Faculty Profile: Marsha Loda
Marsha Loda began teaching at Augusta State in 2004 in the communications program. But with a strong background in business and marketing, she recently joined the faculty in the Hull College of Business.
“Having spent 20 years in marketing on the business side, I realized that working in the business college really taps into a wider range of my expertise,” says Dr. Loda.
Prior to working at ASU, Dr. Loda was the owner of an ad agency in Memphis for 16 years. Most recently, she was the director of marketing for the largest tourism business in the state of North Carolina, Harrah’s Cherokee Casino. She directed the advertising, sales, public relations, direct marketing, entertainment, and Total Gold (affinity card) departments consisting of a staff of 42 people and a combined budget of $28 million.
“The Cherokee are amazing people, and I really enjoyed working with the tribe,” Dr. Loda says. “I always dreamed of living in the Great Smoky Mountains, which is why I loved working at Harrah’s Cherokee, but I knew I didn’t want to stay in the gambling business for the rest of my life.”
A native of Memphis, Tenn., Dr. Loda decided to pursue teaching when one of her employees gave her a bronze apple.
“They gave me the apple on Boss’s Day one year and told me that I was a good teacher,” she says. “That planted a seed in my mind to teach.”
She earned a doctoral degree from Clemson University in 2003 and began searching her teaching options. Her parents lived in Maggie Valley, N.C., at the time, and her husband’s father lived in Hilton Head, so she wanted to live somewhere in the middle.
“We looked in Columbia but didn’t really like the area,” she admits. “We came to ASU’s campus one day, and I said, ‘I just love this campus.’ We found a house, and the rest is history.”
Dr. Loda says that what she enjoys most about teaching is the variety, flexibility, and freedom. “It keeps you fresh. I love working with the students because it’s a way to give back, and they keep you on top of things.”
In her spare time, she and her husband, Pete, like to travel. They visit St. Simons Island at least two weekends a month. The couple fell in love with the island when they made it a project to visit every beach in Georgia.
“After my father-in-law passed away, we realized how much we had enjoyed going to visit him in Hilton Head, so we decided to look for a new beach,” says Dr. Loda. “We visited St. Simons Island and fell in love with it.”
In addition to going to the beach, the Lodas enjoy traveling internationally as well. They have been to Scotland and London.
“We passed through Durham, England, and I just had to stop. My maiden name is Durham,” she says. “I could just feel that that is where I came from. I was chagrined, though, to find out that Durham means brown cow. That sort of took the romance out of it.”
Dr. Loda earned a doctoral degree from Clemson University, a master’s degree from the University of Memphis, and a bachelor’s degree from Memphis State University.
Who: Marsha Durham Loda
Position: Instructor of marketing
How long at ASU: Two years
Proud Spouse: Her husband, Pete, was a car designer for Chrysler. “He helped design some of the famous muscle cars!”
Fun times: Dr. Loda and her husband enjoy bowling, biking, and sprucing up their golf game.
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