Brad Sago directs new business and management major

Wheaton College Sophomore SymposiumWhen the search committee was looking for the founding faculty member to head Wheaton’s new business and management major, it had a tall order.

“We were searching for someone with extensive expertise in his or her field who had experience with and placed a high value upon the liberal arts,” said Professor of Psychology and Associate Provost Gail Sahar, who, along with Professor of Mathematics Michael Kahn, was co-chair of the search committee.

“We wanted someone who really believed in the mission of the college to provide a transformative education to our students; that is, the person had to be an excellent teacher,” said Sahar. “Our new colleague had to be a scholar doing significant work in his or her area of specialty. We also required experience in starting a new program, including curriculum development, hiring and all of the other tasks involved in launching a major.”

Meet Brad Sago; he fills the bill perfectly.

Wheaton’s new professor of business and management has an M.B.A., a master’s degree in media arts and science, and a doctorate in business administration. He has published extensively in business journals and has provided corporate training consulting for companies, as well as for the U.S. Navy and Army. He previously was a professor of marketing at Whitworth University in Spokane, Wash., for more than 11 years.

“The committee was struck by Professor Sago’s enthusiasm for integrating the business and management major into the liberal arts education that Wheaton provides,” said Sahar. “He believes the best business professionals are broadly educated and understand the connections between disciplines.”

At Whitworth University, Sago was brought on board as a faculty member to design and build a new marketing major. Within eight years, that major became the second largest of five majors in the business school.

“The major was known for academic rigor, student research, and giving students the opportunity to apply their growing marketing knowledge and skills in consulting projects with local business clients,” said Sago, who began working at Wheaton during the spring semester.

He already has the students in his marketing course working with local businesses, analyzing the clients’ marketing efforts, and then developing specific strategies and tactics to improve their marketing.

“I believe students gain a lot in having the chance to apply what they are learning to such a real situation for a real client,” said Sago.

Wheaton’s new major in business and management, which draws upon the breadth and depth of the college’s liberal arts curriculum and its commitment to experiential learning, responds to the nation’s need for a workforce of skilled and flexible learners who can adapt to a rapidly changing, technological and global society.

The new major also draws practical strength from affiliations with a number of business and nonprofit organizations that currently offer internships to Wheaton students.

Sago said he plans to continue to strengthen the ties with local businesses and organizations to benefit students and graduates, through internships, mentoring and postgraduation employment.

“I’m really enjoying the opportunity to be at the start of a business program at a place like Wheaton—with its caliber of students, faculty and staff.”