To whom it may concern:
In Fall 2012, I had the distinct pleasure of being one of the students in Professor Myles Bassell’s, Business 7255X: Managing Diversity in a Global Economy. At that time I was a student in the Master of Arts Industrial and Organizational Psychology at Brooklyn College.
From the first contact via e-mail, Professor Bassell was very encouraging and motivating of students. That immediately set the pace for the entire semester, particularly for students who had difficulty or fear in taking online courses. Professor Bassell introduced himself as a coach and was able to bring all students together in what was considered a very touchy subject – diversity. Irrespective of the sensitive nature of the topics discussed in class, he encouraged us to first share our experiences, thoughts and opinions and from there be respectful of each other’s opinions. As a result of the way he “coached” the class, we were able to get many interesting discussions from students. I had been in many other online courses where the responses to the discussion forums were very late or professors had difficulty in getting students too corporate and respond. This, was not the case with Professor Myles’s class. There was always interesting discourse and more than enough feedback and responses from students in the class.
As an international student, this was the first experience I received in interacting with many students from other countries, cultures, different backgrounds and experiences. I was able to learn from other people’s experiences in the class and applied their advice and the information from the class in my everyday life when interacting with others. In addition to the students, Professor Myles also had extensive knowledge and experience with/in diversity. He was able to give us practical examples that could be applied in the workplace as well as in everyday life. Furthermore, coming from a different country, I was also shy about sharing my experiences because I did not believe it mattered in anyway in the class. Professor Myles, encouraged me to speak up in class and to apply not only my experiences from my own country, but also my experiences and interactions in America. This was an eye opening experience for me and one that assisted me with the acculturation process in a new country and culture.
Professor Myles also had a keen sense of humor which he would use to engage students. I remember one of the exams was in class, and we the students came nervous about what to expect during the exam. Before starting the exam Professor Myles introduced himself and asked us to talk to each other. He was very funny and this got us to relax. It was such a relief for me before the exam, and after the exam many students mentioned that they felt confident in taking the exam simply because his personality online also manifested itself in class.
Professor Myles had such an impact on me, that even years later after leaving Brooklyn College and enrolling in the PhD in Applied Organizational Psychology program at Hofstra University, I was able to reach out to him for assistance on a diversity project that I was working on. I had to step out of my comfort zone and share my own experiences with others a process that is never easy or comforting. Professor Myles coached me with my presentation and advised me on the best way to go to actually approach the subject and how to get everyone involved in sharing their own experiences. Furthermore, as an adjunct professor in undergraduate statistics at Hofstra University, I also applied the many principles enacted by Professor Bassell in my course. This assisted me with motivating and encouraging students especially in such a difficult course, a strategy that proved to be very successful with every student passing the course.
Overall, I am confident that the impact Professor Bassell had on me also oozed over to other students as well. In addition to his sense of humor, Professor Bassell also has a very approachable and understanding demeanor which immediately allows students to feel comfortable and interact with him. He is very mindful of the individual differences and unique backgrounds of each student and interacts with them both on a professional and personal level which never appears to be too overbearing. As with many other students, Professor Bassell was very instrumental in my success both at Brooklyn College and beyond.