Dr. Monica Hernandez, Associate Professor in the College of Business at Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi, hopes to break the stigma of online education as impersonal and lacking individualized time between student and professor. Hernandez, who teaches marketing classes in the fully online Master of Business Administration (MBA) program, believes that technology is a useful tool, but knows not everyone is comfortable in the digital realm.
“My goal is to meet my students’ individual needs,” said Hernandez. “I have made a commitment to myself to respond to students quickly and in the format they are most comfortable using, whether that be email, Web conferencing or face-to-face meetings.”
Hernandez came to the Island University in 2009, and at first, taught traditional classes. She is now recognized as one of the driving forces of the growing online MBA program.
“I’m proud to have been involved in creating what we have here today,” said Hernandez. “We’ve had exponential growth in the online MBA since its inception. In fact, right now, I’m teaching one class with more than 100 students.”
Hernandez currently lives in McAllen, but travels back and forth to the Island University twice a week to hold office hours. Hernandez says her present situation offers the best of both worlds.
“I see that my coworkers are so happy to be here, and then retire after 30 or 40 years of service,” said Hernandez. “I’m willing to sacrifice the commute time to be a part of this team and this environment.”
Hernandez is popular among students for her considerate and relatable nature. For her efforts, Hernandez was chosen as the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi College of Business Online Educator in 2014. Hernandez was also recognized as the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 College of Business Researcher of the Year. Her research interests include regional and global consumer behavior, brand promotion and social media marketing.
“The University has helped me grow as a professor and provided the resources to help me overcome any challenges,” said Hernandez. “As we move toward becoming an emerging research institution, the University has created the demand for larger quantity and better quality publications as well as maintaining quality teaching with increased class size. I hope to continue to give back to my students in any way I can.”
Hernandez’s advice for her students is to get involved in campus life.
“Extracurricular activities, such as the College of Business study-abroad programs and student clubs help you develop skills for the classroom and skills for real life,” said Hernandez. “Both undergraduate and graduate level students can benefit.”
In the next five years, Hernandez hopes to become a full professor at the Island University.
“We have a saying in Spanish: ‘Zapatero a tus zapatos’ meaning, ‘If you’re a shoemaker, stick to making shoes,’” said Hernandez. “I believe in sticking with what I am good at. I want to continue being as productive as I can with my research and I also want to continue to grow our online MBA program into one of the best in the nation.”