smart business decisions. He was the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of TrialGraphix, a litigation support company specializing in a variety of consulting services and technologies with offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia and Washington D.C.
Stolberg has been a valued contributor to the College’s entrepreneurship initiatives. He’s served as a frequent Guest Lecturer for numerous courses in the Master of Science in Entrepreneurship (The Thomas S. Johnson Program), as well as the Fisher School of Accounting Professional Speaker Series.
In pursuit of her UF MBA, Mary Kogut-Lowell had to take the College’s Professional Writing course. Already an accomplished attorney and lecturer, she had a hint of skepticism about how much value she would find in the course.
“I thought I was already a pretty good writer,” Kogut-Lowell said. “But I was open-minded. I thought I may learn something interesting and useful.”
Kogut-Lowell found the experience so positive that she approached her instructor, Dr. Dorothy McCawley, about teaching the class. A few months later, Kogut-Lowell was at the front of the classroom teaching a new crop of graduate students.
“I see it every day,” Kogut-Lowell said. “The ability to communicate effectively is so very important. Your ability to communicate effectively is a representation of yourself and your organization.”
Teaching has been a passion of Kogut-Lowell’s for some time. In addition to her duties at Warrington, she’s served as an adjunct professor at Barry University’s School of Law and Florida A&M’s College of Law.
“It’s a privilege to be a part of the educational process,” Kogut-Lowell said. “I’m honored the College thinks well of me to be a part of the team.”
Jeffrey Dollinger isn’t new to teaching at UF—he’s been an adjunct professor at the Levin College of Law since 2001.
But he is new to Warrington where he began teaching his graduate-level course, Law of Real Estate Transactions, last year. One feature Dollinger has certainly taken with him from the west side of campus is his enthusiasm.
“It’s just a lot of fun,” Dollinger said.
Dollinger, who is a Partner in the Gainesville law firm, Scruggs & Carmichael, specializes in real property and title litigation, real property boundary and access litigation, and assistance with real property development among other related interests. His expertise and ability to bring these subjects to life made his law classes even more relevant during the housing crisis. Now that the economy is rebounding, he’s able to show Warrington students the recovery.
“At the law school, clearly it was a large part of what we talked about,” Dollinger said. “In the MSRE (Master of Science in Real Estate/The Nathan S. Collier Program), we get to talk about how we’re rebuilding in real estate. I try to show them where we are today.
Whether teaching seasoned third-year law students or first-year graduate business students, Dollinger relishes the opportunity to connect with the next generation of real estate professionals.
“To be part of the classroom environment and have that connection with students is a positive experience,” Dollinger said.
Although living in Gainesville since graduating from the College, Don Emerson Jr. had rarely set foot back on campus. Managing a successful appraisal firm and a hectic professional schedule kept him from taking nostalgic strolls through the College’s courtyards.
So when he returned to teach Real Estate Appraisal in the College’s Master of Science in Real Estate (The Nathan S. Collier Program), it was a surreal experience.
“I used to take classes in Matherly Hall,” Emerson said. “One of my last, clear memories was being in my cap and gown in front of Matherly Hall, talking to a classmate about where they were headed. Going back up those stairs was a unique feeling.”
Despite the time away, Emerson said his connection to UF and the College was always strong. That bond was evident when, after publishing his book “Subdivision Valuation,” he dropped off a signed copy for his former professor Dr. Wayne Archer, William D. Hussey Professor and Executive Director of the Kelley A. Bergstrom Center for Real Estate Studies. Later, Emerson was approached to teach Real Estate Appraisal.
“It’s kind of a niche industry, so to speak,” said Emerson, Chief Appraiser and President of Emerson Appraisal Company. “It’s also very analytical. But we need young people in this profession. I think as the market continues to improve, you’ll see more demand.”