Loving the "Terror" of Teaching

PROVO, Utah – May 14, 2018 – You could say that Monte Swain is a bit of an adrenaline junkie. Each winter you will find him skiing or snowboarding down the snow-covered slopes of Utah. He feels a similar rush when standing in front of a classroom full of students.

Swain says he felt “absolute terror” when teaching an introduction to accounting class as a BYU graduate student during the summer of 1987. “It turns out that I loved the terror!” he adds.

After receiving his PhD in management accounting and systems from Michigan State University in 1991, Swain returned to teach full-time at BYU. In addition to teaching, he has served in various administrative capacities for the MBA and Executive MBA programs.

“Monte Swain’s contributions to the MBA and EMBA programs are immense,” says Treavor Peterson, managing director of the MBA program. “He has served as an MBA associate director, MBA operating committee director, MBA admission interviewer, and EMBA class advisor.”

Swain’s dedication to his students extends beyond the classroom. He holds regular open-door meetings for his students to receive mentorship on course material, career decisions, and personal matters. He also has traveled internationally with graduate students to expand their knowledge of global markets.

“His commitment to the students sets him apart,” Peterson says. “He is always looking to improve the quality of the student experience and does everything he can to help students achieve their educational goals.”

The BYU Marriott accounting professor is often recognized for his commitment to his students. Some of Swain’s noteworthy awards include the 2016 Brummet Distinguished Award for Management Accounting Educators from the Institute of Management Accountants, the Faculty Mentoring Award from the BYU Marriott Executive MBA Program, and the 2010 Bateman Student Choice Award.

Swain’s teaching style pushes students to work hard while also providing a fun learning environment. He says he enjoys teaching MBA students because they are “hungry to learn.”

“Their work experience has given them their first look into what they don’t know,” Swain says. “Recognizing that we don’t understand important things is perhaps the most valuable quality of learning.”

The previous work and life experiences of BYU Marriott MBA students also provide unique skill sets and perspectives. According to Swain, that diversity will help shape the future of the MBA program.

“I believe the table at our wonderful BYU Marriott MBA program is moving forward to become much larger and to involve a more expanded community of good hearts and good minds,” Swain says. “I’m excited about its future.”

MBA professor Monte Swain
Professor Monte Swain has taught at BYU Marriott since 1991.

Media Contact: Jordan Christiansen (801) 422-8938
Writer: Maggie Kuta