College of Business
Associate Professor of Management
Varela’s teaching philosophy is to create an engaging learning environment where students feel motivated to learn and are free to debate ideas. He strives to build a rapport with students and fosters a safe learning environment in his classroom. He encourages collaborative learning by allowing students to experiment with their ideas on the subject matter during class discussions. His teaching style primarily engages students not only by delivering class lectures, but also demonstrating to students how to apply what they learn. For example, Varela teaches a course on conflict management by inviting two people to act out a conflict in front of the class. The students are unaware of the “act” as they must manage the conflict in front of the class; afterwards, they are evaluated by their classmates on how well they responded to the situation.
Varela has also been dedicated to improving his teaching methods through participation in numerous professional activities. Over the last five years he has presented at 11 conferences, at the national and international level, and he has had four international teaching invitations, and participated in eight peer-reviewed papers. Locally, he contributes to the Central Arkansas Leadership Forum, a group of executives who meet and discuss personnel development. All of these scholarly activities have allowed Varela to innovate his instruction methods.
Varela received a Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior and a M.S. in International Business from Tulane University, a M.B.A. from Comillas Pontifical University, and B.S. in Political and Legal Sciences from the Central University of Venezuela.