A Career of Mentoring and Support Babson Magazine

Donna Stoddard P’21, an associate professor of IT management, joined Babson in 1995. Her career on campus since then has involved a great deal of mentorship, both from fellow faculty and from Babson students.

Stoddard has a long history of service as a campus administrator. She first became president of her division in 2000, when that meant leading the small group of professors who taught computer science. Over time, she oversaw the merger of the Computer Science and Operations faculty into a single division. “I really enjoyed being president because I got to know people,” Stoddard said. “As president, the most important thing 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 find a path for their allow it to grow.”

Stoddard is currently associate dean of the faculty as well as director of the operations and information management division. She has also been repeatedly elected by her colleagues to serve on the Appointments Decision-Making Body, which oversees tenure and promotions across the College.

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

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

“The theory is that if you’re in a group, you’re more likely to be successful,” says Stoddard. His group included 10 New York students who attended Babson from 2012 to 2016, including Shatiek Gatlin ’16, who was appointed to serve on Babson’s board of trustees for two years after graduation. She met with the cohort weekly when they were freshmen and sophomores. “I was helping them understand and navigate the college process, helping them maximize their success at Babson,” says Stoddard. The group achieved the highest GPA of any Babson group up to that point. Stoddard loved spending time with these students and felt it gave him valuable insight into campus life. “It was a transformative experience for me, getting to know some of the kids really well,” she explains.

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

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