Like Erickson, many of Yawson’s students are professionals returning to higher education after many years away, and helping them transition is something he genuinely enjoys. Throughout that process, Yawson does not view himself as an authoritative professor who “knows it all,” but rather as a facilitator of knowledge for multiple generations.
“I learn as much from my students as they learn from me,” Yawson said. “I’m here to direct, and give them the resources they need to co-create.”
The co-creation of knowledge is a major component of Yawson’s student-centered teaching philosophy. In addition to bringing decades of his own experience, he draws out the combined perspectives and knowledge of his students and relates it to contemporary business theory. This pooling of knowledge collectively enhances the learning experience and strengthens student scholarship.
“I teach them to think like consultants in order to solve internal problems,” Yawson said. “Everything we do has practical importance.”
Almost every semester, Yawson has students who present at professional conferences and get their work published in peer-reviewed journals. Many are able to apply what they’ve learned in their consulting capstone to address real issues they’ve been facing in their workplace.
“Being part of that process is what excites me and allows me to enjoy my work,” he said. “It gives me renewed energy for this calling of teaching.”