Leanna Lawter

Associate professor and coordinator of business and management
  • Bachelor’s degree in math from Colgate University
  • Master’s degree in statistics from the University of Vermont
  • M.B.A. from the University of Connecticut
  • Ph.D. in organizational behavior from Baruch College, City University of New York

Leanna LawterMy previous job: Associate professor of management, Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, Conn.

Why I became an educator: “I wanted to give back. Being an educator is a great way to help students grow intellectually, socially and emotionally. It is personally very fulfilling to see the amazing transformation our students take from their first year to graduation. I now recognize that I learn as much from students as they learn from me.”

What led me to my field: “I have always been interested in the psychology of employees in organizations. I had been in marketing building databases, but when I went back for my Ph.D., I wanted to pursue an area where I could help people perhaps live better within their organizations/jobs.”

My current research focus: “I’m researching how different human resources practices impact employee outcomes. One of the big projects I am currently working on is a meta-analysis that looks at the impact our social media profiles have on hiring decisions. I also research how to promote ethical decision-making in organizations.”

Why I chose Wheaton: “I wanted to be in a liberal arts environment where students are encouraged to take an interdisciplinary course of studies. At Wheaton, business is not siloed in a big business school. Instead we collaborate with our colleagues in other departments to deliver an interdisciplinary business major.”

Most important lesson I learned in college: “Be prepared and do your homework. Just being smart only gets you so far. Hard work and being as prepared as possible gets you that much further.”

What I want every student to learn: “Take chances. We have trained our students well to follow directions. But what if there were no directions? Now what would you do?”

What few people know about me: “I almost flunked out of college my junior year. I was a math major and was taking theory courses and I just could not get it. (I am a very applied kind of person.) I managed to squeak past with a D- in an honors theory course. But it taught me a great lesson: You can’t be successful all the time. So figure out how to recover when you are not.”

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