Honoring Dr. Rebeca Perren


Dr. Rebeca Perren

Assistant Professor of Marketing

California State University, San Marcos

San Marcos, CA

Dr. Rebeca Perren is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at California State University San Marcos. Originally from Panama, she came to the US to pursue her dreams. Dr. Perren is not a traditional professor – before she took the plunge to pursue a Ph.D. she spent ten years jumping out of airplanes as a professional skydiver. Now, she is a driven educator who works relentlessly to develop life-long love of learning in her students.

Her professional experiences are very diverse, spanning from managing marketing activities for several firms in the skydiving industry to providing service and expert advice to financial advisors in the brokerage industry. She earned her doctoral degree in Business Administration, Marketing Track from the University of Central Florida, her MBA from Stetson University and her undergraduate degree from the University of South Florida.

Dr. Perren is the recipient of multiple fellowships and awards during her doctoral studies, including the McKnight Doctoral Fellowship and the AMA Foundation Valuing Diversity Scholarship. She was also awarded the Dean’s Presentation Award for outstanding accomplishments and exemplary contribution to the graduate fellowship community at UCF. Currently, she co-chairs the PhD Project Committee for Hispanic Excellence, an initiative focused on enhancing higher education completion rates for Hispanic students nationwide. The program leverages the PhD Project’s network of 300+ Hispanic-American business professors to serve as mentors with purpose of facilitating the student’s successful completion of their undergraduate and graduate degrees.

Why did you choose to become a professor?

It is my calling – I am deeply passionate about learning – I wanted to pursue a career path in which I could channel my passion to inspire and transform others. I believe that the learning process is empowering and that inquisitive minds derive pleasure from learning experiences long after leaving college. My goal is to help students learn, become critical thinkers, and provide them with the necessary skills to be successful in their careers.

What resources (programs, tools, etc.) were available to you throughout your journey into teaching?

The PhD Project was instrumental to my development as an academic. The organization showed me the path I could take to mentor the next generation and its network of support was crucial for the successful completion of my doctoral program.

What do you love about teaching?

Making a difference! I see everyday the impact that I have on our community, serving as a role model, inspiring achievement and influencing the minds of the next generation of business leaders. I am inspired and energized in the classroom. I consider myself privileged to be able to contribute to business students’ intellectual growth. I also recognize that students learn in a variety of ways and so I seek to create a rich and diverse environment that is conducive to learning. Ultimately, I think that my role as an educator must challenge students to take ownership of their learning experience. Doing so requires flexibility and creativity on the part of the instructor; thus, I am consistently thinking creatively about my teaching and designing coursework so that I may offer students superior opportunities for learning.

When you were a student, was there a great teacher who inspired you?

There were many, but my biggest inspiration has been my mother, also an educator, she instilled love for learning and encouraged me to pursue whatever made my heart pump. She nurtured my learning with a unyielding belief in my potential – such safety net was essential in allowing me to take the risks that have ultimately shaped my academic career.