For the first time in JMU Google Challenge history, a professor from another institution participated in our MKTG 490 guest speaker series. But this is not just any professor, it was Dr. Jim Jansen.
Dr. Jansen’s teams have placed in the top 1% of the Google Challenge during every year that he participated. In the most recent Google Challenge, three of his teams made it into the top five for the Americas region. This is no easy feat given that there were 11,000 students in 86 countries competing in the 2012 Challenge. According to Google, the 2012 competition was “the most competitive and diverse pool of teams yet.”
He is an Associate Professor of Information Sciences and Technology in Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) and his areas of expertise areas are web searching, sponsored search and personalization for information searching.
I met Dr. Jansen during the awards ceremonies at the Googleplex for the inaugural Google Online Marketing Challenge in 2008. Since then, we co-authored two articles together and are currently working on a third manuscript. I also had the opportunity to serve as a reviewer for one of the chapters within his book entitled Understanding Sponsored Search: Core Elements of Keyword Advertising.
It was Dr. Jansen’s idea that we speak to each other’s classes as part of the 2013 Challenge. On February 15, he visited JMU to share strategies for developing effective AdWords ads. In a few weeks, I will speak to his 48 students at three Penn State Colleges (technology, communication, and business) ab0ut successfully communicating the strategic plan and the final results for the written report component of the Challenge.
Yes, our teams compete against each other in the Challenge, but above and beyond that, we are collaborators in teaching and research. Over the past five years Dr. Jansen and I have shared ideas on how to best integrate the Challenge into our courses. We have some similar, some different, and some complementary approaches regarding how to teach the Challenge experience. One belief we certainly share is that student learning is the #1 priority.
Thank you Dr. Jansen for sharing your time and expertise with JMU!