Anthony F. Rodi
Clinical Associate Professor of Business Administration, Information Systems and Technology Management
University of Pittsburgh Katz Graduate School of Business and College of Business Administration
Anthony (Tony) Rodi is an award-winning professor at the University of Pittsburgh. Rodi has received multiple teaching during his time at the University of Pittsburgh. In September 2020, Rodi was awarded Excellence in Teaching Award from the Katz Graduate School of Business and College of Business Administration. Rodi was also awarded the Outstanding Teacher of the Year award by the part-time MBA Class of 2016 at Katz.
A specialist in information systems, Rodi launched a new elective course a few years ago at the undergraduate level focused on Information Systems Ethics that has been in demand each semester. While Rodi spent decades in industry before transitioning full-time to teaching at the university level, he says two professors in college inspired him to take an opportunity to teach if it ever presented itself. “Later on, I started teaching part-time while I was still working in industry and decided this is what I want to do,” he says. “I went on to teach full time and love every minute of it.”
Current age: 59
At current institution since what year? 2015
Education: Doctor of Science (Information Systems and Communications) Robert Morris University
List of courses you currently teach: Intro to Information Systems, Project Management, Information Systems Ethics.
TELL US ABOUT LIFE AS A BUSINESS SCHOOL PROFESSOR
I knew I wanted to be a business school professor when… in college, I had two professors who were passionate, interactive, and had a gift for transferring knowledge. At that point, I knew that someday, if I had the opportunity, I wanted to be that professor who could inspire students the same way that I was inspired. Later on, I started teaching part-time while I was still working in industry and decided this is what I want to do. I went on to teach full time and love every minute of it.
What are you currently researching and what is the most significant discovery you’ve made from it?
I’m working with colleagues on the issue of addressing cyber behavior in our technology-enabled, virtual environments. The increased use and misuse of technology, especially in our current remote environments, requires greater ethical consciousness of the technologies and suggests the need for a universal cyber ethics educational model.
If I weren’t a business school professor, I’d be… a business owner
What do you think makes you stand out as a professor?
I am passionate about teaching and try to provide the best experience with every class that I teach. My first priority has always been establishing excellence in the classroom by keeping course content relevant and engaging.
However, my dedication to student success goes beyond the classroom. I always make time for students, whether it’s through mentoring, advising, or connecting them with industry contacts.
One word that describes my first-time teaching: Nervous
Here’s what I wish someone would’ve told me about being a business school professor: How much satisfaction there is in teaching. You get to know your students and watch them grow, learn more skills, become professionals right before your eyes. You helped prepare them for their career. How cool is that?
Professor I most admire and why: Dr. Ray Jones. Ray is a very passionate, energetic, dynamic and caring professor and a great colleague.
TEACHING BUSINESS SCHOOL STUDENTS
What do you enjoy most about teaching business students?
I enjoy the classroom interaction and lively discussions with students. When they wait around after class to continue the discussion, means that a spark was ignited. This is very rewarding to me and shows that they enjoy the class, are engaged and willing to learn more.
What is most challenging? Engaging students who are not interested
In one word, describe your favorite type of student: Motivated
In one word, describe your least favorite type of student: Uninterested
When it comes to grading, I think students would describe me as… “Fair”
LIFE OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM
What are your hobbies?
In the summer I work in my garden and participate in outdoor activities. In the winter I love to ski with my family.
How will you spend your summer?
We plan to spend as much time outdoors as possible
Favorite place(s) to vacation: Colorado
Favorite book(s): I re-read the book, “1984”
What is currently your favorite movie and/or show and what is it about the film or program that you enjoy so much?
I enjoy the series “Leverage.” It’s about a group of reformed outlaws who seek to right the wrongs that have been done against people.
What is your favorite type of music or artist(s) and why?
I like classic rock, blues and jazz. I see all three are somewhat similar and an extension of each other. I love the story telling and emotion of blues music, the energy of rock and the improvisation and rhythm of jazz.
THOUGHTS AND REFLECTIONS
If I had my way, the business school of the future would have much more of this… More industry engagement in alignment with individual courses to provide real world experience.
In my opinion, companies and organizations today need to do a better job at… Creating a more diverse workforce
I’m grateful for… My health, my wonderful family, the mentors who have shared their knowledge and wisdom and the great colleagues that I work with at my school.
Faculty, students, alumni, and/or administrators say:
“Professor Rodi is an incredible instructor, mentor, and supporter. His classes are made to be engaging, fun, and productive through his thoughtful approach to providing students with real-world examples and experienced, and I am tremendously grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from him!”
“Professor Rodi combines vast industry knowledge with a caring personality. He informed our class that he bakes desserts and spaghetti for students. We laughed until he surprised us with freshly baked brownies in an aroma-filled classroom. Professor Rodi’s friendly face and kind heart are valued within the business school. He stays after class answering questions and gladly re-explaining concepts. He requires students to introduce themselves and share career aspirations, helping us build valuable relationships with him and each other. Once, I asked for more information about Agile Methodology; he gave me an article he felt explained it best and flagged different textbook paragraphs for review. Professor Rodi fosters student’s interests and grows their business knowledge. His expertise brings corporate definitions alive. He uses tangible examples, instead of jargon-filled definitions. His ability to break down complex subjects to make them more accessible or less intimidating is incredibly valuable and noteworthy.”
“Professor Rodi has made an unparalleled impact on the educational and professional careers of many students through the real-world industry insight he incorporates into his classes. I enrolled in Professor Rodi’s Introduction to Information Systems course at the recommendation of a Pitt alumni, whom credited success in his own early career to the passion and enthusiasm Professor Rodi brought to teaching. On my first day of class, Professor Rodi promised our student cohort that he would get to know each of us and was available to help us become future business leaders, whether we needed assistance with course content or advice related to securing an internship or job. In fact, I utilized content I learned in Professor Rodi’s class in a final round case study interview, which then resulted in landing my dream summer internship! Professor Rodi’s drive to empower student success truly sets him apart.”