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Business faculty teaching course for MBA program at Regional Learning Alliance.

faculty teaching in the classroom
Dr. A teaching her upper-level marketing class at Penn State New Kensington.
1/21/2013 —


“Demand, Operations, and Firm Performance”
Delivered Online and In-Class

Rujirutana Mandhachitara, associate professor of business administration at Penn State New Kensington, was selected to teach a spring course for Penn State’s new Master of Business Administration program at the Regional Learning Alliance Center in Cranberry, Pennsylvania.

Mandhachitara, known affectionately by her students as “Dr A,” is one of three instructors for the course, “Demand, Operations, and Firm Performance.” The course is a part of the second semester curriculum of the program. Administered by Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, the program is a hybrid of 75 percent online instruction and 25 percent in-class instruction and is geared to working professionals from the Pittsburg region. Begun in fall 2012, the MBA is offered in a blended delivery whereby students get classroom instruction once per month and online instruction for the remainder of the course. It is the same curriculum that is offered in the traditional format at Behrend College. 

“I am enthusiastic about this hybrid teaching approach of combining the online medium with face-to-face sessions,” said Mandhachitara, who was appointed faculty member of the Black School of Business at Penn State Erie.  “I am getting to know the students personally so that I can provide more constructive feedback to their online assignments.” 

DR A in the classroom.
Dr. A talks about the psychology of the consumer with her marketing class.

Teaching classes online or on the MBA-level is not a novel concept to Mandhachitara. For the past five years, she has taught “Negotiation,” a course she designed for Penn State World Campus. The World Campus delivers graduate, undergraduate and professional education programs through online formats.  In addition, she has taught marketing elements of MBA courses both in the United States and abroad.

“I feel that up coming challenge of teaching a hybrid class to be one of the most important professional challenges of my career at Penn State New Kensington,” said Mandhachitara, who earned a bachelor’s degree at the age of 19.

The Pittsburgh resident holds a doctorate in marketing from Thammasat University in Thailand, her native country. She joined the New Kensington faculty in 2007 after four years at Long Island University. An accomplished researcher, Mandhachitara has published 10 articles in blind peer-reviewed journals, 14 conference papers and four book chapters and cases. Her current research projects include an analysis of retail cluster propinquity in Bangkok and a study of female body image and consumer behavior in New York, London and Bangkok.

A recipient of numerous teaching awards, Mandhachitara received tenure and was promoted to associate professor in 2012. Two years ago she earned the campus’ “Excellence in Teaching” award. She serves as adviser to two of the campus’ student clubs, Business and Multi-Cultural.

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