Every once in a while you come across an individual who truly makes you smile.
Whether it be a smirk in class, or laughter in her office, professor Kamm is one individual who really understands how to make students at UNO feel welcome in her classroom.
With her outgoing personality and smile as her primary teaching tools, she shares her vast knowledge in the art of advertising and communication with ease.
She currently teaches the principles of creative advertising and publication design and graphics and is known as "A hoot, one of the nicest teachers at UNO," according to Heidi Engstrom, one of Kamm's current students.
Jerilyn Hynes Kamm received her bachelors degree in journalism at UNL. Upon graduating she began working for the Omaha World Herald in their adverting and sales department. While working for the Herald, she earned her masters degree in communication here at UNO. It was at this time that she took a role at Hy-Vee food stores, managing the public relations/advertising department for the stores in Omaha and Council Bluffs. She later went on to work at US Bank as a market sales support manager and to Central States Insurance where she managed the marketing and communication department.
UNO was always dear to Kamm's heart, as was her college experience, so she always knew she wanted to teach at some point. Thankfully she had the opportunity to come work at UNO and jumped on the possibility. She decided to leave the corporate world and bring her first hand experiences into the classroom.
Was there every a time you regretted leaving the corporate world to go into education?
No, not really. The pay may be better, but to me it's more of a trade off because you really have to enjoy what you do. Teaching is definitely one of the funnest but hardest jobs I've ever had. I love it because it makes me feel young and keeps me up to date on current trends just as if you were working in the professional or corporate world.
What originally made you want to go into teaching?
When I first went to college I was an education major, so I always knew there was a part of me that wanted to teach or be a mentor. I actually got to do some teaching with my professional experience with managing departments and employees. I guess in the back of my mind I have always enjoyed learning and being in the education environment and I figured what better way to stay involved with education then teaching at the college level. This gives me the opportunity to bring what I've learned from the real world into the classroom.
In your opinion, what qualities make an exceptional teacher?
One that can listen and bring first hand knowledge into the classroom. Being able to communicate and allowing students the opportunity to have first hand-experiences is very important.
Can you remember a teacher that influenced you?
Of course, it was my high school marketing teacher. He would take us on field trips and let us explore life outside of the classroom. There is a big world out there and the more you get to see of it, the more you begin to understand how it works.
What do you think the biggest problem you face with teaching is?
Hmm...I don't really think I have one. Having three children gives me the flexibility to teach, I can do grading when they are asleep or at school so that's not really a challenge. Timing the classroom however is always a problem because you always wish that you had additional time. There is so much out there to do and it's often hard to fit it all into one semester.
If you could change one thing about the communication department what would it be?
We could always have the dream of unlimited resources, being able to offer all kinds of classes etc. Other then that, I can't think of much else. I work with a great group of people, and believe that we have a great school of communication.
How often do you feel rewarded for going beyond the call of duty in the classroom?
Every single day. Every day is a journey and always feel the rewards of teaching.
If you weren't involved in education, what else do you think you would be doing?
Practicing law. I guess if I was going to do something different I would want to try something completely different. A totally different experience, and I always dreamt about going to I law school.
If there was one piece of advice you could give to UNO students what would it be?
To embrace this experience, enjoy it, and it will help you for the rest of your life. Nobody can ever take your knowledge and education away from you, keep that in the back of your mind because it will help shape who you are. Also take your time and enjoy your experience, when you get older and have a real job, mortgage, and start worrying about retirement your stresses totally change.
Courtesy of Mike Mc Manus at UNO Gateway