The News names Grünhagen Business and Technology Person of the Year


Rob Le Cates

Business Professor Mark Grünhagen was nominated as the person of the year for the College of Business and Technology for the 2023 DEN People of the Year Edition.

Cam'ron Hardy, News Editor

Business Professor Mark Grünhagen was nominated as the person of the year for the College of Business and Technology for the 2023 DEN People of the Year Edition. (Rob Le Cates)

Marko Grünhagen, a professor of marketing in the school of business and a Lumpkin distinguished professor of entrepreneurship, has been selected as the News’ Business and Technology Person of the Year.

Grünhagen said he was incredibly honored to receive the award. He was honored to be selected and said it was an honoring decision.

“As a professor you try to do your best [and] impart knowledge and wisdom on your students,” Grünhagen said. “By the same token, you to try to turn them into, hopefully make a little contribution to turn them into better human beings overall.”

The News posted a poll on social media for students to vote who they think should win the award and students chose Grünhagen.

For students to acknowledge Grünhagen’s work, he said it meant a lot that he is able to contribute to their careers and development.

He said he tries to be “hands on” with the students while teaching. With the marketing courses, he uses real life examples that could apply to students.

For instance, with some of his students working at bars, they could bring in examples to display to the class and have different types of engagements with students through this method.

With teaching, Grünhagen said he has to learn about the students to get a better understanding of where they come from. This also helps him relate to the students.

“Humor has to be part of it too right,” Grünhagen said. “I mean there has to be a kind of give-and-take, making jokes. Sometimes the students will reveal something about themselves that I don’t know may be surprising, and to use that to build on it, so to speak, to create a relationship.”

Grünhagen said his favorite part of the job is doing the research on a topic and after all the work he puts into it, it finally gets published. The feedback he gets from his work gives him a sense of gratification.

He said he does not view his job as work. His work life and personal life coincide.

“I don’t leave the office at 5 o’clock, drop the pen and be done with it,” Grünhagen said. “I live this. When I go home, I read something, I work on something when I’m on vacation. I may read a newspaper article or a magazine on a plane because I can take [it] back to the classroom, that kind of stuff.”

He had no plans to return to Eastern after obtaining his doctoral degree, but he said everything just “worked out” for him and said Eastern as been a good place for him and he hopes other students share the same passion he has.

“I hope that many of our students feel that same way once they leave here that they have fond memories of a place that I think in many ways, they do things right here,” Grünhagen said.


Cam’ron Hardy can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].