Change is coming to the Waynesburg University Department of Business Administration. New leadership has stepped in to take over said department, this opens greater opportunities for students and faculty.
W. Robert Stover Chair of Entrepreneurial Leadership, associate professor of Business Administration and newly named Chair of the Department of Business Administrations, Melinda Walls is stepping into a new role. She is stepping in for former department chair Doctor Gordon McLung.
Starting in 2017, Walls has dedicated herself to teaching at Waynesburg University for almost six full years. However, her journey was quite interesting and very unexpected. Walls got her undergraduate degree in fashion merchandising at West Virginia University, but did not see herself doing that long term. So, she sought out law school after undergraduate school.
“I worked for both a law firm and a company and was perfectly happy,” Walls said. “I thought I was going to be a lawyer forever.”
However, upon having kids, she realized it was hard to juggle kids and law. Walls then took a break to spend time with her kids. At this point, she got inspired and started her own business. This became so successful that Walls sold her business, then she got inspired again.
Walls found her spot in education whenever her friend gave her the idea of being an academic advisor. She then began to teach fashion merchandising, child development and interior design. She noticed that her students wanted to start their own businesses, which is where Walls took the dive into entrepreneurship.
With her new position, Walls is very eager to get to learn about her colleagues better and to figure out how to market the department more. Her plans for the Department of Business Administration are to interact with new and prospective students, as well as making the necessary changes to increase success and aid with transitions from high school to college. This is not only going to improve the department, but the other departments as well.
Walls said, “The wave of the future is collaboration, whether that is in the form of team teaching or working with other departments, that’s good learning for everybody.”
Walls also works with a number of people who she relies on for the new eHive and the Nest. She has many different roles that include being an associate professor, an advisor, being the new chair for the Department of Business and the chair for the Entrepreneurial Program.
She describes herself as “lucky” to have the team she works with now because they all work together on different things. One of her team members is Andrew Heisey, Chair of the Department of Fine Arts, art program director and chief director of the eHive. Heisey sees Walls as innovative and really creative.
“It’s a good time for her to take that leadership to kind of reevaluate the Departmen of Business Administration,” Heisey said. “Not that it wasn’t good in the past, it was a really great program, but we have to continue to reevaluate and innovate what we are doing here at the university.”
As far as inspiration goes, Walls is mainly inspired by her mom and her husband. Her mom had always made one word loud and clear. Her mom told her to “persevere” so she could do anything she put her mind to. Walls also has her husband that she describes as a great partner, however, she competes and achieves with him.
“His success inspired me to push myself,” Walls said. Her plans are to seize opportunities that come for her, but she is not looking for anything right now. Walls is sure that whatever comes her way next will be interesting.