Assistant Dean for Graduate Programs & Special Projects and Associate Professor of Marketing
If you had asked Dr. Chuck Viosca several years ago if he would be teaching sales, he would have probably laughed. He worked for a time as an outside sales representative for a small company in Metairie. “I was awful. I made many, many mistakes that new salespeople make. But, we can learn from our failures, so I have a great wealth of experiences to draw from now!”
After getting his Ph.D. in Marketing from the University of Alabama, Dr. Viosca was offered a job in the College of Business at Nicholls and accepted it with great excitement. “It was my experience as a student at Nicholls that made we want to become a professor,” he says. His desires to pursue his Ph.D. and become a professor stem from the close faculty-student contact and the hands-on learning style in the courses the he took in the College of Business at Nicholls. “I enjoyed my learning experience here at Nicholls and I am delighted that I can give back to our current students in the same ways.”
Dr. Viosca believes in student engagement as fuel for the learning process. Dr. Viosca continually improves his courses offered in the College of Business, but the essence of how students learn in his class stays the same: learn by doing. The exams in his sales courses, for example, are role plays of sales calls. “It is the way companies are training their salespeople,” he says. “They meet with sales managers or for sales meetings and do role plays to get better at what they do. I do the same with the students in my class.”
In fact, students get a copy of their role play performance to view and critique themselves, along with detailed feedback from Dr. Viosca on every aspect of their performance. “The grading process is very tedious and time-consuming,” he says, “But, that is the only way to provide valuable feedback to the students on his or her performance.” Dr. Viosca believes that his feedback on the students’ role plays is the key to helping them improve their behavioral skills. This is reflected in the actions of many companies who come to the College of Business looking to hire sales talent.
The skills students learn in Dr. Viosca’s sales courses are not exclusive to salespeople, and are very transferrable to a lot of contexts. He teaches many skills that are needed by managers, entrepreneurs, and other business professionals. He explains, “Managers need to sell ideas to employees, entrepreneurs need to sell to investors, and who does not need to negotiate for a budget increase or their salary at some point.”
Dr. Viosca is also very involved with students outside of the classroom. He is responsible for bringing back Pi Sigma Epsilon, a national, co-ed Marketing and Sales Fraternity to Nicholls’ Campus. “It just fits with what we are trying to do here professionally with these students,” he says. In addition to being the Pi Sigma Epsilon faculty advisor, he also serves as the advisor for Kappa Sigma. He has been the presenter of the Free Enterprise Week etiquette dinner for the past few years. Dr. Viosca also recruits for Nicholls at Scholars’ Nights, Multicultural Days and he may often be seen giving impromptu tours of the College of Business to prospective students as well.
Dr. Viosca also hosts the Bayou Sales Challenge, an annual intercollegiate sales role play competition that provides students from Nicholls, as well as other universities in the state, with real-world sales experience. The competition is judged by business professionals from several companies who also look forward to the annual event. Dr. Viosca also accompanies the Nicholls Sales Team to the National Collegiate Sales Competition each spring as both mentor and coach.
Dr. Viosca’s service to the university does not end with student organizations. He led a student service learning project, the results of which are mainly responsible for the move to the two-term summer session Nicholls currently uses. He says, “The results of the study were clear. The two-term summer would be of benefit to both the students and the University.” Since he started working for Nicholls, Dr. Viosca’s grant writing and other activities are partly responsible for bringing in over $733,000 of technology and other support to the College of Business.
Dr. Viosca likes to give back some of his time to the community as well. He is on the Parish council for St. Thomas Aquinas and he is on the board of directors for the Bayou Country Children’s Museum.
B.S., Loyola University; M.B.A., Nicholls State University; Ph.D., University of Alabama
102D White Hall