One of many important milestones in Professor Elaine Winship’s esteemed career in higher education was when she published her first book Business Communication: Through College and Career in 2022. She co-authored the volume with her husband, Thomas Winship, an adjunct professor at St. Thomas Aquinas College and assistant professor of business at Dutchess Community College.
The idea for the project sparked when the two—who together have 50 years of combined experience teaching business communication in the corporate world and academia—could not find a textbook that matched their vision of how business communication should be taught.
“So we jumped at the chance to write one,” Professor Winship says. “We are excited and proud that campuses across the country are adopting our textbook!”
Not only did Professor Winship pen the textbook, but she also served as a subject-matter expert on the content for Stukent’s Business Communication “Simternship.” A digital simulation, it utilizes artificial intelligence to help students apply the skills they learn from the textbook and in the classroom in real-world situations.
“The project has been the focus of my research for the last three years and is extremely meaningful to the field of communication arts as it is the first digital text and simulation bundle of its kind,” she says. “Students apply information they are learning and skills they are practicing within real-world scenarios and immediately see real-world outcomes and results.”
Professor Winship started out at STAC as an adjunct in 2000, and seven years later, she joined the full-time faculty. She has taught numerous courses on such topics as public relations, social media marketing, public speaking, mass media, nonverbal communication, and human resource management, just to name a few.
The most rewarding aspect of her career, she says, is “witnessing students succeed, both during their time at STAC and after they move on to professional internships and careers.”
Many of her students have landed key communications positions, such as: Carly Bonondona, an account executive and digital influencer specialist at Devries Global; Samantha Rosenthal, social media manager at Audacy Inc.; and Kelly Russell, senior manager, entertainment partnerships at Fox Corporation.
“Professor Winship has been an immense help throughout my career and education journey,” says Isabella Szklany, who recently earned her MSc in media and communications at the London School of Economics and Political Science. “She helped me foster my love of research and always encouraged me to go farther and expand into new areas. Without Professor Winship and her commitment to helping her students succeed, I would not be where I am today.”
In addition to teaching, Professor Winship is the advisor of STAC’s Communication Club. In that role, she oversees community service projects that give students the opportunity to develop communications skills while at the same time give back to the community. Some of the organizations that they’ve worked with include the American Red Cross, Autism Speaks, Baking Memories 4 Kids, and St. Jude’s Research Hospital.
She is also committed to the college, participating in several committees focused on faculty development, the honors program, and innovation. Professor Winship has presented at numerous professional conferences, including the NYS Communication Association, Profcon, the national conference for marketing educators, and the National Business Education Association.
Before joining STAC, Professor Winship served as an adjunct instructor of communications at Mercy College in White Plains, NY, and worked in sales training at Verizon Wireless. She earned a master of arts in speech communication at Syracuse University and a master of science in adult education and human resources at Fordham University. She holds a bachelor’s in communication from East Stroudsburg University and more recently earned a certificate in social media marketing at Rutgers.
When asked what skills students need most today, Professor Winship admits her bias of communication skills. “It doesn’t matter how much you know or how passionate you feel, if you can’t articulate and express your ideas and ideals,” she says.
Off hours, Professor Winship can be found gardening, antiquing, and thrifting (she has a growing resale business). She also enjoys attending the theater and traveling. Her favorite destination is Italy, in fact, she is currently learning Italian. It’s nearly impossible to narrow down her favorite destinations in the country, but she does admit that “all roads lead to Rome.”
“The pace of the city, the art and churches (with more art) are jaw-droppingly spectacular,” she says. “The entire city is a museum with its fountains, cobblestone streets, and ancient ruins. On one trip, I visited over 25 churches. One can simply stumble in an open church and gaze upon paintings and sculptures by the most famous artists that ever lived—Michelangelo, Bernini, and Caravaggio. It is like a treasure hunt that never ends!”