Faculty members like Dr. Terry Fernsler strive to enhance the foundational skills of Bush School students as they work towards careers in public service. Since Spring 2019, Dr. Fernsler has taught Management and Leadership of Nonprofit Organizations (PSAA 644) and Tools for Leadership in Public Service (PSAA 602). Both courses are integral building blocks within the nonprofit concentration of our Master of Public Service and Administration (MPSA) program.
Dr. Fernsler says that teaching allows him to connect with the next generation that works to make our world a better place. He has 38 years of experience within the nonprofit sector working at every level of an organization ranging from being a volunteer to an executive director. His goal is to bring in this outside experience to the classroom and uses his knowledge across the decades to remind students that “leadership is complex and always changing” as he’s held a variety of roles within the nonprofit sector and has had to adapt to numerous challenges surrounding his work.
Within the classroom setting, students originate from varied backgrounds and experiences therefore possessing nuanced perspectives. This leads Dr. Fernsler to help foster an environment where students learn from one another’s experiences through education rooted in discussion-based learning. The evolving landscape of leadership practices require these dynamic skills that students learn through classes and discussions within classrooms like Dr. Fernsler’s and provide the basis for lifelong learning that he believes is vital to educating the next generation of non-profit leaders.
Recently, Dr. Fernsler was quoted in a recent article in Wallet Hub concerning the best charities to make a gift to in 2021. He spoke about his thoughts on some of the biggest challenges nonprofit organizations face today, given the current economic environment, as well as the organizations that he admires.
Dr. Fernsler received his PhD in Strategic Leadership Studies, Nonprofit and Community Leadership from James Madison University in 2017. In addition to teaching here at the Bush School, he also is an advisor and instructor in the Nonprofit Studies minor program at James Madison University.
Our faculty, like Dr. Fernsler, are dedicated to furthering the education of Bush School students as they gain the necessary skills in the classroom to succeed in the nonprofit world upon graduation from Texas A&M University.