From Engineer to Leader
Helen Guillette Vassallo, Professor of Management, at Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Helen Guillette Vassallo is Professor of Management, at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and Associate Director of the School of Industrial Management at WPI. She received a B.S. in Biology, summa cum laude, from Tufts University, an M.S. in Pharmacology from Tufts University School of Medicine, a Ph. D. in Physiology from Clark University, and an M.B.A. from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
She was associated with Astra Pharmaceutical Products for twenty years, completing her Ph.D. work at the company, investigating local anesthetics and chemicals found in the poisonous puffer fish and in the red tides. Following completion of her Ph.D., Dr. Vassallo was an instructor in Anatomy and Physiology at Clark University, while continuing to work with Astra on local anesthetics. Dr. Vassallo contributed in many roles at Astra including Head of Data Evaluation and Systems Analysis, Associate Clinical Director for Local Anesthetics, Director of Clinical Research, and finally, Director of Scientific and Professional Information. She was an expert witness in the field of Local Anesthetics, and gave frequent testimony on the subject, as well as reviewing Local Anesthetic literature.
In 1981, the American Business Women's Association honored her as their National "Woman of the Year." She has appeared on "Good Morning, America" and the "TODAY" show and holds a key to the City of Worcester. She is a Professional Member of the National Speakers' Association and has given hundreds of motivational speeches throughout the United States. She is the co-author of two books, a monograph, and numerous articles. In 2003, she received the Trustees Award for Outstanding Teaching at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
A consummate life-long learner, she continues to enroll in courses from astronomy and geology to Greek mythology and creative writing, as well as being a helicopter student pilot. She is the widow of Dr. Charles Vassallo and the mother of ten children.