Karen’s PR & Social Media Blog

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January 2, 2010

It’s that time of year: Karen’s New Year’s Resolutions!

Filed under: Dear Diary,Family — Karen @ 6:51 pm

Happy New Year everyone!

I hope that your 2010 has started off fabulously!  It is that time of year not only where we are all busy watching college football (Congrats to USC and Florida for their bowl wins) and Tennessee and West Virginia played well in their games as well.  It is also that time of year in the Freberg family where we make up some amazing meal (this year it was sweet and sour pork).  However, it is that time of year where we make our New Year’s resolutions.  So, here are some of mine for the upcoming year:

Be excellent on Jenny Craig:  This November will mark our 4th year on Jenny Craig – WOW!  That is amazing!  I am going to continue to try to lose some more weight and watch what I eat as well.

Continue to workout: I find that working out has been great – I have been busy taking classes at UT that have really been fun and the instructors are great.  I am going to make sure that I can make it to several classes per week and reward myself for working hard on research, studying for comp exams, and teaching.

Visit a new country: The last several years have been pretty busy for me in going to new and exotic places.  From South Africa in 2007 to China in 2008, and last year was Greece and Amsterdam.  Well, I have accomplished this aspect already by buying a plane ticket to a very FABULOUS place!  Kristin and I are planning this trip later this year and I am super excited! :)

Learn a new skill: I would love to learn a new language, or get certified for aerobics and fitness for fun.  Getting paid to workout – that would be fun! :)  I am most likely going to look into that later this year, after my comp exams and defense. :)  Taking a culinary or photography class would be fun as well – might look into that as well – we shall see!

Take every opportunity to enjoy yourself: Whether it is hanging out with friends or relaxing with family or going to the movies – it is all about taking the time to have some fun after working hard. :) Laugh, be happy, and live life to the fullest!

Anyway, I wish you all the best for 2010 and Happy New Year! :)

Best Wishes,


Learning from experience: Best practices to effective teaching both online and offline

One of the joys that I have had this past year has been teaching both a traditional class (PR Cases) as well as an online class.  Getting into the new year, I will have the wonderful opportunity to be teaching both classes again.  I am super excited – I have thoroughly enjoyed teaching in both classes and interacting with my students.

I  was teaching two different levels of students – my PR Cases class was filled with seniors who will be graduating from Tennessee this upcoming May, and my online students at West Virginia are Master’s students in the IMC program.  I have learned some valuable teaching lessons – ranging from what teaching styles work best and how to be a great resource for students to prepare them for their future professions.  Here are a few things that I found to be good teaching practices:

Be current and up-to-date:  I remember there were a few professors that I had in my undergraduate studies that were still using projectors for their lectures.  I believe that it is very important to be on top of things, especially in technology.  Be on top of what is being used in the profession and discipline, do some research, and bring your findings into the classroom.

Be tough, but encouraging: One of my favorite quotes is one that states, “The toughest soldiers come from the toughest schools.” I definitely used this when I was training with Dad in track and field, and I try to bring that into the classroom.  Students have to realize, especially in this tough economy, that the workplace is going to be tough and they will have to work hard to get ahead.  You want to reward the students for their hard work and dedication.  Whether it is positive encouragement or recognition in class – it all adds up.  However, good grades and praise are earned, not a given.

Be a student yourself: You can always learn from anyone – and I believe that students are always on the cutting edge of the field as well as in technology.  We as professors have to be open to new ideas and continually learn and grow as professionals.  My students in my IMC class were wonderful at this – they were positive and strategic in their final projects – I was very impressed.  My PR Cases students really went beyond the call in their assignments and I learned a lot from them as well.

Learning from others: I have had the experience in being from a family of professors – Mom teaching Psychology while Dad taught Marketing and Accounting.  I felt that both Mom and Dad are great role models for me in the classroom – I remember going to their classes when I was little and always was fascinated with the classroom.  They are always professional and encouraging with their students – and it was great to see that.  In my college experience, I have taken some classes from some extraordinary professors that have really helped me decide what type of professor I want to be when I graduate from the Ph.D. program – like Dr. Choi (Florida), Dr. Carroll (USC, now at UNC), Jen Floto (USC), Jerry Swerling (USC), Dr. Palenchar (UT), and Dr. McMillan (UT).

Anyway, these are just a few things that I have picked up this past year in teaching.  Teaching is a wonderful experience – it is very rewarding and you feel like you can make a difference in someone’s lives.  Also, these individuals will be running our professions someday, and that is exciting in itself.  I am looking forward to the upcoming semester in 2010!

Hope you all are having a great day!

Best Wishes,



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