New faculty introduction: James Stapp

Stapp is a lecturer of marketing and management communication at Dyson

By: Stephen D'Angelo
James Stapp

Meet the newest faculty from across the SC Johnson College of Business and learn about their academic focus, teaching, and interests.

James Stapp | Lecturer | Dyson

What is your research/teaching focus? 

My teaching area is Management Communication. I focus on preparing students for the business world of today and tomorrow by coaching them so they may improve their oral and written communication skills. I also research the area of persuasive communication and the role of new technology like artificial intelligence in communication in the workplace. I am passionate about helping current and future business leaders find their voice and master the communication skills necessary to overcome any challenge and meet any objective.

What attracted you to Dyson?

Dyson’s mission to use business for the greater good attracted me the most.  One of my main motivators in life is to leave the world a little better than I found it. Working to achieve Dyson’s mission will allow me to make a lasting impact. 

What are you most looking forward to during your first year at Dyson?

I am most excited about joining such an innovative and immersive learning community. As a teacher first and foremost, I also cannot wait to work with Dyson students. 

What first sparked your interest in your area of study?

As an undergraduate and graduate student, I had an affinity and interest in studying rhetoric and communication. I particularly became interested in researching the area of persuasive communication after my diverse professional experience outside of academia showed me the ubiquitous nature of persuasion—no matter what you do for a living, we all engage in persuasion almost any time humans communicate with each other.

When did you know you wanted to be a professor?

I knew I wanted to be a professor after serving as a teaching assistant in graduate school. Though I ultimately took a “break” from academia and worked in the private sector, this time away from the classroom only solidified that was where I belonged.   

What do you see as some of the biggest challenges or areas of change in your research field moving into the future? Why is this exciting?

As the COVID crisis has taught all of us, effective communication is more important than ever. In addition, virtual communication is here to stay in the business world. As everyone continues to navigate hybrid work environments, the ability to connect on a human level has never been more important. While technology like artificial intelligence will continue to produce new tools that change the way we communicate in the future, the importance of soft skills will always remain. As we enter this transitional phase in the way people interact in the workplace, it is exciting because it opens the door to new possibilities in the study and practice of communication. 

What do you like best about teaching?

I love connecting with students on an individual basis. There is no greater feeling than coaching a student and unlocking the potential that they already had within themselves. When a student has that “lightbulb moment” and realizes they can do something they previously thought they were incapable, it makes it all worth it.