Dr. Stephanie Maynard-Patrick Assistant Professor, Management
Bobcat Quick Hit:
Favorite Movie: I haven't seen a movie since before my son was born that is not a kids' movie—and even then, I was always more into reading as the books are often better than the movies.
If you could have a dinner party with two people, living or dead, who would it be? And why? "I would love to do dinner with Steven Tyler of Aerosmith and Freddie Mercury of Queen. I love their music and have read their biographies. To me, that would be a really interesting evening."
Dr. Stephanie Maynard-Patrick has a wealth of experience in both the corporate world and academia. She uses her expertise to teach Human Resources Management, Staffing, Labor Management Relations, Human Resource Development, Organizational Behavior, and Doctoral Research Methods courses at St. Thomas University.
Before switching to higher education, Dr. Maynard-Patrick worked in human resources. But she got a taste of teaching as a graduate assistant at NMSU while earning her doctorate. "My PhD is in Business Administration in the area of management from New Mexico State University," she said. "My master's degree is in human resources and industrial relations from the University of Illinois. I have a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in marketing and finance from the University of West Florida."
Dr. Maynard-Patrick grew up in Pensacola, Florida, but was nowhere near her home state during her time in graduate school. However, when she moved into the teaching profession full time in 2014, she came home to the Sunshine State.
Her experience in the workforce includes stints at Gulf Power Company, General Electric, and Lockheed Martin. "I started in Human Resources at Gulf Power Company, but moved to work at GE when a position opened up. It was in sourcing wind turbine components. My goal was to get into HR at GE and work in a variety of the GE businesses," she said. "They said, 'If you want to go into HR, you have to have a degree, or it will take you a few years to transfer over.' I said, 'Okay, I'll go get a degree.' I went looking for the top human resources programs, and the University of Illinois gave me the best offer."
She graduated and worked at Lockheed Martin, but returned to her studies a few years later. "My advisor said, 'Most women who wait five years or more between earning their master's and starting their PhD, they don't end up going for their PhD,'" she said. "That was the statistic. I said, 'Well, I'll go get this done.' I applied to a number of places without ice and snow for the majority of the year." That's when she decided to attend New Mexico State University in Las Cruces.
Why make the transition into academia? "This was going to be my retirement plan," Dr. Maynard-Patrick said. "From a more serious standpoint, I enjoy this aspect of human resources—developing individuals and helping them become better employees. I find that it is through its people that a company can develop a continued competitive advantage. To me, having a great education background sets individuals up to be a great partner with their organization and for organizational success."
In addition to developing leaders for life at St. Thomas University, she is actively involved with scouting, enjoys cooking shows and loves music (both old and new).
Q: What will students learn in each course that you teach?
A: Human Resources Management, MAN 703, is an overview of the five functional areas of HR.
In Labor Management Relations, MAN 712, we dig into how unions arose and their function in society … we even start to envision what roles unions may be playing now as our societies are shifting toward being more service-oriented or toward having different issues than the economic tensions that existed back in the 30s, 40s and 50s when unions were at their most prominent.
For Staffing, MAN 607, we dig deep into how to clearly understand what type of people we're looking for to build specific organizational proficiencies and advantages and the best ways to recruit, successfully interview, hire and onboard them into the organization so they are functioning efficiently. For that class, I try to have a bit of fun and have students create a staffing plan either for an organization they find or the one they work for. The plan projects an organization's personnel needs and jobs to be added for the next five years.
Q: What advice do you have for the online learner?
A: Definitely don't hesitate to reach out and ask for assistance or clarification. … Instructors are much more able to help if we know something is wrong and you need an extended deadline, rather than if you come to us at the end of the semester saying, "Well, this happened, and I never turned in these assignments. What can I do?" That is a big key to your success as an online student.
Another is to come up with a system in your life where you can set aside the time to work on these courses, because it's not something where you can always say, "I'll find five minutes here, and I'll pick up and do this." With our busy lives and distractions … make sure to set aside some quiet time to focus on reading or projects, and set calendar reminders for your deadlines.
… Don't hesitate to be creative and to put out novel ideas. This is a great, safe environment in which you can get feedback from your professors and your peers and, in some classes, even industry experts.
Q: If an adult learner brings professional experience to the classroom, how do you think that impacts or changes your teaching?
A: I love it when students share their experiences—through discussions, projects or just asking questions. I share my experiences all the time. Then, once I get going, people feel safe and go, "Okay, I can share this or ask questions about something I've experienced or a family member has experienced." We really utilize that.
Q: What is your career highlight?
A: I definitely love it when students come back and say, "Thank you so much for doing this activity or this assignment—it helped me get a job down the line."