November 09, 2009
“Integrating different values, cultures and perspectives
into an academic experience amplifies personal growth,” says
William Ryall Carroll, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in St. John’s
University’s The Peter J.
Tobin College of Business. For the first time since joining the
University in 2008, Dr. Carroll is taking his marketing expertise
overseas to teach two courses at St. John’s Rome, Italy
Like an ever-growing number of courses at St. John’s, both courses
have an Academic
Service-Learning component, which allows his students to
practice and research classroom theories through community service
activities in and around Rome that benefit the underserved, and to
better understand course objectives.
“Academic Service-Learning enhances student learning and gives them
the opportunity to put what they’ve learned into practice in order
to serve those in need. Offering them the chance to do it on an
international scale gives them an invaluable experience and teaches
them how to effectively make an impact on the lives of the poor in
today’s global society,” he explains.
Dr. Carroll points out that teaching on an international campus
gives professors the opportunity to share unique experiences with
their students. “Because I’m in Rome, I can have espresso with my
students at the Spanish Steps while we compare the differences in
consumer behavior between people in Europe and the United
It was while working as a Retail Operations Manager for Ralston
Purina and NOP Worldwide Marketing Research Company that Dr.
Carroll’s interest in marketing research and analysis began to
grow. Now, after years of working on projects ranging from the
tracking of consumer shopping habits to the re-strategizing of
marketing plans, he brings a wealth of marketing experience to his
teaching on the Rome campus.
“Working in the field enables me to provide my students with
real-life examples that I actually experienced. Instead of relying
on second-hand or textbook scenarios, I am able to bring my own
perspective on the industry and business practices.”
His former supervisor at Ralston Purina introduced Dr. Carroll to
the idea of becoming a marketing professor. Noticing the
similarities between Dr. Carroll and a friend who was a professor
at Wake Forest University, his supervisor urged him to consider a
career in teaching.
“My supervisor was insistent that I pursue teaching. After meeting
his friend and hearing what being a college professor entailed, I
grew excited by the idea of having new intellectual challenges,
pursuing my own research interests and working closely with
students. Teaching at St. John’s has been especially edifying as
I’ve seen first-hand how the University’s Vincentian
mission impacts the entire community and spreads outward.
“It’s now four years since I listened to that college professor and
I am still very thankful for his advice.”