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How did you get to where you are today? What is your story? What incidents and experiences shaped your career path?

Asked by Jeff Musk

Stacie Petter

Professor of Information Systems, Baylor University
Waco, Texas Area
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Thu Nov 29 2018
So like many people, I had a winding road to get to my PhD. I didn't start out thinking I wanted a PhD. I was actually working in the IT industry, getting my MBA part time and you know I had made kind of an off the cuff remark to a faculty member, and she also made kind of an off the cuff remark back of have you thought about being, have you ever thought about being a scholar or getting your PhD, and it was really this one faculty member reaching out to me and making kind of a comment of me saying you know early on in my career, I thought I wanted to be interested in research. I thought I was going to work at the Center for Disease Control. I thought I was gonna be an epidemiologist, and that's just not where life took me. It took me to IT, but then when I talked to her, she's like have you ever thought about researching IT? There could be a lot of value to that. If you've always been this kind of curious person to do research, maybe you should think about that as your career and so as I was thinking about where my career was leading me and realizing it wasn't work that was fulfilling and it wasn't really meeting my goals and my interests, I really started to think that maybe there's something to this idea about getting a PhD, so it really was just one faculty member having the right comment at the right time that put me on an entirely different path where now I have a PhD and now I'm a scholar.

What are your research interests? Can you discuss major research projects you have worked on? What have been the key insights of your research?

Asked by Jeff Musk

Stacie Petter

Professor of Information Systems, Baylor University
Waco, Texas Area
for : Professor of Information Systems, Baylor University
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Thu Nov 29 2018
So I have a lot of research interests. There're a lot of things that fascinate me. But I think most of the themes of those types of questions are things that are very practically based. They have relevance to things that I experienced when I was working prior to getting my PhD so I started off having an interest in IT project management because I started off as a consultant for a big portion of my early career. And realizing all of the problems that were repeated time and time again. I wanted to find ways to try to address some of those problems or understand why they happen. And I still do research and project management. But I've brought in my perspective through interactions with other faculty, with senior scholars. I early on, started researching information systems' success and how do we evaluate systems? And as I've moved on beyond that research, I'm now more interested in the impacts of information technology. But I study impacts of information technology at all different levels to the individuals to teams to organizations to society. So my most exciting research that I'm doing right now is related to online gaming, and I know a lot of people are interested in things like addiction and the negative impacts of games. But I'm interested in some of those positive outcomes of games. So how might we use online gaming to build skills for career development? How might we use online gaming to understand how people behave and interact with other individuals in an online environment ? How do we take gamification to a deeper level than just leaderboards and badges? How can we really involve the user? What are the downsides if we involve the users using gamified approaches, so I tend to try to find things that are relevant and interesting based on my past experiences. But I tend to do a lot of different types of research that all relates to these impacts of IT.

How did you come across these ideas? How did you decide that these projects would be worth pursuing?

Asked by Jeff Musk

Stacie Petter

Professor of Information Systems, Baylor University
Waco, Texas Area
for : Professor of Information Systems, Baylor University
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Thu Nov 29 2018
So that's a great question, and I think sometimes ideas come through conversations. They come through just moments of reflection while driving or while cooking or doing something else completely different. But it's, sometimes it comes from interacting with other colleagues where you have these opportunities to gain insights as you have conversations. Sometimes it's colleagues, bringing me ideas and asking how might we turn this into something that can be useful and valuable, So I think ideas come from a lot of different sources, but then the question is trying to decide what do I work on. And so when I choose a project because there's so many projects I want to do, I could look at my white board in front of me and see a lot of projects I want to do. But when I choose which project I'm gonna work on, I think about different things like what might be the impact of that research and who might be the audience, which is the most feasible actually to accomplish? I've had some great ideas, but they're not really ready yet, the field is not ready, the research methods aren't ready, it is just not the right timing for it. So it's trying to find the right projects to do at the right time with the right colleagues that are available at the right time. And it's these blend of things that help me figure out what projects I want to pursue.

What criteria do you use to evaluate papers while reviewing? What are common reasons for papers getting rejected? How can authors improve the chance of getting their papers accepted?

Asked by Jeff Musk

Stacie Petter

Professor of Information Systems, Baylor University
Waco, Texas Area
for : Professor of Information Systems, Baylor University
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Thu Nov 29 2018
It's a great question. I actually had the same question yesterday with some other colleagues that we were talking about this issue of reviewing. I think for me, a huge thing that I've learned about when I review papers is that there needs to be this kind of common theme throughout. There needs to be a well motivated research question that is guided by theory that a method supports that, the solving or the addressing of that research question are the objective. There's a discussion that leads us back to understanding what's been done and what hasn't been done in light of the theoretical discussion that happened earlier. There's this continuity that it flows throughout a paper, and I think a lot of times we have poorly crafted research questions that don't allow us to get that continuity. If we have a research question that has a yes or no answer they are not very interesting, and it's hard to maintain the story throughout. And so when there gets to be these disconnects between what we're trying to find out in the data that we collect or what we're trying to find out and the theory that we use or between the theory that we use and what we identify as the implications of our research, that's when it starts to create opportunities. Where you question as a reviewer, you know whether or not this paper has a contribution or not, and whether or not you can trust the results that you're getting. And if the insights that you're getting from this process will actually be useful to other researchers to build on.

What are some major research gaps that you believe needed to be addressed? Gaps could be in the field in general, or in your area of research.

Asked by Jeff Musk

Stacie Petter

Professor of Information Systems, Baylor University
Waco, Texas Area
for : Professor of Information Systems, Baylor University
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Thu Nov 29 2018
Right, have to think for a moment on that one. I think that's a hard question to answer because there's so many opportunities to be addressed. And I think the field is just continually changing. The gaps that exist today, some of them didn't exist years ago, and things that we thought were so important and maybe were gaps two years ago aren't relevant today because that technology is outdated. I think, you know, if I think about where we need to go moving forward, you know we're in a time where there's more and more technology becoming more and more pervasive, and that's been true for a long time. That hasn't changed, but it's just the scale at which things are changing is so rapid now. How much the technology is influencing and disrupting industry. It's just continuing to keep charging along, whether it be innovations like Blockchain or artificial intelligence and data analytics. And you know so many other ways that were using technology if to involve and effect individuals, organizations and society. And I think we have to just be careful not to do the same old thing that we've always done and apply it to new technology. So applying old research models to new technology probably isn't what's all that interesting. It's about trying to find where the interesting things about these new phenomena that we have that are different than new technologies that came out ten, fifteen, twenty years ago. What are those research opportunities that exist there? So the key is that this is always, these gaps are always changing. I don't, it's hard that's why it's a hard question to answer because they're always moving as technology is changing and moving.

What do you look for while accepting Ph.D. students or postdocs? What kind of funding do they get and for how many years?

Asked by Jeff Musk

Stacie Petter

Professor of Information Systems, Baylor University
Waco, Texas Area
for : Professor of Information Systems, Baylor University
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Thu Nov 29 2018
Love to see PhD students that are hungry, that they want to learn, they want to absorb new information. They want to get new methods. They want to learn new things. I never expect a student when they walk in the door to know exactly what they want to study. But they should have some excitement about all of the opportunities of what they can study. Ideally, they, you know, have a critical mind set. They don't necessarily have to be the sharpest person at quantitative methods or qualitative methods. These are the things that they'll learn and refine while they're in a program. But they have to have this natural curiosity and a desire to learn and a desire to grow. And so I'm looking kind of for this hungriness, but also a grit with a PhD student, someone who's going to persevere when times are tough. The academic life is wonderful, and I love it, but it's not always the easiest road to go. And so there's going to be times as a PhD student or a new faculty member or a seasoned faculty member when it's hard and so being able to persevere in terms of adversity that's really important. And the second question of what kind of funding do they get and for how many years we typically fund our students for four years. They work as research assistance for the first couple of years. They also have at least two semesters in which they teach, but they continuously have opportunities to work as a research assistant to gain, to have opportunities to be mentored by faculty along the way.

What advice would you give to Ph.D. students, particularly who are searching for a dissertation topic, and who are looking to enter the job market?

