Chris Berry earned his PhD from the University of Arkansas, and joined the CSU faculty this past fall, teaching a course in Marketing Research.
Research Subject Matter
His own research is focused on consumer health and well-being issues. “I study how information disclosures and labeling affect consumers’ decisions. This means I often operate at the intersection of marketing and public policy,” he explains. This includes topics like calorie labeling, e-cigarette warnings, and more.
He became interested in academic research as an MBA student, when he had the opportunity to work with several faculty members. One in particular encouraged him to pursue his personal interests and apply a research approach. “For me, that was health. I’ve always been interested in health-related issues for several reasons,” Berry notes. “I ran cross country and track in college and high school, for instance. Plus, I’ve noticed how misinformation can affect the healthfulness of friends’ and family members’ consumption decisions.”
It was this particular interest that drew him to the University of Arkansas, where some faculty members were already working in this area. He says CSU appealed to him for similar reasons once he’d completed his advanced degree.
“Professionally, this department was exactly what I was looking for,” he says. “The culture here is extremely productive, and I noticed, even in my interview, that people here are extremely friendly and easy going. Even though we’re working on different things, there is a lot of overlap in interests — so it’s been great having conversations with other faculty, about a lot of different topics.”
Life in Fort Collins
On a personal level, too, Fort Collins has proven to be the perfect location for Berry and his family. The couple had passed through Fort Collins four years ago by chance, and loved it. So he kept the area — and CSU — in the forefront when considering new locations to live and work. “This was my top choice, and it worked out the way I wanted it to,” he says. Now, he and his wife — a stay-at-home mom — have a two-year-old daughter. Once they made their move, during the summer, they were able to quickly find plenty of fun activities around town for the little one.
“The department is fantastic; the university is great. Everyone has been extremely welcoming,” says Berry. “I had high expectations, and CSU — and Fort Collins — have lived up to every one.”
Arnold E. Robinson III
Arnold Robinson joined the Department of Marketing faculty this school year, bringing a new level of expertise in digital and social media marketing to our students’ formal training. With internships in this field currently in high demand, CSU is preparing to meet business desires for this skillset.
“I’ve been doing internet marketing and consulting for a long time,” says Robinson, whose first degree was in computer information systems. He started his professional career in web design and development, but when online analytics became more useful, his interests turned to the marketing side of things.
“I knew I wanted to get into a university position eventually, though, so I always kept an eye on the job market,” he says. “But there aren’t a lot of digital or social marketing positions available.” When he saw the teaching job posted at CSU, he jumped.
“This was actually the first job I applied for since receiving my doctorate at Florida Atlantic,” Robinson notes, adding that he continued teaching adjunct there for a few years after earning his degree. “I was waiting for a good fit.”
“I don’t teach my students about websites,” says Robinson. “From the first day of class, they’re creating and working on their own websites. If they’re learning Google AdWords, they’re doing AdWords for a real business. If we’re talking about analytics, they’re analyzing analytics on a site they created.”
Robinson created what he believes was the first college course in the U.S. on social media marketing, before coming to CSU. For his social media class, his students go out and find a company that’s not making the most of its social media marketing. Students then spend the entire semester conducting social media audits, formulating a strategy, and finally, implementing their strategies.
The hands-on approach gives students plenty of real-world experience under his own expert guidance. Robinson himself still spends about 20% of his professional time performing consulting work for businesses. “I need to stay current with what’s going on,” he says, “so I can’t give that up. But because I do this work every day, everything I teach is up to date, which is important for digital and social media marketing. I don’t use a textbook, so everything my students read comes from what I write myself, or from industry articles.”
Migrating to Colorado
Ask Robinson about his family’s cross-country move to Fort Collins and you’ll hear a tale of every moving woe possible. From lost cars and a truck full of damaged furniture, to living in a motel for a month — with two kids and the family dog — because the house they sold didn’t close on time, they endured it all.
But now that they’re settled into home and work life, they’re happy they made the leap. While he and his wife often felt stuck inside due to the heat and humidity of Florida, they now spend time outside every day. And they’re taking full advantage of the family-friendly activities, good climate, and great schools that were important in their choice to come here.