The Business & Management Department welcomed Kim Dillaby as their newest visiting professor this semester. She teaches Fundamentals of Business and Business Communications. She also taught Organizational Behavior over the summer.
Before coming to teach at Wheaton, Dillaby had a long and storied career in education. She studied Women/Feminist Studies at the University of New Hampshire in 1997 and has a Masters Degree in Special Education from Simmons University.
Dillaby has taught at the university level for many years, including at Newcastle University for five years and at the London School of Commerce for three years. She taught various business-related courses and described her time in London as “a wonderful experience.”
She defined her teaching style as teaching “primarily through my expertise but also through my heart.” Dillaby is deeply committed to her students’ success and helping them meet their educational needs.
Not only is she a professor, but Dillaby is also pursuing a PhD. She enrolled in Newcastle University’s Business PhD program in 2016 to conduct international research and lived in London for five years with her children.
Dillaby created her own proposal and her own PhD narrative. Her research continues her passion for Women’s Studies whilst developing a PhD based on DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) by interviewing skilled migrant women about their work-life balance trajectories and negotiations.
The project directly related to her experience living in London, and she described herself as “a skilled migrant woman negotiating work-life balance in another country.”
Dillaby is in the final year of her PhD and will submit it in May. She describes being so close to the finish line as a “proud moment because I really took on the timeline that I needed to take on.”
Her other areas of expertise outside of her PhD research include consulting and DEI teaching experience in the areas of literacy education and business organizational behavior. She is also an expert on work-life balance and career development coaching.
Once back in the States, she was intrigued to hear that Wheaton was hiring. Dillaby says she has always wanted to teach at Wheaton since teaching at the university level and that “it is a dream come true that I was hired as a visiting professor.”
What brought her to Wheaton, in particular, was the independence the business department provides. Dillaby says, “I have the freedom at Wheaton College to develop my own courses and to teach an array of different courses.”
Wheaton’s historical reputation for high-quality liberal arts education was another factor that drew Dillaby to Wheaton. She reflects fondly on her undergraduate education at UNH and the opportunities her liberal arts education provided her. Dillaby says she “wants to inspire students to reach their goals on their own timeline,” much like she did.
As for how Wheaton’s business department stands out from the others she has worked in, Dillaby says there “is an individual style to teaching in this business department, where I make connections with each student, and I love that opportunity. The class sizes are reasonable, so I’m able to commit to learning about the needs of each student.”
She also credits her students for possessing an innate interest in education already. Dillaby also appreciates that she is able to connect with students on a one-to-one level, another opportunity that Wheaton has provided.
Dillaby shared some advice for the senior class this year based on her experiences. If she could give any guidance to graduates, she would “encourage them to embrace life just as much as they embrace their career.”
She warns students of getting caught up in their careers and burning out. “I encourage them (graduates) to set healthy limits and boundaries at work so that they can also commit to their families and to themselves,” Dillaby says.
Dillaby also encourages students to network as much as possible during their time at Wheaton. She says one of the benefits of Wheaton “is that you have a wealth of network at your fingertips as students.”
When Dillaby is not teaching, she is a devoted mother of two daughters. She also runs a consulting company called KM Leadership Consulting which she established in 2023, another lifelong goal of hers.
KM Leadership Consulting is “primarily about educating and creating workshops for literacy education, which is one of my passions,” Dillaby says. Within her consulting company, Dillaby also coaches independent and career-driven women on “how to become leaders in their own pursuit, in their own life.”