Roger Lee Mendoza, Ph.D.
Business professor, California State University-Los Angeles
Los Angeles, CA
At the root of Roger Lee Mendoza’s approach to teaching is a simple, yet powerful, goal: to connect with today’s students and understand them from their own perspective.
A deeply caring and hard-working educator, he routinely lingers for hours after his lectures are over to answer students’ questions and help them practice for tests. Roger has also devoted his career to developing and fine-tuning approaches to making his teaching engaging and interesting to the incredibly diverse group of students in his courses, and amid the distractions of electronic devices. Students in these courses learn through a broad mix of creative problem-solving and decision-making techniques, with seamless integration of instructional technology. They include Jeopardy-style contests, computer-based game simulations, case work, skills-building workshops, point-counterpoint debates, music, and poetry, among others. Notably, he solicits regular observations and critical feedback from colleagues, which he believes are equally important for evolving models of both learning and teaching.
Great teachers, Roger says, are lifelong learners: “The professor has to learn as much as the student, I believe. If a student is to learn and be inspired, the professor has to learn as much from him or her.” That, he adds, also helps bridge the gap between the generational and educational experiences and expectations of professors and students alike.