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 around campus.
This edition of Spotlight features Dr. Diane Hamilton, undergraduate instructor of Human Resources and Marketing at the Baker Online global campus. Dr. Hamilton is Founder and CEO of Tonerra, an Arizona-based leadership consulting and training firm.
Recently, Dr. Hamilton was named to the prestigious 2020 Thinkers50 Radar, a global ranking of management thinkers, for her work in developing the Curiosity Code Index, the first and only instrument that determines the factors that inhibit curiosity. Thinkers50 was dubbed by the Financial Times as the “Oscars of Management Thinking.”
How long have you been teaching at Baker College?
I have been an instructor at Baker since 2008. I currently teach HR and Marketing for undergraduate students of Baker College’s online campus.
What is your own educational background?
I have a bachelor of science degree in Business Management from Arizona State University, a master of arts degree in Organizational Management from University of Phoenix and a Ph.D. in Business Management from Northcentral University.
I also have several additional certifications and licenses, including: Certified Medical Representative (CMR), Certified EQ-i emotional intelligence instructor, qualified Myers Briggs MBTI instructor, Certified Curiosity Code Index instructor and Certified Perception Power Index instructor. I also have my real estate license for the state of Arizona.
Was teaching always part of your career plans/interests?
I fell in love with online education the minute it became available, because personally I was never a fan of traditional college courses. I love the flexibility of online learning! I actually never thought about teaching, until I took what was called a distance education course in the early 1990s.
What do you like best about teaching? Conversely, what do you find most challenging?
Every class teaches me something, because I meet so many engaging students who have real-world experience. I enjoy that we both get to learn from each other. That said, the most challenging part of my role as an online instructor is the demanding schedule, which leaves me with few days off…but I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t love it.
How do you balance the demands of your career as CEO of Tonerra, plus your teaching role?
Teaching has been my main focus since 2006, and I have worked for different universities throughout that time, but it has never been a problem for me to balance my career…although it does prove more challenging when I travel (now that airplanes have Wi-Fi, however, it’s much easier!). When I’m at home, I typically work from around 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. in an effort to, “get it all done.”
Tell us a bit about your recent honor, being named to the 2020 Thinkers50 Radar. How did you earn a spot on the roster, and what does it mean to you?
I authored a book called, “Cracking the Curiosity Code,” and created the Curiosity Code Index assessment, which is the first and only assessment that determines the factors that inhibit curiosity. I am working with companies like Novartis, Verizon, Wiley and others, to develop curiosity in the workplace. If you can find out what stops people from being curious, you can help them improve their abilities, and that leads to improved innovation, engagement and productivity.
To be included on the Thinkers50 Radar is a tremendous honor, because it is like the Oscars for management and leadership. I am honored to be included with some of the brightest minds from around the globe.
What best piece of career advice would you share with college students?
Finish your education. I see far too many people quit when they become overwhelmed. Sometimes “done” is better than “perfect.”
What would you want others to know/understand about online college courses/degrees?
There are a lot of different online programs, and they all get lumped together in the press and public perception, but they are not all equal. I have written five books, and my first one was about how to be an excellent online student. In that, I explain the value of accreditation of online programs, and other important things to look for in online courses.
What would you want others to know/understand about Baker College, its programs and students?
I have taught many different courses at Baker and have seen Baker College evolve over the years to have some of the best content I have seen in online classes (and I have worked for more than ten different universities, including as an MBA Program Chair and a Doctoral Chair, so I have seen many courses!). The courses I have taught at Baker include some of the most up-to-date and useful content I have seen.