University professors share their summer experiences

Professor+Jeffrey+Davis+stands+in+between+his+friend+and+wife+representing+the+University.+The%0Athree+participated+in+the+Rutger%E2%80%99s+Annual+Bicycle+Ride+Across+Iowa.

Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Davis

Professor Jeffrey Davis stands in between his friend and wife representing the University. The three participated in the Rutger’s Annual Bicycle Ride Across Iowa.

By Paige Blanzy, Staff Writer

It’s hard to imagine professors outside of the classroom, especially over the summer. But two finance professors at the University shared their contrasting summer experiences.

During the year, Jeffrey Davis teaches finance at the Gies College of Business. Davis went to the University for his undergraduate degree, and he also attended law school here. His focus is on real estate.

This summer, however, Davis participated in the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa, or RAGBRAI. He was accompanied by his wife, Jodi, who is a University alumna, along with several other family and friends.

RAGBRAI began as a week-long bike ride across Iowa among a group of friends in 1973. According to RAGBRAI’s website, the ride is the largest, oldest and longest bicycle touring event in the world. The ride consists of about 67 miles a day, totaling around 468 miles by the end of the week.

“Iowa is not as flat as people probably think it is,” Davis said.

Davis usually participates every other year, and this is his third time riding.

Leading up to the event, Davis usually trains. But this summer, he only prepared by biking about 50 miles.

“I’ve done it in the past, so I knew what to expect, but it was a little harder than years in the past only because I didn’t train,” Davis said.

Participants form teams for the event and even come up with team names. Davis’ team decidedly named themselves “Not Dead Yet.” The whole week, they stayed in an RV, which his mother drove from town to town. Bikers are unable to stay in hotels due to small towns not being able to accommodate such large groups of people.

Davis recommends future participants make sure they have a comfortable and well-maintained bike. After his great experiences, Davis urges others to expose themselves to this event.

“If people are looking for something to do and are a little adventurous, I would say go do it,” said Davis.

Other than participating in RAGBRAI, Davis spent most of his summer focusing on real estate, looking into and buying properties.

Sterling Raskie is also a finance professor in the Gies College of Business. He has taught at other universities in the past but said the University is his favorite by far.

Raskie typically uses his summer for vacations and spending time with his family. But the work doesn’t completely stop over the summer, either; he also spends his time preparing for the upcoming semester.

“It is critical to stay relevant and make sure everything is up-to-date for the students. We have to do that,” Raskie said.

Raskie said he is definitely not the only professor who likes to stay on top of schoolwork; they all make sure they have the best information to give their students.

However, staying in the know is not a chore to Raskie. He loves coming to his students with new information.

This past summer, Raskie also had an article published in the Journal of Financial Planning. His article,“The Value of Financial Designations: A Consumer Perspective,” is about how consumers are willing to pay more money for the advice they receive from financial advisers who have the appropriate industry credentials.

Scott Thomas, junior in Business, gained exposure to the field of work Raskie specializes in through his business fraternity.  

“Professor Raskie really goes out of his way to make sure we know we can go to him for all kinds of advice when it comes to money, especially when we get out of school and have a real job,” Thomas said.

Raskie keeps in contact with former students over the summer who have questions about their benefits package and how to approach things from a wealth management aspect. He said he always tries to make himself available to them and give them a second opinion when needed.

“I’m happy to help and be there for them,” Raskie said.

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