Rosalyn Rufer, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
School of Graduate Studies

An Online Room of Her Own

Associate Professor Rosalyn Rufer has been teaching online at SUNY Empire State College for nearly 25 years – long before most brick-and-mortar schools even considered the idea, and well ahead of the many for-profit schools and online programs that have popped up since.

More importantly, Dr. Rufer believes in the power of online learning. She says that because SUNY Empire was at the forefront of online education, it is uniquely positioned to educate online students, who are often working adults. She warns that online learning isn’t simply putting an in-person class online.

“You can’t assume what you do in the classroom will work online. At SUNY Empire, we’ve had years and years of experience teaching online, backed by a strong support network of instructional designers,” Rufer says. “We create courses that are easy to use and enhance the learning experience. We have the technology to back them up, and resources that support online learning.”

Rufer, who earned her M.S. in chemistry and her MBA in management and Ph.D. in strategic marketing management for global markets, came to SUNY Empire after a 10-year career in marketing at General Electric and a professorship at Siena College. She earned her MBA at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute while working full time at GE, which provided her with valuable perspective on the challenges of being a working adult learner. 

“Flexibility is key for working students. We have to be available to help adult learners succeed. This is not a traditional college where faculty have set office hours and don’t engage with students outside the classroom or office hours,” Rufer says. “We have to be responsive.”

Rufer says teaching online gives her the ability to customize assignments to meet the individual needs of her students.

“I can enhance the knowledge that working students already have by adapting assignments and course activities,” Rufer explains. “If I have a student interested in a particular industry, I can find a case study specific to that industry to build on that student’s interests.”

Rufer, who brings 15 years of industrial marketing experience and seven years as a board member for the American Marketing Association local chapter, says experience matters when it comes to the School for Graduate Studies faculty, 100% of whom hold a doctorate or terminal degree in their field. 

“We are experts in online learning, but we are also experts in our fields,” she says. “We don’t just teach our subject matter, we know it.”

Rufer also serves as academic coordinator for the Women's Corporate Leadership Academy. Learn more.

Profile picture of faculty member Rosalyn Rufer.


M.S. in Chemistry
Cleveland State University

MBA in Marketing Management Strategy for Global Markets
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Ph.D. in Marketing Management Strategy for Global Markets
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Subjects of Interest

Customer Marketing Relationship Management

Social Media Marketing

Innovation Management

Technology for Enhanced Online Learning