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Business Is Down

Business Is Down

Three Beloved Professors Retire From The Business Department 

By Lauren Vizcarra 

Summary: Business professors Patience Taruwinga, Andy Dressler, and Mihail Motzev are retiring after years of teaching at Walla Walla University.  

Patience Taruwinga is retiring. photo by ASWWU Photo 

The business department is saying goodbye to beloved professors Patience Taruwinga, Andy Dressler, and Mihail Motzev after it was announced via email that they are retiring. They will each be missed for different reasons.  

Patience Taruwinga is the dean and associate professor of management, quantitative methods, and information systems. Charmaine Tan, senior business major, has taken several classes from him and he is her academic advisor. She says, “He is one of my favorite professors. He always makes sure that everyone understands the material.” [1] 

Jasveer Sandhu, senior business major, was thinking about changing her major to business during her sophomore year. Sandhu wanted to talk to the dean of business as soon as possible so she contacted Taruwinga, who generously agreed to stay in his office after hours to accommodate Sandhu’s schedule. Sandhu found Taruwinga very welcoming. Sandhu says, “He played a vital role in my college career switch, which I will always be grateful for!” [2] 

Andy Dressler is the associate professor of accounting and finance. Wils Haffner, junior business major, says that Dressler is good natured and has a “cool uncle vibe.” He really enjoyed taking classes from Dressler. [3] 

Sandy Jensen, senior business major, says that what she appreciates about Professor Dressler is that he puts effort into really connecting with students. Even though she took accounting from Dressler two years ago, he still remembers her and jokingly asks whether she’s switched her major to accounting yet whenever he runs into her. [4] 

Tan says that Dressler is always willing to help students and make himself available. She likes how he sprinkles his classes with jokes and stories. [5] 

Mihail “rubber mallet” Motzev. Photo by Walla Walla University.  

Mihail Motzev, business professor, taught seven different business classes over his 17 years working at WWU. Originally from Bulgaria, Motzev plans to return there upon retirement. He wants to be closer to his son who lives in Berlin, Germany. Motzev will spend his time traveling between Europe and the U.S., where his daughter lives. [6] 

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Motzev and his wife also enjoy doing volunteer work with Gospel Outreach, an organization located in College Place, Washington whose mission is to spread the gospel to people worldwide. He plans to try to continue his work with them. Motzev loves living in College Place and it reminds him of his country house outside Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. He likes the peace and quiet of country life and is looking forward to retirement. [7] 

Jensen worked as Motzev’s teacher’s assistant for several years. She says that he was a great boss and was always very accommodating of her hectic schedule. One of her fond memories of Motzev was one day in class, Microsoft Excel wasn’t working and Professor Motzev told the class he was going to get something in his office to fix the software—he returned with a rubber mallet. [8] 

Haffner compared Motzev to a bear: intimidating at first, but really just a kindly teddy bear at heart. Haffner calls Motzev a “library of knowledge.” One thing that makes Motzev’s classes unique is that he does Q&A Wednesdays where if any student has a question, another student can answer their question for extra credit. Haffner really enjoyed Motzev’s classes. [9] 

“It does not come across like the business professors are teaching just to pay the bills, but [that] they care really deeply about their jobs and enjoy teaching students,” says Haffner. [10] 

 Citations 

  1. Interview with Charmaine Tan, 1/28/21. 
  1. Correspondence with Jasveer Sandhu, 1/30/21. 
  1. Interview with Wils Haffner, 1/28/21. 
  1. Correspondence with Sarah Jensen, 1/28/21. 
  1. Interview with Charmaine Tan, 1/28/21. 
  1. Interview with Mihail Motzev, 1/27/21. 
  1. Ibid. 
  1. Correspondence with Sarah Jensen, 1/28/21. 
  1. Interview with Wils Haffner, 1/28/21. 
  1. Ibid. 
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