“What makes marketing unique is that it is the only major concentration in business that focuses solely on the customer,” says Stephen Koernig, DePaul University’s recently appointed Department of Marketing chair. “Every other business major focuses on managing the business, the money and the employees.”

The interface with the consumer is one of the reasons Koernig fell in love with marketing. Even though his undergraduate degree was in science, Koernig discovered his passion for entrepreneurship and marketing when he was getting his MBA at DePaul. Koernig turned this passion into a teaching career after earning a PhD in marketing from University of Illinois. 

Koernig joined the Driehaus College of Business in 2002 and, as an associate professor, focused his teaching and research on social media marketing and consumer behavior. He has served as an associate dean for the last three years, overseeing course and program development. His administrative and teaching experience made him the ideal person to fill the role of marketing chair, succeeding Sue Fogel, who stepped down in July after fifteen years as chair to return to the faculty.

“This department grew in a big way over the last 15 years,” says Koernig. “My role is to continue the momentum and take an entrepreneurial look at the curriculum to make sure that we are offering core courses that industries are looking for, supported by additional programs in emerging fields.”

Taking a fresh look at the curriculum is only one of the many tasks that Koernig is assuming. He also oversees new program development, strategic planning, fundraising, administration of full-time and adjunct faculty as well as staff, and, most importantly, increasing enrollment in marketing programs, including the college’s sales and marketing leadership program.

“Sales and marketing can be a hard sell sometimes,” says Koernig,  “Potential students come in and think salespeople are the negative stereotypes seen in movies. However, students will leave the program seeing sales leadership in a much better light. They leave with the academic knowledge and real-world skills required for a successful sales or marketing career.”

DePaul’s sales and marketing program is a unique offering for undergraduate and graduate students in Chicago. Courses are designed to prepare students for marketing leadership by providing a high degree of skill in analysis, conceptual ability, planning and control of market activity. The courses are taught by talented faculty including many sales and marketing executives who have worked in some of the biggest industries in Chicago.

“What I enjoy about teaching at DePaul is that like marketing, we focus on the customer—our students,” says Koernig. “With small class sizes and professionals sharing their real-world experiences, students are able to take what they are learning and immediately apply their newfound knowledge at their job the next day.”

Learn more about DePaul’s Department of Marketing’s degrees: