Dr. Sushma Mishra is the new director of SCIS’ D.Sc. program. She succeeds Dr. David Wood, who stepped down at the end of the fall semester.
“My number one priority as the director is to highlight and communicate the value that this program provides to people seeking a terminal degree in an applied field such as information systems,” Dr. Mishra said.
“We have a unique program in terms of balancing rigor and relevance,” Dr. Mishra noted. “The rigor of the program comes from well-designed courses in areas of research design, methods and content that are taught by our dedicated faculty. The relevance of the research comes from the applied nature of problems that professionals seek to investigate in this program.”
She added that the answers that develop from the research are transferred from the classroom and into the organizational settings where the students work.
“The program is designed for students to succeed,” Dr, Mishra said. “We have one of the highest rates of graduation in this program. Being able to complete course work and individual research in three years requires lot of dedication from students and faculty members. We are able to accomplish this as a team.”
Dr. Mishra said she often is asked by prospective students why a D.Sc. degree might be a better choice than a Ph.D. degree.
“In my opinion, a D.Sc. program is more applied in nature,” she stated. “Our students are investigating real organizational problems and taking the skills and solutions to their work place to address more relevant issues. This makes our program different as the applicability of knowledge is high and not just a theoretical exercise.”
Dr. Mishra noted that her predecessor set quite the bar as a leader.
“David’s leadership and mentorship encouraged new ideas to be discussed and implemented in the program,” she said. “His dedication to student success has generated goodwill throughout the region.”
AnnMarie LeBlanc is the dean of the School of Communications and Information Systems. She is confident Dr. Mishra will demonstrate the same skills as an administrator that she does as a teacher and scholar.
“I look forward to witnessing Dr. Mishra’s leadership,” Dean LeBlanc said. “Her vision, wisdom and collaborative nature will most certainly enhance the Doctor of Science curricular offerings and add value to the degree.”
Because she is taking over what she called “a fundamentally solid program,” Dr. Mishra doesn’t envision making structural changes. But she does have clear goals in mind.
One is to work with the D.Sc. faculty to explore how the program needs to adjust to ever-changing technology trends. A second is to ensure that relevant current topics are integrated into the curriculum.
Dr. Mishra will continue to teach one D.Sc. course in the fall semester in her new administrative role. She also will teach one Master’s level course in the spring term.
“I have been teaching in this program for few years and have really enjoyed the enthusiasm of all the people involved in making it successful,” she noted.
“I am a firm believer of this program, and I hope all our students are proud of their experiences here and their degrees.”