Whitman Voices


Featured Faculty: Professor of Accounting Practice Joyce Zadzilka

Featured Faculty: Professor of Accounting Practice Joyce Zadzilka

JoyceZadzilka_webJoyce Zadzilka wanted to be a math teacher, but she was practical and teaching jobs were scarce. She pursued an accounting degree instead. Being practical paid off, because the experience Zadzilka amassed while working in accounting and finance helped her obtain the teaching position she desired in the first place.

She spent her first three years out of college working in accounting at KPMG in Buffalo, which was followed by graduate school. She earned an MBA with a concentration in finance from Whitman, leading to her employment in Carrier Corporation’s Leadership Associate Program. She traveled to various Carrier locations around the world before settling in at the Carlyle Compressor Division as a financial analyst.

“I enjoyed the work I was doing at Carrier, but I had long been drawn to teaching.” That draw and a classified advertisement in the Post Standard for an accounting professor at Morrisville State College set Zadzilka on the path to her professional calling.

She applied for and accepted the position at Morrisville two weeks before the start of the spring semester. For five years, she divvied her time between teaching and analyzing financials part-time at Carrier.

Today, she is happy to be a professor of practice at Whitman. “Without question, it is just as fulfilling as I had imagined it would be,” she shares. “I feel so privileged that my students let me into their lives. My connections with them enrich my life immensely.”

One of Zadzilka’s favorite phrases is “Bloom where you’re planted.” She feels it speaks to giving fully of yourself so you may flourish in any situation. “We should always strive to grow personally and in ways that will help others. For me, it is an honor to be charged with helping to shape the potential of my students into marketable promise.”

Zadzilka believes the mix of professors of practice like herself and tenure track professors is key to helping students develop the skills and knowledge needed for the real world. “It is vital for students to be exposed to professors who are steeped in research and those who are experienced in the practice of the skills we are teaching them.” She regards the roles as complementary. “Both types of faculty members together foster the student’s overall academic development. They may have different approaches, interests and objectives, but when the end goal of a well-prepared future business leader is embraced by both, the student is the obvious winner.”