Building better businesses with better people

March 10, 2012

By Tim Belter ’13

Being a good manager and leader involves working directly with employees and improving their work and productivity. Senior business management and administration student Vannesia Darby will spend a week studying exactly how to do that through her participation in the Organizational Science Summer Institute.

“One thing that Bradley has taught me is that organizations don’t change. People change,” Darby said. “Organizational science bridges the gap between psychology and business.”

Darby will be a fellow at the Organizational Science Summer Institute at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. In the program, she will prepare for graduate school, network with students and professionals and conduct her own research project on motivation and leadership development.

“The institute will give me a first glimpse at research and the amount of work it takes to be a grad student,” she said. “It will definitely prepare me for the graduate record exams, and having a successful score on that is important to me.”

She learned about organizational science and the OSSI from a Leadership and Behavioral Studies course with Dr. Jennifer Robin, author of the recent book “The Great Workplace: How to Build It, How to Keep it, and Why it Matters.”

“Vannesia has the rare combination of academic curiosity and leadership experiences that make her a great candidate for graduate study,” said Dr. Robin. “This is a great opportunity to learn what it really means to be a graduate student and to meet others in the same boat.”

Darby is currently the Theta Epsilon Chapter president for Delta Sigma Theta sorority, budget chairperson for the National Pan-Hellenic Council and a member of the Student Activities Budget Review Committee.

“A lot of things Bradley teaches you are not textbook examples, they’re real-life examples,” she said. “Having to step up and take on that responsibility was a learning experience and helped me grow.”

After graduation in December, Darby intends to go to graduate school for an MBA or a degree in organizational leadership or organizational science. She wants to use her business knowledge to open a gospel music corporation and production studio.

Music has long been a part of Darby’s life. She’s played piano for the Bradley University Jazz Lab Band and for the Gospel Choir.

Organizational science can give her the talents and skills to make that dream into reality, she said. “It’s a science and a practice. It’s about using the individual to build the organization. It’s creating the best organization from the inside out.”

For more information about the OSSI, visit