My Favorite Professors: Jerry Hildebrand and Sacha Joseph-Mathews
As the fall semester ends and I look ahead to my final semester here at Pacific, I wanted to honor two faculty members on campus that I will truly miss. I will have to say that with regards to my experiences in the classroom and professional development, they have been the most impactful drivers in helping me with the things I have accomplished here and what I will carry into my future career. I am delighted to get the opportunity to honor two people that I respect so much and truly care about—one as my favorite professor and another favorite faculty member. It makes it even better that they are such close friends, and for this final issue, it is a bit more special, as one will be taking her sabbatical, and the other will be leaving Pacific for good.
Dr. Sacha Joseph-Mathews is an associate professor of marketing at the Eberhardt School of Business where she pushes undergraduate and MBA students, and she is widely known as the toughest professor in the school of business. Joseph-Mathews came to Pacific with a Ph.D. and master’s degree from Florida State University, as well as a bachelor’s degree from the University of the West Indies. Joseph- Mathews’ experience in formal education is impressive and makes students respect her, but it is her attitude to not settle for anything but the best, and her involvement and passion in multiple student organizations around campus that motivates students to give her their best. Any student that has ever had Joseph-Mathews as a professor can probably relate to what I felt like when she stated that she was proud of me in front of my class, which is probably one of my top highlights from attending Pacific.
Danica Torchin, a business major and president of the Pacific American Marketing Association stated, “Professor Joseph-Mathews is the most generous and knowledgeable professor and genuinely cares about her students and instills a sense of commitment to quality and community within us all.”
The classroom is where one learns theories and ways to think, but conversations with Joseph-Mathews outside of the classroom and at campus organization’s meetings that she sits in, is what builds real-life, thought-provoking experiences. I can truly say that Joseph-Mathews has been a major factor in making my exit from New York City not just worth it, but truly a big step towards my future and my educational development and a motivating force for my future.
The other person I want to honor is Jerry Hildebrand, who was the CEO and the creator of the Global Center for Social Entrepreneurship at Pacific. Hildebrand developed multiple programs that helped make the center be ranked as one of the top five programs in the country, which has led to Pacific students becoming known as change agents that are prepared to make really lasting positive changes in the world. For the past six years, Hildebrand has been the reason Pacific was able to host TEDx, participate in a Clinton Global Initiative, and host other great events, such as the Hunger Banquet. Hildebrand has also been the leader in pushing Pacific to become a fair-trade university. Because of Hildebrand, over 50 students, including myself, have been able to partake in the Ambassador Corps Fellowship, which has sent over 50 students to over 30 countries for summer-long internships in social entrepreneurship.
Hildebrand, who was one of the first Peace Corps volunteers under President John F. Kennedy, is a true driver for a better world and has inspired hundreds of students to focus on creating sustainable solutions to social issues. Hildebrand has not just impacted students here at Pacific, but has taught them how to make an impact in the community and around the globe. Erik Cederwall, a member of the men’s tennis team and the Global Center for Social Entrepreneurship explained, “Jerry has influenced me the most during my time here, and he can only be described in one way: Absolutely kick-ass!” I would have to agree with that.
Personally, because of what he created here, my future vision is more clear, and when I was second-guessing the move here, Hildebrand was one of the only ones saying to keep going. To both Joseph-Mathews and Hildebrand, I would like to personally thank you for all you have done for me in such a short time and on behalf of the students who you have impacted; thank you, and you will be missed. The university will not be the same without you two walking it together.