University News

CBT Executive in Residence Program

November 2, 2007

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MACOMB, IL -- Western Illinois University students in the College of Business and Technology (CBT) learn firsthand the tips of the trade from professionals in the business world through the college's "Executive in Residence" program.

According to CBT Dean Tom Erekson, through the program, a business executive resides on campus and serves as a course lecturer and faculty mentor. WIU graduate Tamara Harris, instructional technologist for IBM Learning Development in Atlanta, GA and owner of Selene's Sensations, LLC in Atlanta, will participate in the program Nov. 5-8. Harris received her bachelor's degree in information management from WIU. She received her master's degree in instructional systems technology from Indiana University.

Harris will meet with management classes on Monday, Nov. 5. She will also have office hours that day from 10 a.m.-noon and from 2-3:30 p.m. in Stipes Hall 431-C. On Nov. 6 she will meet with CBT student organizations and will present a session on human resource management, which is open to all students and faculty, from 9:30-10:45 a.m. in Stipes Hall 121. She will lecture in two business classes and will hold office hours from 1:30-3:30 p.m. Harris will lead management classes on Nov. 7 and host an open session on small business management in Stipes Hall 121 beginning at 2 p.m. Her office hours Nov. 7 will be from 9 a.m.-noon. Harris will travel to the WIU-Quad Cities campus Nov. 8 to meet with students and faculty.

"The purpose of the Executive in Residence program is to equip our students with the tools to navigate beyond their Western experience. Successful alumni and friends of the college are invited to share how they have charted successful careers," Erekson said. "The program, which was initiated through the generosity of Drs. Jim and Carolyn Tripp, professors in the department of marketing and finance, provides our students with a marvelous opportunity to speak on a personal level with business executives who possesses stellar experiences and connections."

In addition to her time on the WIU-Macomb campus, Harris will also speak to Macomb Area Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Development Corporation members and Small Business Development Center (SBDC) participants Wednesday, Nov. 7 at the Café Aroma, University Drive. A reception will be held from 5:30-6 p.m., followed by Harris' presentation from 6-7 p.m. The event is open free to Chamber and SBDC members.

Harris began her career in instructional technology at The Principal Financial Group in Des Moines, IA, and from there she spent five years as a human performance consultant with Accenture (formerly Andersen Consulting). In 2002, her career took an entrepreneurial spin when she launched Selene's Sensations, a baking and catering company. Harris currently balances her role at IBM with running her company as it expands into the wholesale market to provide low-sugar desserts and breads to bakeries and restaurants in the Atlanta area.

Posted By: Darcie Shinberger (
Office of University Communications & Marketing