Martha Hardesty

Martha Hardesty


Associate Professor

Expertise: Social impacts of business and
the significance of work in personal growth

MAOL courses taught:
"I teach our foundations course, 'Ethics & Leadership', as well as 'Strategic Communication' and 'Professional and Organizational Ethics.' I also work with students on their action project and theses."

"I hold a Ph.D. in intercultural communication from the University of Minnesota, based in speech communications with lots of work in anthropology, linguistics and international education. I also have an MA and BA in history and a BA in English with a minor in French."

Humble beginnings:
"I grew up in western Kentucky on a farm outside Whitesville – you're not going to find many people who have heard of it."

Why St. Kate's suits her:
"The program is very interdisciplinary. I come from an eclectic mix of liberal arts and social sciences. MAOL is built on multiple perspectives. And also St. Kate's lets you put your emphasis on being a good teacher."

The MAOL's relevance to leaders today:
"It's relevant to anyone who functions in a leadership role in an organization, whether it's Catholic Charities, American Composers Forum or General Mills. Students learn all the foundations for leadership including marketing, strategic management and accounting, and they also gain the key dimension of self- reflection."

Why self-reflection matters:
"It helps you understand who you are and how that's impacting the decisions you make. You learn where you need to stretch and where you need to rely on other people. Core courses such as ‘Ethics and Leadership' help students analyze their own ethical, effective and enduring leadership capacities. Other courses approach leadership in less structured ways."

On the first MAOL "embedded" study course in Japan:
"Yes, it's the first overseas course designed specifically for the MAOL. The course compares Japanese and American leadership cultures. Students will have a real, hands-on experience that is deepened through on-campus coursework. It will be a template for future embedded overseas courses with a core of American culture, intercultural communication and comparative leadership."

Personal accomplishments:
"I am making my niece's wedding dress, using three or four different patterns. It is silk taffeta in the mermaid, or trumpet, shape – the train is more of a fin than a train – and it has a sweetheart neckline. My niece likes the simple approach."