Join the Chatham community in welcoming new Assistant Professor of Business Management, John Stakeley, D.Sc to the School of Arts, Science & Business. Dr. Stakeley received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering Technology from Point Park University, followed by his M.S. in Leadership & Business Ethics from Duquesne University, and his Doctor of Science in Information Systems & Communication from Robert Morris University. Dr. Stakeley has a distinguished military record. He served in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard from 1999-2006 in various roles as Battalion Logistics Officer, Company Commander, Company Executive Officer and Platoon Leader and was also deployed overseas and served in Iraq during this time. He now serves in the Pennsylvania Army Reserve with his daughter and will soon be joined by his son.
Dr. Stakeley began his career working at Tech Startups, getting the opportunity to work in many different segments including sales, management, and operations. His journey to explore higher education began when the University of Pittsburgh reached out offering a part-time teaching position. In 2015, Robert Morris University offered him a full-time position as Lecturer of Management. “At this point I felt that teaching was my calling. I realized I had been teaching my whole career in Tech through training employees and working closely with clients.” So after 25 years, Dr. Stakeley retired from the Tech Industry to work at Robert Morris University, until being offered a position at Chatham University in 2020, where he had already been teaching part-time as Assistant Professor of Business Management.
Dr. Stakeley emphasizes living in the present to find purpose and meaning in life. He infuses this mentality to the classroom where he teaches courses in Management, Leadership, and Entrepreneurship. Dr. Stakeley appreciates that Chatham’s small class sizes allow him to engage more with students, a significant competitive advantage compared to larger schools. Dr. Stakeley works hard to create a safe setting in class with an emphasis on mindfulness to build up confidence step by step, a very important quality for leadership. He emphasizes, “leaders have to be mindful and focus inward. I build a trusting environment with no dumb questions — leaders ask questions all the time. If you don’t know something, ask. That’s how you learn.”
“I build a trusting environment with no dumb questions — leaders ask question all the time. If you don’t know something, ask. That’s how you learn.”
When asked what advice he has for students feeling nervous about participating in class, Dr. Stakeley offered a very inspiring message, “In a classroom setting, if you’re uncomfortable it might be because you do not speak up often. It’s new to you and it is uncomfortable but if you’re a leader you have to talk to people, you have to engage. In that case I recommend being courageous for 5 seconds at a time. People who are courageous and brave still have fear, your brain manages to deal with the stress.”
“Be courageous for 5 seconds at a time.”
His military experience gives him a unique perspective to bring to the classroom. The Army Values of doing the right thing, having integrity, and acting with courage inspire Dr. Stakeley in every part of his life. “Everyone has to be a leader at every level,” he comments, “People need to be able to step up and make decisions under stressful situations, and these decisions are based on comradery because you care about your team, these are your friends.”
In his free time, Dr. Stakeley likes to engage in positive activities and hobbies. He is very active in his Church and enjoys serving and helping others, and giving back to the community. Every tax season Dr. Stakeley and his daughter volunteer to do taxes for veterans and military folks through the VITA program. Recently, Dr. Stakeley and his friend finished building a tiny home for a homeless veteran in West Virginia. He also enjoys fitness, collecting and playing his guitars, and practicing martial arts.
Dr. Stakeley is starting his second semester teaching at Chatham full time and wakes up excited every day to help his students solve problems and grow into critical thinkers. Dr. Stakeley ended his interview with some words of wisdom for his students, “Be mindful and stay in the present. Make the best decisions possible and recognize some things are out of your control. Try to find a life that has purpose in it and make a difference by helping others. Serve others and inspire so everyone does well. Everything ends up working out if you do that.”
“Be mindful and stay in the present. Make the best decisions possible and recognize some things are out of your control.”