Assistant Professor of Management
Edward Akoto had not planned a career in academia.
“I can say to some degree that it was accidental,” he said. “I always wanted to be in the medical field, but things changed when I couldn’t pursue that dream due to limited accessibility in Ghana. Instead, I found myself enrolled in a teacher’s training college after high school.”
Akoto said he soon developed a love for teaching and received his Teaching Certification in Science and Mathematics Education. He taught at a junior high school for three years in the West African nation before returning to college to earn an undergraduate degree in agricultural science education.
After teaching high school classes for a year, Akoto traveled to England to pursue a master’s degree in environmental science. But when he couldn’t meet the financial obligations of the program, he found a “flexible alternative” in a Master’s of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program in London.
“That was the beginning of my journey to the field of business and management,” Akoto said. “Even then, I had not planned to pursue a doctoral degree.”
After graduating from the University of Leicester with his M.B.A., Akoto and his wife moved to the United States.
“In the quest to find a good job, we were persuaded by family friends to pursue our Ph.D. degrees,” Akoto said. “With my teaching background and experience in conducting my thesis, I knew I wanted to continue a career in teaching while contributing to knowledge and theory in my field.”
He began teaching as a graduate assistant at Jackson State University, and then became a visiting assistant professor of management at Delaware State after receiving his Ph.D. in 2011.
Akoto joined Henderson State University in 2012 as an assistant professor of management.
“I wanted to work at an institution where both teaching and research are valued,” he said. “However, a major reason for joining Henderson was the fact that the School of Business is AACSB accredited.
“I have since enjoyed teaching here; there’s collegiality of faculty and staff, and I find the students well-mannered and respectful.”
In the classroom, Akoto uses real-world scenarios and technology to teach his students.
“My goal is to get students to go beyond the memorization of concepts and to see how the concepts in management apply in the real world, or apply it to themselves through experiential exercises,” he said. “I want to help students develop lifelong skills for problem solving.
“In this era of technological revolution, I like to use technology with purpose; to deliver content to students before class meeting, and rather use class meeting times for interactions and discussions.”
When he’s away from the classroom, Akoto likes to work in his garden.
“I enjoy gardening probably due to my background in agriculture and farming as a kid,” he said. “Gardening is my way of de-stressing after hours in the office or behind the computer; it is a way for me to enjoy nature.”
Akoto said he also enjoys sports and athletics, including running, soccer, basketball, and tennis. And if he wasn’t teaching, Akoto said would probably be working in environmental protection.
After living in Africa, Europe, and North America, Akoto said a “personal goal” is to visit the remaining continents of South America, Asia, and Australia.
Akoto’s wife, Eunice, is an assistant professor of public management at Henderson State.
Degree and School:
Ph.D. , Jackson State University
• Attitudes, engagements, and motivations and how these affect performance in different settings and contexts, and across cultures
• Academic motivation to better understand students' motives
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