Advertising professor wins national teaching excellence award

Contact: Amy Coughenour

Dr. Karen M. Lancendorfer

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Dr. Karen M. Lancendorfer, professor of marketing and director of the advertising and promotion major at Western Michigan University, was named the recipient of the 2022 Charles H. Sandage Award for Teaching Excellence by the American Academy of Advertising at their annual conference. This award recognizes a faculty member who has made outstanding contributions to teaching advertising; the award is named after Charles H. Sandage, who is widely hailed as the father of advertising education. 

“Years ago, I read an article that said that a great teacher creates a sense of community in the classroom, and I took that to heart,” says Lancendorfer. “I want students to feel personally changed by their participation in the courses I teach.”

And her students agree that she has shaped their time at Western as a professor and mentor and, ultimately, as a friend post- graduation. According to former student Stacy Averill, “Dr. Lancendorfer teaches with her love for advertising at the forefront of every class.”

Current student Anna Griggs agrees that Lancendorfer is truly invested in both her profession and her students. She says, “Her passion for the advertising industry as well as for the success of her students is inspiring.”

Colleague Dr. Ann Veeck believes the award is richly deserved. “Dr. Lancendorfer is a passionate professor and mentor, who has developed an outstanding advertising program for Western Michigan University. She has high expectations for her students and brings out the best in them. She works tirelesslyinside and outside of the classroomto ensure that her students achieve the skills they need to launch a thriving career.”   

Dr. Kelly O’Reilly, chair of the Department of Marketing, remarks, “It is no surprise that Dr. Lancendorfer has won another prestigious teaching award. She had already earned the highest teaching award bestowed on faculty here at WMU, so we know firsthand what an impactful instructor she is to her students. Dr. Lancendorfer continues to excel in the classroom and in her mentorship, coaching and the professional development of her students. She teaches with smart insights, but more importantly, she teaches with heart. WMU is extremely fortunate to have Dr. Lancendorfer as a colleague. She brings tremendous value to all those around her.”

Lancendorfer is currently in her 17th year as a member of the WMU faculty where she was the 2011 recipient of the WMU Distinguished Teaching Award and the 2012 Haworth College of Business Service Award. Since 2015, Lancendorfer has also been the faculty director of the Dominican Republic business and culture short-term study abroad program that has allowed WMU students to experience a unique learning opportunity in partnership with Universidad Iberoamericana.

The American Academy of Advertising (AAA) is an organization of advertising scholars and professionals with an interest in advertising and advertising education. The Academy fosters research that is relevant to the field and provides a forum for the exchange of ideas among its academic and professional members. Lancendorfer has been a member of AAA for 15 years and served as president in 2015.

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