Welcome to Baker College’s new “Spotlight” feature, a series of brief interviews with notable Baker College faculty and alumni who are making news and reaching new heights in their professional pursuits, as well as conversations with current and graduating Baker College students.
This edition of Spotlight features Dr. Ralph Griffith, a Baker College doctoral degree alumnus, Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship in the Charles M. Snipes School of Business in the College of Professional and Mathematical Studies and the program coordinator of the Social Impact MBA at Lenoir-Rhyne University’s Center for Graduate Studies in Asheville, N.C.
Recently, Dr. Griffith was recognized as a Social Entrepreneurship faculty fellow by the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Foundation, which supports and educates emerging servant leaders at southern colleges and universities. Additionally, being named a Sullivan fellow coincides with Griffith also being named a Fulbright Scholar semi-finalist. You can learn more about both honors by reading this News Herald article.
Baker College (BC):Tell us about your time at Baker College. What campus did you attend, when did you graduate and what degree did you earn?
Dr. Ralph Griffith (RG): I received a Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) in 2013 from the Baker Center for Graduate Studies in Flint, Mich.
BC: Why did you choose Baker College?
RG: I was attracted to Baker’s DBA program, and the opportunity to craft my coursework specific to the study of entrepreneurship.
BC: What is your current job title/professional role?
RG: I am currently a tenured Associate Professor at Lenoir-Rhyne University. I have the pleasure of coordinating and teaching in our MBA in Social Impact program.
BC: What were your career goals when you enrolled at BC? How do they compare to where you are today?
RG: My goal in life, and my educational direction, were to find ways to help people. Teaching has become my way of giving back. I am part of an honorable profession of dedicated servants, trying to best prepare the next generation of businessmen and women. I can honestly say that I am helping to shape the future of my students’ lives every day.
BC:What do you like best about your job/career path? What do you find most challenging?
RG: The most rewarding aspect of my work is that I get the opportunity to change a student's life trajectory. I may get to help students out of a cycle of poverty or give them the confidence they deserve to start a new business and see them become a better human…the best version of themselves.
The most challenging part is seeing students with potential, but they don't understand and/or maybe they are unwilling to understand, what a gift education, mentorship, and an inquiring mind can be. Some students are so focused on the destination, they miss the opportunities of the journey.
BC: How do you feel your time at/degree from Baker College has contributed to your professional success?
RG: I found great mentorship at Baker College with Dr. John Vinton, and found my voice and pedagogy as an academic. It would be very difficult to replicate my experience at Baker College.
BC: What best piece of advice would you share with current college students?
RG: You are paying experts to help you gain knowledge. Come early to class, stay after, and ask all the questions you want. Be selfish with your education. Take advantage of all it has to offer.
BC: What would you want others to know about Baker College?
RG: Without question, I would not be where I am without the thoughtful faculty and advanced curriculum of the Baker College DBA program.
For more information on Dr. Ralph Griffith and his recent honors, view this News Herald article.