Prior to joining CUW in 2016, Professor Underberg was the Sport Management department chair for Cardinal Stritch University. Prior to his transition to academia, Underberg worked for professionally for nearly 20 years in marketing, communications and public relations for a variety marketing communication agencies, non-profit organizations, B2B and B2C companies tied to sports and entertainment. Underberg earned his BS from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and his MS in sport management from Cardinal Stritch University. He is presently working toward the completion of his PhD in Leadership, Learning and Service in Higher Education at Cardinal Stritch University.
What drew you to Concordia?
The opportunity to be a part of two unique and growing departments – the Sport & Entertainment Business program and the Hospitality & Event Management program – drew me to CUW. I felt, and still feel, that these programs have the potential to be leaders on a global scale. The chance to work again with my mentor, Professor Joey-Lynn Bialkowski, as well as with a former colleague, Professor David Snieg, also appealed to me. Finally, I appreciate the entrepreneurial approach that is embraced by the Batterman School of Business. It clearly has a growth mindset.
What drew you to teaching? You have a corporate background, so what drove you to transition to being a professor?
When I began the process of working toward my graduate degree in sport management, it was with the intention of furthering my career and marketability as a sport marketing and public relations professional. But as I worked through the program I was really drawn to teaching. Teaching and mentoring had always been part of my professional leadership style, so it was a natural transition. I also learned quickly that teaching fed my creative hunger in the same way that working in marketing and advertising did. I enjoyed the topics. I enjoyed the research. I loved working in sport. Teaching brought it all together for me. It’s the best professional decision that I’ve ever made.
How would you describe your teaching style?
As time has passed, I have learned that, compared to traditional lecture, I prefer an engaging and active atmosphere in the classroom. We do different things to keep a certain energy level in the classroom to ensure people are alert. I think people learn best by “doing.” I also prefer practicality – focusing on the things that matter and will be needed in the profession. Because students in these majors are entering a very competitive field of business, I have a low tolerance for “lazy.” I’m very outspoken about developing and strengthening professional habits that can help a person advance their careers. I’d prefer my students graduate with great professional habits, the ability to recognize and diagnose problems and come up with innovative solutions.
To contact Dan Underberg, feel free to email him at Daniel.Underberg@cuw.edu