Fish Culture and Experiment Station
3059 National Fish Hatchery Road #F
Hagerman, Idaho 83332
Research & Extension Center
CSI Evergreen Building
315 Falls Avenue East
Twin Falls, Idaho 83301
821 W. Idaho Street
Boise, ID 83702
M-F: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Sat: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Parking is available in the Eastman Garage located above the VandalStore with entrances on both Idaho and Main Street.
Teaching and Working Around the Globe – Virtually
“I always thought in the back of my mind that I would like to be a professor,” says Michael Kroth, associate professor in the College of Education.
His life had been centered on education. Kroth’s father was a professor, his mother a special education teacher, and other relatives paved the way in education.
“We always had doctorial students around when we were kids,” he recalls. ”They were always over at the house for meetings and discussions, they even helped put together our hot tub, and there were plenty of parties and get-togethers. College life seemed like so much fun, and I knew my dad loved being a professor.”
Kroth’s journey to becoming an educator didn’t take form immediately, however. After graduating with a degree in theater from the University of New Mexico (UNM), he worked for a public utility for more than 20 years, and then started a management consulting company. Along the way he received his MBA from UNM, and then his doctorate in training and learning technologies.
After nearly 30 years in business, Kroth finally followed in his parent’s footsteps and became an educator. The University of Idaho, with its beautiful college campus setting in Moscow, along with a thriving graduate education center in Boise, seemed perfect to him. So in 2005, he became a professor.
“I started late in life,” he says, “and it’s been fun. It’s like my fourth career, which makes it even more interesting.”
Kroth works in the university's Adult/Organizational Learning and Leadership program, where he teaches a wide range of classes. His own dissertation was titled “Life Mission and Adult Learning”, which focused on the relationship of one’s personal mission to a lifetime of learning and since then he has been interested in learning more about what makes people care about their work.
“People who love what they do are more likely to work harder and more creatively,’ he says. ”And that just makes work more fun and productive for everyone.”
These days, he says, many people can work from anywhere in the world.
“We now have a workforce spread across the globe, so whether you are an at-home telecommuter, a road warrior working out of airports or coffee shops, or a person who is a corridor warrior moving around the building but accessible through a mobile device, then you are a mobile worker,” he says.
That goes for education as well. Kroth now is teaching many classes online, as are more and more educators. Instead of walking into a classroom, many students are now logging into one. He believes distance learning will become as pervasive as traditional classroom learning – not just for traditional education but also for corporate training.
"Both corporate and educational leaders, as well as trainers and teachers, need to be prepared for this shift in learning delivery," says Kroth.
He noted that geographical constraints are disappearing. “Organizations are competing for talent and educational institutions are competing for students who might be located anywhere," says Kroth. "And if you can teach people from all around the world, why can’t you lead them from anywhere?”
Kroth believes that social media helps bring people together. “They are tools for connecting with people around the world and also for knowledge building – even for a person like me, who’s been around quite awhile!” he says.
Kroth and his wife, Lana, enjoy the arts. They are the proud parents of Piper and Shane, and are crazy about their two grandchildren.
Michael Kroth is an associate professor at the University of Idaho in Adult/Organizational Learning and Leadership, a recipient of the university's Hoffman Award for Excellence in Teaching and a member of the National Speakers Association.
He has written or co-authored four books:
"Transforming Work: The Five Keys to Achieving Trust, Commitment, and Passion in the Workplace" (2001), co-authored with Patricia Boverie.
"The Manager as Motivator" (2006).
"Career Development Basics" (2009), co-authored with McKay Christensen.
"Managing the Mobile Workforce: Leading, Building, and Sustaining Virtual Teams" (2010), co-authored with David Clemons.