Meet Bitty Balducci
Assistant Professor of Marketing
By Sue McMurray
Described by her colleagues as self-motivated, highly energetic, and incredibly focused, Bitty Balducci personifies the kind of accomplished faculty member the Carson College is proud to have in its ranks. During her doctoral work at the University of Missouri, she earned nine academic honors in just the last two years, several of them recognizing her research efforts to enhance understanding of how sales interactions unfold and influence performance.
Before pursuing her doctoral degree, Balducci worked in the nonprofit sector, growing philanthropic support at the University of Montana Foundation and the American Cancer Society. Her ability to build strong relationships and inspire others are hallmarks of her success and will benefit her teaching repertoire as a new faculty member in the Department of Marketing and International Business.
“The culture of the Carson College marketing department strongly influenced my interest in joining WSU,” she says. “The department shares many values I hold in high regard, such as producing high quality research, nurturing Ph.D. students, and striving for teaching excellence.”
Plans in the works to launch a sales certificate program at WSU Pullman
Balducci will instruct undergraduate sales courses and plans to work with Kevin Chase, a new faculty member in the marketing and international business department, to launch a professional sales certificate at the Pullman campus. The new Pullman Professional Sales Certificate, in addition to the existing Professional Sales Certificate program at WSU Vancouver, expands the college’s offerings to students preparing for professional selling careers.
Through collaboration with local businesses and experience-based learning, the program helps students from a variety of disciplines develop the skills needed for any type of persuasive communication.
“Within the next five years, I would like the sales certificate at the Pullman campus to be well-established and draw in students from all across campus,” she says. “The Pullman certificate will enable us to form valuable partnerships with collaborating firms in the state and region and will serve as an additional revenue stream for the department.”
Serving practitioners through research
Balducci will also continue to conduct research and work with Carson Ph.D. students on their research projects. She says the most rewarding thing about working in the marketing field is knowing you have the ability to impact the way firms do business and prepare future generations of marketing professionals.
Balducci explores the science behind sales interactions by researching unstructured data—a collective term for any data that is not actively managed in a database environment. This could include text or acoustic files, or computer programs that understand spoken language—also known as “natural language processing.” With this knowledge, she provides practitioners with insights that will enable more effective sales training, management, and evaluation.
“I know I speak for the entire department when I say we are thrilled to welcome Bitty this fall,” says Jeff Joireman, chair of the Department of Marketing and International Business. “Bitty’s expertise in sales complements our expertise in other areas of marketing, and her enthusiasm and personality fit our department perfectly and will make it even better.”