Julio Sevilla, an assistant professor of marketing in the Terry College of Business, teaches courses on the same topic—consumer behavior—that he conducts research on, which allows him to share his excitement about a topic that has implications for businesses and consumer health.
Where did you earn degrees and what are your current responsibilities at UGA?
I have a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Universidad Americana (Managua, Nicaragua), an MBA (international business) from Florida International University and a Ph.D. in business administration (marketing) from the University of Miami. I am currently an assistant professor of marketing at the Terry College of Business at UGA.
When did you come to UGA and what brought you here?
I started at UGA in the fall of 2013. I came here because this institution was a great academic and personal fit for me.
What are your favorite courses and why?
I teach “Consumer Behavior.” I enjoy teaching this class because it is a topic we all can relate to, as we all are consumers in the marketplace. I benefit from the unique insights the students offer in each lecture and I believe the material they learn offers them a crucial approach they will be able to put in practice once they work for a firm or own their own businesses. Each session of the class always brings a new perspective on how people behave as consumers.
What interests you about your field?
I do research on consumer psychology and I find this area fascinating as it helps us learn more about how humans think and behave specifically as consumers. I am interested in studying questions that are not only beneficial for the company but also for consumers; for example, those related to consuming healthier products or making optimal decisions.
What are some highlights of your career at UGA?
I have been here for one year and in this time I have had the pleasure to publish in top tier journals under the UGA name and also have represented our university, presenting my work at major conferences and discussing diverse business topics in the national media.
How does your research or scholarship inspire your teaching, and vice versa?
I am fortunate enough to teach the same topic I do research on, consumer behavior. This is a great opportunity because it allows me to share my knowledge on a topic I am genuinely interested in. Interacting with students in the classroom also provides me with new insights and ideas for my research. It works great both ways.
What do you hope students gain from their classroom experience with you?
I hope my class helps change the way students think, behave and see the world, not only as consumers but as human beings in general. This entails being able to communicate effectively and making the right decisions by considering how people think and behave. If we know the biases and mistakes we regularly make, we will be able to correct some of them.
Describe your ideal student.
My ideal student is genuinely interested in the major he/she has selected. He/she is open to learning from others on a regular basis but also has the ability to think on his own and make his own conclusions and contributions.
Favorite place to be/thing to do on campus is…
The new Terry College Business Learning Community is still under construction, but I already know that it will be my favorite place to be on campus.
Beyond the UGA campus, I like to…
I like to travel and spend time with my family and friends.
Community/civic involvement includes….
I am supportive of any initiative in favor of human rights, democracy and creating opportunities for everyone in society either in the USA, Nicaragua or the rest of the world.
Favorite book/movie (and why)?
I like Latin American literature because I can easily relate to the stories it tells. I do not have a favorite book in particular but I enjoy reading fellow Nicaraguans Ruben Dario and Sergio Ramirez as well as Nobel laureates Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Mario Vargas Llosa, among many others.
Proudest moment at UGA?
I have been here for only one year but so far my proudest moment has been my first day at work. This is my first job after finishing my Ph.D., and I am proud of the fact that my first academic position is at UGA.
Originally published on October 27, 2014