Swigart Support Associate Professor of Business & Economics
Ask Randy Rosenberger any question on any subject and be prepared to receive a response that encompasses all sides of the question. After all, this is a man who admits that he loves to analyze everything from the microbrewery industry to Allen Iverson's jump shot.
Rosenberger, Swigart Associates Supported Assistant Professor of Management, has plied his gift for analysis since 1997 at Juniata, where he teaches a variety of business courses, including Behavioral Analysis of Organizations and Process of Management. But his path to academia was more circuitous, as he, well, analyzed different aspects of the business world.
"I was always interested in having my own business," Rosenberger recalls. "I was sort of the forerunner of the 'Family Ties' Alex P. Keaton character obsessed with business."
Throughout his student days, Rosenberger worked at a variety of temporary but instructive jobs, including stints as a food manager at Hershey Park and as a partner in a commercial clam-digging business with his two younger brothers. After graduating from Dickinson College in 1980 he entered the business world as an accountant in the Harrisburg office of Ernst and Whinney.
Still, the pangs of entrepreneurship tugged at Rosenberger's consciousness and he entered the master's of business administration program at Cornell University, graduating in 1985. Shortly thereafter, he stepped into another career as an investment banker at a small Philadelphia-area venture capital firm. "I analyzed business plans," Rosenberger explains. "I think clearly I was good at that, offering pros and cons and basically analyzing an idea to death."
Ironically, the same powers of analysis that aided others offered only paralysis when it came to launching Rosenberger's own entrepreneurial career. "I would think about ideas over and over and I always could find a reason or two that it was not a good idea," he says, smiling. "My plan had always been to became a millionaire entrepreneur who would then retire and teach."
A stranger, a college professor who shared a seat with Rosenberger on an Amtrak train, spoke five words that changed his outlook, "Why don't you teach now?" Rosenberger canvassed local colleges and universities, eventually leaving the venture capital firm to secure slots teaching at St Josephs University and Delaware College Community College. A move to State College to secure a doctorate at Penn State brought Rosenberger to the area along with his wife, Lynn Huddell, now a physician's assistant at Penn State's student health center.
As he worked through his doctoral studies, Rosenberger and his wife started their family, first with daughter Veronica, now 11, and son Peter, now 8. He worked as a teaching assistant at Penn State before coming to Juniata. "I really think Juniata is perfect for me," he says. "I think I'm forever revising and re-thinking approaches in the classroom, which brings in that analytical thing again."
"Randy has a great ability to be demanding of his students in a very gentle way," says Bill Duey, professor emeritus of accounting, business and economics. "When we team taught a course, he came up with games, contests, provocative questions -- he would start every day with some sort of scheme to get the students involved."
One aspect of life that Rosenberger didn't have to think about is involvement in the Huntingdon community. He serves as president of the Standing Stone Elementary School Parent-Teacher Group and coaches the soccer, basketball and baseball teams that his children participate in. He also is determined to participate fully in the Juniata community. He advises three student clubs, Students of Business, the Juniata Association of Musicians and the Modern Kendo Club. "I moved around a lot my entire life and the idea of being productive and being a contributor to my community mattered to me -- it's that simple."
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