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Spotlight on Dennis Dunlap - 10/1/2010

Dennis DunlapIn 2003, Dennis Dunlap joined the adjunct faculty of MAP, utilizing his extensive professional experience to teach human resources management, employee training and development, organizational behavior, and management courses. Dunlap’s credentials include 13 years as vice president and later as senior vice president of human resources at Conseco, Inc. (now CNO Financial Group Inc., in Carmel, Indiana. He currently has his own consulting firm, Dunlap HR Consulting Group, in Carmel and also provides guidance and direction as a career transition and executive coach at Right Management in Indianapolis.

When asked to compare teaching adults to coaching adults, Dunlap noted, "There are similarities, particularly in today’s economy. There are adults who have not had to do a resume in several years going back into the job market, and there are students coming back into the classroom after many years. That span of time created vast differences and each individual must learn what is important and relevant today."

According to Lesley Neff, director of educational services in MAP, students consistently comment on end-of-course surveys that they appreciate Dunlap’s knowledge and sense of humor. Dunlap says he tells his students to "take what you do seriously, but don’t take yourself seriously." This casual atmosphere puts even the most reserved students more at ease.

On the first night of class in each new term, Dunlap uses at least 30 minutes to get to know the students and to make certain they understand the syllabus and his expectations. At the end of each term, he is most interested in how students answer one question that is critical for students’ success in his class;—did the instructor establish clear expectations for assignments? Taking the extra time to get to know the students at the beginning of the term gives Dunlap the opportunity to make sure the answer to that question is yes.

Life isn’t all about work and teaching. According to Dunlap, his hobby is attending every major league stadium. To date he has gone to games in 53 ballparks, most recently he visited the new stadium of the Minnesota Twins. He is looking forward to number 54 next year, when the Florida Marlins move into their new stadium in Miami.

Asked which of his accomplishments make him most proud, there was no hesitation. It was not the professional accomplishments. It was not the "giving back" that teaching provides. Dunlap, formerly a captain in the Marines, said he is most proud that he had the opportunity to serve his country as an officer in the United States Marine Corps in Vietnam.