Economics/Business Professor Ed Showalter
-story by Lena Wallace '14
Randolph-Macon College Economics/Business
Professor Ed Showalter, an R-MC alumnus, has quite a history at R-MC. He was a political science major and feels
fortunate to have been able to return to R-MC to teach after earning his doctorate
and working for several years in the insurance industry.
Yellow Jackets at Heart
Showalter met his wife Judee Showalter ’84 during their scholarship interviews.
The couple married at Duncan Memorial United Methodist Church a week after their
graduation and had their wedding reception in the Frank E. Brown Campus Center.
“We even had pictures at the fountain,” says Showalter. Judee Showalter is the circulation
supervisor at the McGraw-Page Library.
As an undergraduate, Showalter joined the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and now serves
on its alumni volunteer corporation. “It was a pleasure seeing the fraternity advance
from a colony to a chapter last year,” he says. “The chapter is near and dear to
my heart. I am proud of the chapter winning many Greek awards. For example,
in 2012 it was honored by the national organization as being one of the
25 SigEp chapters in the country that exceeded the All Campus Average GPA by .25
or more. I know they are well-set to continue in a positive direction.”
Showalter has team-taught the First-Year Experience (FYE)
course Ethics and Capitalism with Professor Robert Gray (philosophy).
The course explores topics including wealth creation, wealth distribution, the role
of government and the often contentious relationship between capital and labor.
In addition, Showalter teaches Principles of Management, Business Policy, Marketing
Analysis, Organizational Behavior, and Organizational Communication.
“I just love hearing what students have done after taking my classes,” says Showalter.
“I get emails from my former students telling me they have applied concepts they
learned in my classes to their jobs. It is incredibly rewarding and says that what
we do as professors matters.”
Showalter recommends that students get involved on campus.
“Take advantage of getting to know people,” he says. ”Part of the college experience
includes taking a break from studying and becoming involved on campus.”
Basset Internship Program
Showalter serves as director of the Bassett Internship
“Internships are incredibly worthwhile,” he says. “For me, it is an opportunity
to meet and work with students from all majors.” The Bassett Internship Program
has been successfully placing students in academic internships both in the U.S.
and around the globe for 30 years. Coordinated with the Center for Personal and
Career Development’s EDGE program,
the Bassett Internship Program helps students identify their interests and matches
them with an appropriate internship opportunity.
Showalter’s dedication to experiential education extends beyond the internship program.
He also travels regularly with the Department of Economics and Business’ January
Term (J-term) study-abroad course to Wroxton.
In January 2014 he plans to travel with Professors George Lowry (economics/business)
and Chuck Leska (computer science).
Showalter’s course, Industrialization: The Progression of the Industrial Revolution
in Great Britain (1760-1930), explores why the industrial revolution occurred, why
it began in England, and how it has influenced the modern progression of management.
A special focus of emphasis will be on industries created or significantly changed
through industrialization (e.g. coal, iron and steel, transportation, and textiles.)
“A travel course is a unique opportunity for students and faculty to get to know
each other as well as to interact with the course material,” says Showalter. “We’ll
have the opportunity to see everything from Stonehenge to a modern manufacturing
A Campus Renaissance
What does Showalter think of the changes taking place on campus?
He calls the new buildings—including
Andrews Hall and Brock
Commons – part of the “Randolph-Macon Renaissance” and says the Renaissance
has sparked campus energy.
“There is no place I’d rather work,” he says.
Showalter joined the faculty in 2001. He earned his B.A. from Randolph-Macon College
and his M.B.A. and Ph.D. from Virginia Commonwealth University.