Summer 2022

Office Hours: A Career of Mentorship and Support

Portrait of Donna Stoddard standing outside on campus

Donna Stoddard P’21, an associate professor of IT management, joined Babson in 1995. Her career on campus since then has involved plenty of mentorship, both of her faculty colleagues and of Babson students.

Stoddard has a long history of service as a campus administrator. She first became chair of her division in 2000, back when it meant leading the small group of faculty members who taught IT. In time, she oversaw a merger of the IT and operations faculty into one division. “I really enjoyed being chair because I got to know people,” Stoddard says. “As a chair, the most important thing that I do is help people manage their careers, figure out what they want to do and when they want to do it, and help them devise a path to enable them to grow.”

Stoddard currently serves as an associate dean of faculty as well as division chair of Operations and Information Management. She also has been elected by her colleagues multiple times to serve on the Appointments Decision Making Body, which oversees tenure and promotions across the College.

When asked which Babson experience has meant the most to her, though, Stoddard is unequivocal: serving as the faculty mentor of Babson’s Posse 9. The Posse Foundation is a national organization that places students with leadership potential in supportive multicultural “posses” at more than 60 colleges around the United States, including Babson. The students are often the first in their families to attend college.

“The theory is that if you’re part of a group, you’re more likely to be successful.”
Donna Stoddard P’21, faculty mentor of Posse 9

“The theory is that if you’re part of a group, you’re more likely to be successful,” Stoddard explains. Her posse included 10 students from New York City who attended Babson from 2012 to 2016, including Shatiek Gatlin ’16, who was nominated to serve on Babson’s Board of Trustees for two years after graduation. She met with the cohort weekly when they were first-year students and sophomores. “I was helping them figure out and navigate the college process, helping them maximize their success at Babson,” Stoddard says. The group graduated with the highest GPA of any Babson posse up to that point. Stoddard loved spending time with these students and felt that it gave her valuable insights about campus life. “It was a transformative experience for me, to get to know some kids really, really well,” she explains.

Looking over her more than 25 years at Babson, Stoddard is heartened by the growth in the number of students and faculty members of color. She remembers how much it meant to her to be mentored by a Black professor, James Cash H’03, while she was a doctoral student at Harvard Business School. “I hope I can be a role model to our students and that they can stop by if they just want to talk,” she says. “It’s important for the students to have people on campus that look like them, and that’s a major change that I’ve seen at Babson.”

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