SUNY Online Teaching Ambassador 2021: FIT – Shelley E. Kohan
Shelley E. Kohan is an associate professor for the Fashion Institute of Technology of the State University of New York in the Jay and Patty Baker School of Business and Technology. She has been full-time faculty since 2012 where her scholarly work is centered on the business side of the fashion industry. Her courses emphasize retail management, marketing, leadership development, case study methods, strategic management, merchandising strategies, and data analytics. She is also an adjunct instructor for Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management. Shelley’s interdisciplinary education includes a Master of Business Administration degree in Strategic Management from Penn State University, a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Behavior from the University of San Francisco and an associate degree in Merchandising and Buying from the Fashion Institute of Technology. She is a retail pundit and highly accomplished senior retail executive with more than 25 years of success in the industry. Shelley is a contributor to Forbes.com and is Chief Strategy Officer to the C-level retail industry publication The Robin Report, where she is featured in a weekly podcast. As a top retail influencer, she has been interviewed for many publications and media outlets including NBC Nightly News, The Wall St. Journal, New York Times, Women’s Wear Daily, Reuters, The Washington Post, Fortune, Chain Store Age, and Forbes. Shelley’s accomplishments that are directly related to online learning include Advanced Online digital credential (2020), Online Instructor digital credential (2020), Certificate of Completion for Teaching with Technology (2018) and SUNY Certification of Online Teaching (2015).
Serving the industry for over thirty years for companies like Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, Space NK apothecary and Saks Fifth Avenue, has directly informed my classroom pedagogy and curriculum development. With a lifelong dedication to serving the retail industry, my teaching philosophy is based on preparing students for professional excellence through rigorous and adaptable business courses, partnering with creative and innovative businesses and providing a strong sense of community. Continuous involvement in the industry has allowed me to deliver innovative, relevant classroom lectures and craft assignments from current industry practices that connect directly to course objectives. Transitioning my teaching philosophy to an online asynchronous format has been a rewarding journey which started in 2015. I continue to evolve my online courses to meet the needs of the dynamic and changing student population. My philosophy is to serve the students with relevant, engaging content that allows the highest comprehension and learning through active participation on the part of the student, especially in an online environment. In short, I try to bring courses to life with real-world views of the industry. In 2020, the development of synchronous online courses has provided me the opportunity for even deeper engagement with students as a facilitator. Supportive online resources I have used that have resonated with students include embedded videos (Adobe Spark, TikTok, YouTube), digital resources (FIT Library guides and digital database links), FIT Syllabus, and Kohan’s Blackboard tips. I look forward to being a resource for fellow instructors as a SUNY Online Ambassador.