Peg Donahue has enjoyed a varied career as an entrepreneur, a direct marketer, an author (“Dorm Room Feng Shui,” 2005), a consultant and a teacher. Formerly an adjunct, she will continue teaching OL 125 Human Relations in Administration for SNHU as one of the university’s first full-time, online faculty members. Donahue is known as an exceptionally student-centered instructor, one who consistently goes above and beyond for students, seeking creative ways to help them succeed. She is a model for outstanding faculty engagement and facilitation.
What are you most looking forward to in your new role?
I am most interested in connecting with students and helping them to bring out the best in themselves through their studies at SNHU as well as in their work and personal lives. I am also looking forward to connecting with other faculty members and administrators to help SNHU advance its position as a leading and innovative university in online education.
What is your favorite thing about teaching in higher education?
The students. I love helping the students achieve success, as well as continually learning from them. Having chosen higher education for a variety of reasons, the students bring diverse backgrounds, experiences, perspectives and interests to the classroom. Some students do not realize it at first, but they have as much to teach others as they have to learn from them. I love helping the students to connect to each other and apply their learning in practical and applicable manners. I also love staying current with the latest information and best practices in technology, business, education and personal development.
What do you think about the university’s growth and development in recent years?
The university’s rapid growth and development indicates that SNHU is the right place to be at the right time. Research shows that education is a key to better-paying jobs and a higher quality of life, some of which go unfilled due to a lack of qualified candidates. SNHU is answering a need for access to high-quality, flexible, affordable and relevant education that meets people where they are right now. Many SNHU students are working full time while also raising a family. They appreciate the flexibility of the online programs and they are highly motivated to succeed, whether it comes through a promotion at work or a shift into a different career.
What do you do that helps your students succeed, and what advice would you give to other faculty members?
I find that learning a bit about their background, academic level and student status (new, repeat) helps me to put things in perspective and figure out ways to provide each student an opportunity to be successful. I stay involved during peak times of student participation (often during the evening, on weekends, during midterms and final exam cycles) and I encourage students to speak up by asking questions or to call me if they are having problems. I also provide positive reinforcement for what each student has done well and offer suggestions for improvement. My strategy is to connect with each student, set a high standard while also providing a safety net, and encourage each student to step up and do the work.
My suggestions for faculty members are to follow your intuition and do what you think is right. I treat my students the way I like to be treated, with respect and a chance to correct or set straight anything they may have overlooked or misunderstood. We are in a learning environment. I love to see my students learn and improve. Sometimes they just need some understanding and a little more time.