Grove City College professor of Marketing Dr. Scott Powell is the 2017 Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK) Professor of the Year.
Powell received the award Thursday at a ceremony in Harbison Chapel on campus.
“I was truly surprised, honored, and humbled to be selected because there are so many bright and talented faculty at Grove City College,” Powell said. “I am grateful for this award because it suggests what I am passionate about – teaching marketing from a Christian perspective – is making an impact.”
“Dr. Powell is a wonderful teacher, a humble Christian servant, and a great friend and mentor for our students,” Dr. Andrew Markley, chair of the Department of Business, said.
College President Paul J. McNulty ’80 said that Powell is a popular and impactful teacher. “The selection committee was impressed with his incredibly high score in student evaluations,” McNulty noted.
Powell has been with Grove City College since 1991 when he “walked in “cold” to the Executive Suite in Crawford Hall looking for a part-time teaching position.” Powell was a business management major at Anderson (Indiana) University and earned his MBA from the University of Pittsburgh in 1990 while he worked at a retail furniture company that he was considering purchasing. He had taught a class in sales at a local community college and when they didn’t have an opening the next semester, someone suggested he look into Grove City College.
That cold call resulted in a job offer, but not as a full-time faculty member. Instead, Powell agreed to take a job as assistant dean of the College and business instructor. “I thought I was going to be a furniture mogul,” he said Thursday as he accepted the award. “I remember leaving the building, shaking my head, thinking, ‘God, what in the world are you up to? What just happened in there? I don’t know anything about academia.’”
Powell also served as assistant to the president of the College from 1991 to 2005, working on special projects and serving as admissions marketing coordinator. In 2005 he joined the faculty full-time.
“When I was younger, I would never have guessed that I would become a professor,” he said. “In high school, I enjoyed drawing and drafting and I wanted to be an architect. Later, I started college as a graphic design major, then switched to computer science, and ended up graduating with a degree in business management. From furniture retailing to college administration to marketing professor … I have taken an unusual path.”
“Looking back, I can clearly see how each of my disparate life experiences helped prepare me for where I am now,” Powell said. “My path was not a random one, but one that was divinely guided … without me even realizing it. As Proverbs 16:9 says, ‘A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.’”
Powell teaches Principles of Marketing, Marketing Research, Retail Management, Consumer Behavior and Advertising. He serves as an academic advisor to 35 marketing majors, an advisor to the Grove City College chapter of the American Marketing Association, a consultant to admissions office, a Community Living Standards evaluator for AEX housing group and Alpha Sigma fraternity and a judge for the Freshman Talent Show. He and his wife have two daughters and live in the Grove City area.
Powell is a member of the American Marketing Association, ODK National Leadership Honor Society, and Delta Mu Delta National Business Honor Society. He has presented his research across the country. His areas of expertise include emotional intelligence, individualism, motivational considerations, and product downsizing.
The Professor of the Year was initiated in 2000 by the Omicron Delta Kapa campus leadership honorary and is sponsored by the Grove City College Alumni Association. Past winners include: Dr. Charles Kriley (2016), Dr. H. Collin Messer (2015), Dr. Constance Nichols (2014), Dr. Paul Kemeny (2013), Dr. Erik Anderson (2012), Dr. Mark Graham (2011), Betsy (Boak ’77) Craig (2010), Dr. Eric Potter (2009), Dr. David Jones (2008), Larry Fleming (2007), Dr. Ralph Carlson ’62 (2006), Dr. James Bibza (2005), Richard Leo (2004), Dr. James Dixon (2003), Dr. Timothy Homan (2002), Dr. John Sparks ’66 (2001) and Dr. Gary Smith ’72 (2000).