Getting Schooled in Social Media - Most Likeable Professor

By Meghan Gargan As part of this year's LikeableU conference, we're hosting our first-ever, annual Likeable Awards where YOU nominate your favorite and most likeable social media personalities in a variety of categories including Fashion Designers, Food Bloggers and even Chefs. However, the category I'm most excited about is Most Likeable Professor. Having worked with several Buzz Builders (interns) who have taken social media classes, I've come to value not only their insight and innovative thinking, but also their classroom knowledge as they deep dive into understanding the industry from a personal, brand and business perspective.

All of the professors below are my personal nominations for Most Likeable Professor, but to make sure your favorite professor is included in our line-up of nominees head over to the Likeable Awards page. What I admire about the nominees below is not only do they teach the thinking and strategy behind social media use, but they also provide the unique opportunity for students to get their hands dirty by taking on real-world client accounts. These experiences expose students to the every day challenges social media presents while preparing them to be problem-solvers, out-of-the-box thinkers and, what's most impressive, client-facing.

If you're looked to get schooled in social, enroll in one of the classes below - we promise you'll have a more than likeable experience.

Most Likeable Professor Nominations:

David Gerzof – Emerson College

A marketing professional by day and a social media professor by night, David Gerzof successfully launched the college’s most successful social media class known as Emerson Social Media or #ESM in the Twittersphere. He quickly developed a curriculum that allowed students to gain real world experience by working for actual clients such The Boston Globe and a number of other local businesses. Gerzof has also helped students obtain some pretty amazing guest lecturers including speakers from Yelp, EventBrite and Google. But perhaps the most famous guest lecturer in #ESM history is New England Patriot’s player Chad Ochocino who took the entire  class out to lunch last spring. This year the program is targeting Red Sox legend Curt Schilling to provide some insight and knowledge about his own social media presence. What’s ideal about Gerzof’s class is that it teaches students to practice what they preach and they leave the classroom with case studies, problem-solving skills and a can-do attitude in how to use social for the business world.

Steve Quigley – Boston University

Named as Outstanding Educator of the Year for 2011 by PRSA, Steve Quigley is helping students at Boston University take their interest in communications and social media and apply it to the real world. Last year Quigley introduced a Reverse Mentoring Group where BU students worked with marketing and advertising professionals swapping knowledge about social media for industry expertise and insights. He's also become an authority on how social media can be (and should be) used for non-profits and social good causes. Quigley helps produce students and young professionals who not only understand how to wield social media for communication purposes, but also have the insight to step back and look at the bigger picture in how it achieves and affects business goals.

Anthony Rotolo – Syracuse University

Not only does Anthony Rotolo teach his “Social Media Enterprise” class (most commonly known as #RotoloClass on Twitter) at Syracuse University, but he’s also the school’s social media strategist helping mold and guide their online presence. While many professors find social media surfing in class a distraction, Rotolo encourages students to live-tweet and the class has received real-time interaction from social media sluggers such as Chris Brogan and Ford Motor Company’s head of social media, Scott Monty. Like many of the other classes we’ve discussed, students receive hands-on training in the form of real clients while also focusing on creating and maintaining their own personal brand. In addition to studying the business and marketing aspects of social media, Rotolo’s student examine and study the political and global ramifications of new media and how it’s impacting audiences around the world. Finally, perhaps one of the most unique and fun assignment of the year is #RotoloClass Viral Magic – where students try to understand and create a viral campaign such as Rebecca Black’s “Friday.” Rotolo's class prepares students for any number of situations they may encounter in the social sphere and encourages students not only be content consumers, but creators.

Who do you think is the Most Likeable Professor? Did your favorite social media professor not make our list? Go to LikeableU now to nominate your favorite for Most Likeable Professor.