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Faculty Spotlight: John Shannon

Professor John Shannon (photo courtesy of shu.edu)

Miguel Mendez Perulles
Stillman News Writer

Prof. Shannon has a high level of digital literacy; he mentioned how he reads almost everything he can get his hands on and how he uses that information to spot digital trends that are likely to continue. He even created a class at Seton Hall focused on the newest technological innovations we as students will soon be facing. But perhaps the most interesting aspect of Prof. Shannon’s thought process is, simply put, how he is able to think differently from others.

Prof. Shannon graduated from Seton Hall in 1975 with a BA in psychology, then proceeded to obtain his MBA in 1977. Finally, he decided to go to Seton Hall Law School, graduating in 1982. He became the dean of the business school twelve years after receiving his JD. Even with a BA, an MBA, and a JD, Prof. Shannon is still a lifelong learner, using online courses to further his studies. He has served the Stillman community for almost 40 years, and his career at Seton Hall has put him in various leadership positions such as Dean of the Stillman School, Vice President of University Affairs, and Chair of the Department of Legal Studies. Now, he is currently serving as one of the Department of Legal Studies’ most distinguished faculty members. To prepare his students for the era of digital transformation, Prof. Shannon created BLAW4320 “Disruption, Technology & Law,” to teach his students about issues regarding digital transformation.

In our conversation, he expressed the importance of a multifaceted thought process and the importance of the humanities in a corporate environment. Contrary to popular belief, the competency of a person who studied philosophy is not that they know about philosophical figures throughout history or can tell you about the different schools of philosophy off the top of their head. Instead, their true asset is being able to think differently, allowing them to see the world in a way only a person who studied philosophy can. He took me through his thought process with this example: if everyone is moving out of NYC and most of the city’s revenue comes from property taxes, what do you think will happen to the services provided by the city? Will they cut out firefighters, police officers, or trash? Prof. Shannon’s classes are filled with many questions like this one, as many current and former students can attest.

Prof. Shannon also highlighted the importance of digital literacy during our conversation. He believes it to be one of the core competencies of the 21st century, right along with what he calls the three R’s: reading, writing, and arithmetic. He places a heavy emphasis on thinking critically and asking the right questions by being aware of current events. We have all experienced an unprecedented and quick adoption of new technologies during the COVID-19 pandemic, and according to Prof. Shannon, this rate will remain constant. The speed at which new technologies are being implemented has been forever changed. He also mentioned that there could be a similar phenomenon in our culture by adjusting quickly in order to prevent a similar pandemic and minimize the impact on society.

Professor Shannon has a unique way of thinking. His thought process takes the 30,000-foot view, identifies macro trends, and dissects them into a cause-and-effect relationship identifying the drivers and possible outcomes of world-changing events and emerging technologies. Having a BA in psychology, an MBA, and a law degree has helped Professor Shannon think critically from different perspectives, and we as students are grateful that we can reap the benefits of his hard work.


Contact Miguel at miguel.mendezperulles@student.shu.edu

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