This year, the UD Alfred Lerner College welcomed several new faculty members into its community. Beth Schinoff is an assistant professor of management; she spoke with Lerner about her research focus and why she chose to join the University of Delaware.
Lerner: What is your professional and academic background?
Schinoff: I received my undergraduate in communication studies from Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. I did my MBA at University of Illinois at Chicago and my Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior at Arizona State University. Prior to joining academia, I was an internal communications consultant at Allstate Insurance’s corporate headquarters and worked for a synagogue in Evanston, Ill.
Lerner: What is your research focus?
Schinoff: I research how people connect with work-related others in situations that often inhibit connection, such as how people form friendships with their coworkers when working remotely. I also study how people define themselves at work, particularly vis-a-vis others in their organization.
Lerner: What inspired you to work in your field/research/subject area?
Schinoff: I left the for-profit working world to try to find a deeper sense of purpose and meaning in my work. My time at a not-for-profit was perplexing because I never found this sense of purpose or meaning. I found myself longing for the connections that I had forged in my for-profit job. It was this gap in my expectations and experience that prompted me to pursue a Ph.D. I also fell in love with research while RAing for a professor in my MBA.
Lerner: What is it about UD that made you want to work/teach/research here?
Schinoff: I found UD a refreshingly humanizing work organization. I love the immense amount of opportunities that UD provides its students to find themselves. I also really appreciate that there are many paths to success for faculty here!
Lerner: What course are you most excited to teach at Lerner?
Schinoff: Organizational Behavior – I always find it a fun challenge to convince students that it’s the “soft skills” that ultimately matter in the working world.
Lerner: What is something unique about you that may surprise your peers/students? (hobby, talent, experience etc.)
Schinoff: I can juggle! (I was in my elementary school’s juggling club!)