Meet our New Faculty: Tom Estad

Tom Estad is a lecturer in management communication at the Nolan Hotel School.

By: Sarah Magnus-Sharpe
nolan hotel school faculty

Meet Tom Estad, one of the newest faculty members from across the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business. He is a lecturer in management communication and joins the Cornell Peter and Stephanie Nolan School of Hotel Administration. Learn more about Estad’s areas of expertise, research focus, courses he will be teaching, and other interests in this Q&A.

Tom Estad I Lecturer I Nolan Hotel School

What are your research and teaching areas of focus?

Management communication, entrepreneurship and sustainability.

What classes will you be teaching this year?

Management Communication, Management Presentations, Management Writing and Management Communication.

What attracted you to the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business and the Cornell Peter and Stephanie Nolan School of Hotel Administration?

Opportunities outside the classroom, as well as within the classroom to connect with people working hard to better themselves and positively impact the world around them. 

Have you adapted your research or teaching focus in any way because of COVID-19?

Not really. I’m more open to connecting with people virtually if face-to-face is not possible, but otherwise, my goals and objectives as an educator remain the same.

What first sparked your interest in your area of study?

A professor who made me work harder than I ever had to before to do well in her courses (and I took as many courses with her as I could during my undergrad), and at the same time she inspired me to excellence like no one had ever done before. My interest in entrepreneurship and sustainability came later – when I realized how central these two areas were to better futures for the coming generations – and how students today need to be thinking more about those who come after them and what kind of world we want to be welcoming them into.

How did you know you wanted to teach? What do you like best about teaching?

What I love best is being in the classroom with students – and seeing them progress to being what I call “workplace ready,” in terms of their communication skills. I know no greater joy than learning, years later, of the success of my former students in their chosen careers, and the things they are doing to better the world around them.

When did you know you wanted to be a professor?

I knew at the beginning my grad school days.

What are you most looking forward to during your first year at the Nolan Hotel School?

Working directly with the students and connecting with colleagues who have passions similar to mine.

What’s the best book you’ve read this year?

The biography of young Teddy Roosevelt – Mornings on Horseback by David McCullough. It’s fascinating to learn about his family life and how much he did and accomplished before he turned 30, and what a learner he was – and all without the Internet.

What do you do to recharge?

Sit on my deck with a book, bike & hike trails, kayak, toss frisbee.