Business School Dean Rev. Dr. Debora Jackson Named to Prestigious Professorship
The Rev. Dr. Debora Jackson, dean of The Business School, was recently designated the Harry G. Stoddard Endowed Professor in Management, named for the longtime president of Wyman-Gordon, a Worcester manufacturing company with historical ties to WPI, and a recognized community leader and talented industrialist whose 60-year influence left a legacy of accomplishment in the greater Worcester community.
“Because of who Harry G. Stoddard was to the Worcester community and WPI, I am incredibly proud to hold the professorship which bears his name, and I am committed to carrying this honor with distinction as I serve my beloved alma mater,” says Jackson.
In addition to this endowed professorship, the Stoddard Charitable Trust has supported the creation, renovation, and/or endowment of several WPI buildings and initiatives, including Stoddard Complex, Stoddard Laboratories, Higgins Laboratories, the Worcester Community Project Center, the Laurie A. Leshin Global Project Center, and, most recently, Unity Hall.
Robert W. Stoddard, Harry’s son, served as a trustee of WPI from 1941 to 1974 and received an honorary degree in 1952. Stoddard Laboratories is named in his honor. In addition to the Harry G. Stoddard Endowed Professorship in Management, Stoddard Residence Center on WPI’s campus, now Stoddard Complex, is named in honor of Harry G. Stoddard.
Before joining the faculty, Jackson, who holds master’s degrees from WPI in both manufacturing and management, held C-suite and other leadership roles in technology companies, and managed the growth of large and small nonprofits. An ordained member of the clergy, she holds a Doctor of Ministry in leadership from Andover Newton Theological School, and in 2017 was named the inaugural Director of Lifelong Learning at Yale Divinity School.
Jackson spent 20 years in software engineering after earning her bachelor’s degree in information systems and operations management at Indiana University Bloomington. Her industry background includes serving as both the chief operating officer and chief information officer at Smart Energy; she held director positions at Avicon Group, Sherpa Corp., and Accusoft Corp.
Jackson, who served several years on the WPI Board of Trustees, authored two books on effective leadership: Spiritual Practices for Effective Leadership: 7 Rs of Sanctuary for Pastors (2015), which received the Illumination Book Silver Medal Award; and Meant for Good: Fundamentals of Womanist Leadership (2019).