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Teaching till he’s red in the face?

When he’s not in the classroom teaching business, Karl Knapp’s busy being a local TV celebrity.

As part of a series of UIndy TV spots featuring profs and students, he’s leading his students into job interview battles, bravely charging ahead.

The commercial was written by Sam Kingdon, one of Dr. Knapp’s students, who wrote it with his prof in mind. It wasn’t even Dr. Knapp’s first time wearing face paint (he’s an Oakland Raiders fan).  “The hardest part was not looking at the camera,” says Dr. Knapp. “That’s a lot harder than I thought it would be. I now have a new appreciation for all actors and actresses!”

Though not always wearing a kilt and carrying a sword (a replica of Aragorn’s from the Lord of the Rings movie), Dr. Knapp is proud to be teaching at UIndy, where he focuses on courses in supply chain management, project management, quality management, and business strategy. But what the heck is supply chain management? “To put it simply,” says Dr. Knapp, “it’s everything that goes into buying stuff, making stuff, and transporting stuff.

“Our first graduating class in the major all found jobs after graduation, so the demand for experts in this area is out there.”

For the past three years, Dr. Knapp has taken students to a case competition in Chicago where students are given a real-world business case, then stay up all night acting as consultants and developing a written solution. The next morning, the team presents the plan to a panel of more than 300 business people. The team from UIndy has placed third, first, and seventh over the past three years, beating teams from larger schools such as Purdue, Indiana, and Ohio State. “Our students are driven and smart,” Dr. Knapp says. “I’m continually impressed and think we have some of the best students I’ve ever seen.”

Outside of class, Dr. Knapp loves to play video games (Call of Duty is his favorite), collect memorabilia from Lord of the Rings (he also owns a replica of the Witch-king’s sword), and spend time with his family and two daughters.

“I love teaching here,” he says. “You’ll get a great education and learn from profs with real-world experiences. We offer things here that you can’t find at the big schools, and that’s a real advantage.”