At Monmouth there are an abundance of amazing professors that love what they do and provide students with classes where they enjoy learning. Matthew S. Lifson, an instructor of business, falls under that category for many reasons. At Monmouth, Lifson teaches macroeconomics, microeconomics, and finance.
Before starting his career as a professor, Lifson graduated with a Masters in Business Administration in International Finance from St. John’s University. After all educational endeavors, Lifson found his way into the job of a Foreign Exchange Trader at multiple companies including Chase Manhattan Bank, Merrill Lynch International Bank, and PNC Bank. Lifson was the Chief Foreign Exchange Dealer for PNC Bank. He also served as the President of the United States Foreign Exchange Association from 1994 to 1997.
While at PNC, Lifson taught at Duquesne University, University of Pittsburgh and St. Vincent’s College, which began his path into education. Throughout his time at the trading institutions, Lifson had always been involved in seminars and guest lecturing, which peaked his interest.
Teaching is something that Lifson clearly loves doing. “I truly enjoy the interactions that I have with my students,” he said. When in class, Lifson is lively and fully interactive, engaging his students into being truly interested in the subject at hand. This is something that puts Lifson above some other professors because even if the class is a general education class, students will always find a way to be excited and happy to be in class.
His classes have a policy where attendance is not necessarily required, but if you do not show up and miss material for the exam, Lifson will only grade what he is given. This, however, does not matter to the vast majority of his students because each class is usually filled.
“Professor Lifson is one of, if not the best, professor I have taken at Monmouth throughout my time here. He’s to the point and wants you to succeed. He gives you a taste of how it is in the working world with deadlines and personal stories,” said GraceAnn McCann, a senior finance student. “His office is always open if I have any questions. You can tell he has passion and loves his field of work and only wants to pass down his knowledge to his students.”
Christine Kelly, a sophomore business student, had a similar reaction to Lifson. To describe her experience in Lifson’s class, Kelly said, “Professor Lifson relates every topic the course covers to students’ everyday experiences and interactions. By choosing to teach his students this way, he makes learning easier and effortless!”
During classes, Professor Lifson always greets students with a smile and makes sure to show he cares for their success. Not only does he relate material to his students’ lives, he also explains it through his own.
For example, Lifson loves his grandchildren and will often compare his experiences with them to his students. Through his teaching, Professor Lifson has found that he has been more interested in his grandchildren’s education as well. “I have taken a much larger role in trying to mentor them in their future,” he said.
Lifson has many parts of his job at Monmouth that he enjoys greatly, but his favorite would be “helping students progress through their college experience. When students enter the university, they are still ‘children’ fresh out of high school. I believe it is our responsibility to mold them into ‘adults’ and prepare them for the post-college experience. It is one thing to educate, but we must teach our students as well,” Lifson said.
Another way that Lifson goes above and beyond is by always helping a student in need. You did not understand something in class? Shoot Lifson an email and he will arrange a meeting to help you. Do you want to talk about your future goals? Go by his office and talk to him because his door is always open.
Overall, Lifson’s personable personality and love for passing on his knowledge keeps his students always wanting to come back for guidance. On the first day of one of his macroeconomic classes, his first words were, “Wow, I see many of you didn’t get enough of me in 201.”
Even with a subject that many may not find interesting or worth their time, Lifson finds a way to make every student a part of the class and conversation.
Thank you for everything you do, Professor Lifson. You are truly an outstanding professor and many of the students here at Monmouth love having you in class!
PHOTO COURTESY of Matthew S. Lifson