Asked by Jeff Musk

Stacie Petter

Professor of Information Systems, Baylor University
Waco, Texas Area
for : Professor of Information Systems, Baylor University
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Thu Nov 29 2018
For students searching for a dissertation topic. I think it's important to find a topic that you're interested in and that you want to study for the next ten years or so. You're going to be working on it for at least a couple of years as you work on your dissertation, and you're going to need to continue to work on that topic for several years as you progress towards tenure. It doesn't have to be the only topic you'll research for the rest of your life, but it needs to be a topic that you'd care about for a long time. I think it shouldn't necessarily be a topic that's a fad or something that's popular. It's if you're a first or second year student, and you're trying to predict what the job market wants in the next three or four years, that's challenging, and you might be choosing a topic that you're not very interested in, but maybe it helps you get a job. But then do you really want the job that you're getting because you weren't interested in the topic in the first place? I think it's also important to pick a topic that's consistent with the faculty expertise at your institution. So if you're interested in security, but there's no one at your university that researches security that's going to be a harder approach to go. It might be that you can get expertise from outside your university, but still, you're not gonna have the richness of the mentoring and the guidance from within your own university. In terms of the second question, in terms for students who are looking to enter the job market, I think the key thing here is to you know, think carefully about what you're looking for in terms of the job, it should be more than just something that pays you money or someplace that will give you a job. You should know the types of universities you're interested in. Are you interested in business schools versus information schools? Are you interested in more of a teaching oriented school, a balanced school or research one type of institution. You need to know yourself and know what things that you value and are interesting to you and are important to you to be fulfilling because you're looking for a job that you're probably gonna be in for quite some time. Hopefully if things go well, so you want to think carefully and reflect on yourself about what types of jobs you're interested in and so rather than applying to every job, you apply to those jobs that you think could be interesting. You have a reason to apply for those jobs. And when you apply for this job, you should be able to answer quite a few types of questions that every university wants to know. Why is our job important to us? What value can you bring to our university? So be smart about how you go into the job market process ? Everyone's trying to find that match. We're trying to find, as a university, that match of a faculty member, that's a good fit for us and what we need in our goals and you're looking for that match in terms of a university that fits your goals that will help you grow and learn in your career.

What do students learn in your bachelor program, and jobs students get afterward? Please also discuss your graduate program(s), if you offer any.

Asked by Jeff Musk

Stacie Petter

Professor of Information Systems, Baylor University
Waco, Texas Area
for : Professor of Information Systems, Baylor University
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Thu Nov 29 2018
I'll focus on graduate programs because I only teach the MBA program. So students in our graduate programs particularly our masters of business administration have an opportunity to learn a wide variety of business oriented courses. Personally, I teach the introductory analytics course that all of our business students have to take that are pursuing an MBA. What I think makes our program pretty interesting is we have a core faculty, so there's about seven classes that all students are required to take. And as a core faculty group, the faculty that teach these required courses, we meet about every other week and we talk about how we can integrate concepts from my class to other other faculty's classes, or how I can make sure how we can all make sure that we're covering all of the content and all of the key information that our students need to be successful on the job market. We have a very intensive process to help prepare students for internships. And for jobs, they tend to be very successful in getting placed. We place the vast majority of our students at graduation or within ninety days. We pay a lot of attention to this, providing them lots of opportunities from networking experience. We have all of our MBA students take a trip to New York City where they have an opportunity to meet with Baylor alums or get an idea to learn what's going on and all different types of industries to get a sense of that real world application of what they get within our program. And our program is fairly small in terms of our face to face MBA and so, it's a very collegial group. People really become part of the Baylor family through there, when they join our MBA program that we get to know our students well. They have a lot of interaction with the faculty, and they become quite a close knit group as they progress through their program. So the Baylor alums network goes a long way. A lot of our students will hire fellow Baylor alums. They might not have ever met them, but they know they came from Baylor, and that means something to them.

How would you encourage students to apply to your programs? Think about faculty, curriculum, career preparation & resources, alumni, and campus life.

Asked by Jeff Musk

Stacie Petter

Professor of Information Systems, Baylor University
Waco, Texas Area
for : Professor of Information Systems, Baylor University
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Thu Nov 29 2018
So, students can apply to our programs by going to our web site at www.baylor.edu. If you search for the Hankamer school of business, you can find information about our MBA program, our MS in information systems program, as well as other programs and Masters of Science and economics as well. We also have undergraduate programs and PhDs in information systems and entrepreneurship and Health resources and health research. I think students really gain a lot from our program because it is a university that's about sixteen thousand students, but it has kind of a small university, small college feel. Our faculty care a lot about our students. Faculty engagement is a very important aspect to who we are as an institution. That's part of our pillars. That's part of the core of who we are is that we are very much focused on the student. But we're also very much focused on research and ensuring our students are prepared to be the best people and business leaders that they could be upon their graduation. Our alumni are incredibly engaged. We frequently have alumni come back and guest teach in classes. They, whether it's a guest lecture or they might actually teach an entire course for us. Students tend to be quite engaged on campus. We have plenty of student organizations. We have all kinds of different student activities. There's event, whether it's a Christmas festival where you can go on pony rides and carriage rides and enjoy sliding down huge inflatable slides. Whether it's attending these Broadway style productions that student organisations put on to entertain the campus. I mean, there's all different ways that students could engage on the campus and and find their connections to other students and also interact with faculty pretty frequently. So it's very much this small college, small town atmosphere with the perks of being, you know, a medium sized university.***

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