Karen Popovich Associate Professor Business Administration & Accounting

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B.B.A., M.B.A., D.B.A. Cleveland State University

Areas of Expertise:

My doctorate is in operations management with a specific focus in strategic enrollment management for higher education. My background includes technology, strategy, management, and data analysis.

Since 2002, I have been honored to teach at Saint Michael’s College and in the Department of Business Administration and Accounting (DBAA) where I have the opportunity to teach large and seminar classes, work one-on-one with students as a mentor and advisor, integrate teaching and research, and contribute to a team of involved educators who help students achieve academic success and personal growth.

Courses I Teach:

During the academic year, I have been teaching Business Strategy. As an upper-level integrative course students further develop skills in identifying, analyzing, and solving business problems through assignments which represent the “real world.” Our course includes readings, discussion, case analysis, experiential learning and presentations. Our course is writing intensive.

During the summer, I enjoy teaching in our Accelerated Summer College Program (www.smcvt.edu/academics/summer). For the last several years, I have been teaching Management and an Excel-based MIS course. In summer 2019, both my classes moved to the online portion of the program. It has been a great opportunity to expand my teaching experience and make online feel personal and like a regular class.

For me, teaching in a business program at a liberal arts institution is about shaping future graduates who bring their heads and hearts to work and recognize the value of being a life-long learner. I learn from my students as much as they learn from me. It’s not just about critical analysis and technical expertise, but developing effective communication skills and formulating intellectual and ethical decisions.

To foster lasting educational experiences, my classes encompass small and large collaborative assignments, case discussions, experiential and simulated assignments, exams, classroom and off-campus visits with community leaders and business owners, academic research and personal reflection. My goal is to have students assess their situation, define a problem or acknowledge a complex problem from a variety of viewpoints, offer recommendations or make decisions and continuously evaluate their efforts to know they are not only doing something right, but they are doing what’s right in a larger context.


Current Research:

WTF? McDonals’s Minion Unhappy Meal. Journal of Critical Incidents, Volume 9. Olsen, Popovich and student Tiffany Thompson Class of 2016. Includes published comprehensive teaching note, 2016

Singer Neil Young boycotts Starbucks over Vermont’s GMO Labeling Law. Journal of Case Studies. Olsen, Popovich and Alexandra Brenock, Class of 2015. Includes published comprehensive teaching note, 2016.

Estonia Air’s Big Buy. Popovich, Landers and Letovsky. 2015. CRJ case published in textbook as Case #3. Strategic Management: An Integrated Approach. Hill, Jones and Schilling. 11th edition.


Scholarly Publications (Double-blind and peer reviewed):


A combined MIS/DS Course uses Lecture Capture Technology to “Level the Playing Field” in Student Numeracy. Popovich. 2012. Information Systems Education Journal, 10:3 pp. 4-17

Improving Student Numeracy Skills Through a Combined MIS/DS Course with Traditional and On-Line Teaching Methods. Popovich. Presented at the 2011 Annual Information Systems Educators Conference ISECON, Wilmington, NC, November 2011. Full article available in Published Proceedings.

Social Marketing and Rock’n’Roll: the Power of the U2 Brand. Khare, Popovich and Bean. Accepted for Publication, Journal of the Academy for International Case Studies, March 2011. Includes published comprehensive instructor’s manual. Prior to publication, presented at Allied Academies International Internet Conference, July 2010.

Estonia Air’s Big Buy. Popovich, Landers and Letovsky. 2011. Case Research Journal, 31:1. Includes published comprehensive instructors manual. Prior to publication, presented at NACRA Annual Conference, Santa Cruz, October 2009.

Understanding Customer Relationship Management (CRM): People, Process, and Technology. Injazz Chen and Karen Popovich. Business Process Management Journal, 2003, Received “Top 200 Downloaded Articles” award from Emerald Publishing, May 2006. More than 250 citations, many in top rated journals, and is often referenced as a seminal definition of CRM.


Academic Papers Under Review (Double-blind and peer reviewed):


A combined MIS/DS Course uses Lecture Capture Technology to “Level the Playing Field” in Student Numeracy. Popovich. ISECON’s published proceeding articles are invited to revise and submit to the Information Systems Education Journal to be double-blind and peer reviewed. Submitted to ISEDJ for review January 2012. Review results expected in March

Specialty Retail Seeks The Zone: Earl’s Cyclery and Fitness. Popovich and Khare. Includes comprehensive teaching note. Submitted to Case Research Journal after revisions from NACRA, December 2011.

Strategic Enrollment Management: Building a desktop decision-support model to award and monitor the incoming first year class. Popovich. Under review at the Journal of Student Financial Aid, National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA), Washington, DC. September 2011.


Academic Conference Papers (Double-blind and peer reviewed):


Small business and specialty retail: The Ride of a Lifetime. The Case of Earl’s Cyclery and Fitness. Popovich and Khare. Presented at the 2011 Annual North American Case Research Association (NACRA) conference, San Antonio, October 2011. Includes comprehensive teaching note.

