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Meet Your Faculty – Dr. Carol Scovotti

Name: Dr. Carol Scovotti

Department: Marketing

What was your favorite subject in school & why?

I absolutely loved Journalism. That is where I discovered how powerful and persuasive good writing could be. Journalism helped put some structure around my creativity.

What was your least favorite subject in school & why?

Tough question. Probably finance … with accounting running a close second. Back then I didn’t understand the importance of the numbers. I thought I was destined to be a hotshot advertising executive on Madison Avenue. What a rude awakening it was when I got my first job in advertising and discovered how much number crunching was involved.

What were you doing before you came to Whitewater?

I worked in direct marketing and international telecommunications for 22 years. I started in advertising, then direct marketing services. In the mid-1980s I started a direct marketing consulting firm called LC&S Direct. Whether it was luck or talent … maybe a combination of the two … I spent lots of years working with many big multinationals. In the 1990s I became the president of the American subsidiary of TeleDanmark, the Danish telephone company.

What made you want to teach?

Truth be told, I didn’t intend to teach.  When I decided to go back for a doctorate, it was for the mental challenge, not a career change. That all changed when the dean of the College of Business convinced me to try my hand at teaching a direct marketing course. He arranged for me to be mentored by a professor in the College of Education that specialized in case-based teaching. Turns out I was pretty good at it. Long story short, I got hooked.

What research are you currently working on?

Last year I was fortunate to receive a Fulbright Scholar award that enabled me to spend the year teaching and doing research in Cologne, Germany. I am fascinated with the dynamics and complexities of multicultural virtual teamwork. Collaborative technologies such as video conferencing, social media and document sharing platforms empower businesses to challenge their brightest and best employees to solve critical business problems regardless of where in the world they are located. Sounds amazing, but in reality, there are lots of hurdles that pop up when team members aren’t able to regularly meet face to face.

Business needs guidance that will help it harness the collective power of a distributed workforce. I’m in search of the key factors that impact the success of multicultural virtual teams so that firms can improve their productivity and member satisfaction.

What do you like to do outside of the College of Business & Economics?

My husband and I are avid cyclists. And of course I love to travel.

What is something that students would be surprised to learn about you?

I’m a former Miss Muskegon County. Don’t laugh! The Miss American pageant was big scholarship money back then. It covered a big chunk of expenses like room, board, and books at Marquette.  I didn’t win the next level, the Miss Michigan pageant. However, the people in charge of hiring musicians for Holiday Inn caught my performance and suggested I audition. My summer job through school was singing and playing guitar in cocktail lounges of Holiday Inns across the Midwest. If I never hear the song Feeling again, it will be too soon!

Last year you had a chance to teach in Germany. What differences did you find between students there and students here?

There were some big differences. Over there, being a student is an occupation. Like students here, many need part time jobs. However, their main priority is school. That perspective changes the way they approach their studies. They also don’t register for courses, just final exams. That means that there is only one chance to get a grade for the course. It was a bit freaky for me to not grade every assignment, but it is perfectly normal for them. I was also impressed with everyone’s ability to speak multiple languages. It was really humbling to struggle with German while they were so proficient in English.

About Paul Ambrose

Associate Dean, Graduate Business Programs.
This entry was posted in CoBE Staff, Marketing and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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