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Terri Deems

Terri Deems

Assistant Professor of Practice

Phone Number: 402.466.4774
Department: Business Administration
Primary Campus: Lincoln
Credentials: BS, MA, PHD

Dr. Terri Deems is Visiting Professor of Instructional Design and Technology in the College of Business. She serves as the Chair of the Instructional Design and Technology Department. Terri joined Doane University in 2019 and primarily teaches classes for the following programs: Masters of Science in Instructional Design and Technology and Human Resources Management. She earned a Ph.D.  in Community and Human Resource Development (1997) and M.A. in Adult and Continuing Education (1992) from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Terri has professional experience as a coach and consultant at Deems Associates and as a project coordinator for the Nebraska Institute for the Study of Adult Literacy.  Her research topics include: critical thinking, job loss strategies, and leading in tough times.


  • Leadership in Organizations (BUS 415)
  • Introduction to Design Thinking (IDT 665)
  • Capstone Project (IDT 690)
  • Ethics & Social Responsibility (LDR 603)

Professional Experience
Trainer/Coach/Consultant, Deems Associates/WorkLife Design, Ankeny, IA and Lincoln, NE 1988 to present
Project Coordinator, Nebraska Institute for the Study of Adult Literacy, Department of Vocational and Adult Education
University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE 1993 to 1996

Teaching Experience
Adjunct Instructor, Idaho State University, Pocatello, ID 2019
Adjunct Instructor, Grand View University, Des Moines, IA 2005
Clinical Faculty Member, Drake University School of Education, Masters in Leadership Development and MBA program, Des Moines, IA 2003 to 2018
Adjunct Instructor, Upper Iowa University, Des Moines, IA 1999 to 2018
Adjunct Instructor, Kaplan University/Hamilton College, Des Moines, IA 2002 to 2006
Adjunct Instructor, Des Moines Area Community College, Ankeny, IA 2002
English/Language Arts Teacher (9th grade), Goodrich Jr. High, Lincoln Public Schools, Lincoln, NE 1979 to 1986

Professional Accolades
Deems, T.A., with the Ankeny Area Historical Society. (2013). Images of America: Ankeny. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing
Co-host, Today’s Learning Workplace weekly podcast and blog, 2010 to 2013 (136 shows) Served as co-host for training & development podcast for leaders and workplace learning professionals to professional accolades.
Deems, R.S. & Deems, T.A. (2010). Make job loss work for you: Get over it and get your career back on track. Indianapolis: JIST Publishing
Deems, R.S. & Deems, T.A. (2007). Downsizing with confidence (Manager’s Pocket Guide series). HRD Press
Lindbeck, R. L. & Deems, T.A. (2007, October 19). Positive influence—10 strategies to maximize your influencing potential. Maximizing Human Potential Conference, ASTD-Central Iowa

How did you become interested in teaching?
I come from a family of educators and care-givers, and from my early days of playing school in my grandfather's basement I've held a big interest in fostering people's development and creating educational environments. Both my father and grandfather served as professors in higher ed and they challenged me to stay curious, to question, think critically, forge new pathways, and add some good to the world. Helping others learn and grow has been a natural outcome of such values, and it's such a privilege to be involved in people's development!

What advice do you have for students?
"I often tell my students that everything starts with showing up. So start there, both physically and mentally, whether we are online or face to face. We can define “successful” in different ways, and to me a successful student is one who has achieved their goals with a task, project, or class. I have found that the most successful students in my classes  engage with the material, exercise curiosity, and seek to test their critical thinking and questioning skills. Connect with me as your instructor! Call me. Email. Text. Stay an extra minute after class. Reply to my feedback. And remember it is always easier to deal with the gremlins while they are still small.

What is one of your favorite quotes?
"There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance: that principle is contempt prior to investigation." In spite of its mangled and misattributed history (Spencer and Paley) and its gender-exclusive language, the quote nevertheless invites me to pause, check things out, and keep an open mind: drawing a conclusion too quickly will always serve as a barrier to my growth.