Reverse Innovation and Emerging Markets: Requirements and Trends. Virginie Khare and Karen Popovich. Paper presented at CEDIMES: Centre d’Etudes sur le Développement International et les Mouvements Economiques et Sociaux, Quebec, November 2010. Proceedings Publication distributed on CD.

Bridging the Generational Gap between “Seniors” and “Baby Boomers”: the Success of Viagra’s Promotional Strategies. Virginie Khare and Karen Popovich. Paper presented (Khare only) at Allied Academies International Internet Conference, Las Vegas, October 2009.

Strategic Enrollment Management in Higher Education: A multivariate and nonlinear optimization methodology to enroll the first year class. Karen Popovich. Paper presented at the 2007 Academy of Management conference, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. August 2007. 36 out of 71 papers accepted.

Customer Loyalty with Clickstream Data by Ronald Coccari and Karen Popovich. Paper presented at the First Annual National Business Economic Society Conference, San Francisco, California. March 2000.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM): Building Success One Customer at a Time by Injazz Chen and Karen Popovich presented at the 2002 Midwest Decision Sciences Institute Annual Meeting, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Enhancing a Firm’s Market Orientation with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Supply Chain Management (SCM) by Rosemary Ramsey, Injazz Chen, and Karen Popovich presented at the 6th Research Conference on Relationship Marketing and CRM, Atlanta, Georgia, 2002.

Awards & Recognition

Class Appreciation Award from the Class of 2016
Appointed Department of Business Administration and Accounting Chairperson, 2015


Life Off Campus:

When not teaching, I’m often skiing down a local mountain, such as Bolton.  In the summer, I enjoy motorcycle trips through windy Vermont and New England roads and visiting my family in Cleveland, Ohio.

Recent News

Karen Popovich of the Saint Michael’s business faculty recently had two case studies published in professional journals that collect and highlight such business cases. Says Karen, “I’m especially excited about our Maple Syrup case which was a collaboration with Kristin Juel of the St. Mike’s French faculty, who owns and operates a sugar farm in Underhill, VT.”  Here are the citations for those cases: “Popovich, K., Pioche Khare, V., and Juel, K. (2020).  Sweet Dreams: Creekside Maple Syrup. Journal of Critical Incidents, Winter 2020, Volume 13 Issue 1, 77-79. Includes published comprehensive teaching note available on Ignited Global. Submission was also presented at 2020 MBAA International Conference, Chicago”; and: “Khare, V. and Popovich, K. (2020). ‘Riding into social media: Earl’s Cyclery and Fitness.’ Journal of Case Studies, Fall 2020. Volume 38, Issue 1, 57- 64. Includes published comprehensive teaching note available on Ignited Global. Submission was also presented at 2019 MBAA International Conference, Chicago.”
(posted February 2021)

Karen Popovich and Robert Letovsky of the Department of Business Administration & Accounting faculty accompanied a team composed of Saint Michael’s College student, on March 1 as the students competed in the 7th annual “Free Enterprise Marathon” (FEM) held at the State University of New York in Plattsburgh. This year’s event, again sponsored by the Charles Koch Foundation, boasted its largest field ever with 13 colleges and universities from New York, Vermont and New Hampshire sending student teams.
(posted June 2019)

Karen Popovich, associate professor of business administration and accounting, on May 9, joined business faculty colleague Alicia Norris and student Benjamin Guilmette at the Vermont CFA Society spring dinner and presentation in Burlington by Michael A. Gayed, CFA, a chief investment strategist from Pension Partners in New York City.
(posted June 2018)

Paul Olsen, assistant professor, and Karen Popovich, associate professor, both in the Business Administration and Accounting Department, recently wrote a business “critical incident case” in collaboration with their former student, Tiffany Thompson ’16, that was accepted for publication in the 2016 edition of the Journal of Critical Incidents. Their case was titled “WTF? McDonald’s minion unhappy meal.”
(posted November 2016)

Kellie Campbell, director of the Accelerated Summer College and assistant director, academic technology, will make a presentation at the 2016 NERCOMP annual conference at the Rhode Island Convention Center, March 21-23, 2016 in Providence, RI. Her co-presenter will be Saint Michael’s Associate Professor of Business Karen Popovich and their topic will be: “Timely innovation: Transforming teaching and learning by blending digital content with faculty mentorship over a six-week 24/7 living and learning summer program: Saint Michael’s Accelerated Summer College.” Jerome Allen of Information Technology also was accepted to present a poster at the conference, on “Student Support and Leadership: Building Better People, Making Connections and Building Community.” Kellie and Erik Lightbody, assistant director – IT Technical Services, presented Nov. 13 in Norwood, MA at the Northeast Regional Computing Program workshop entitled “Better, Faster, Stronger: Training Student Workers for your Service Desk.”
(posted January 2016)