Rolanda P. Farrington Pollard, Ph.D. describes herself as a scholar-practioner because of her dual roles as a researcher and academician, as well as her private consulting. A mentor once said “Rolanda is at her best when she is following multiple paths”; a prediction which has proved true. The work Dr. Pollard does in any given facet of her career -- be it research, teaching or consulting -- has a consistent theme grounded in her strong desire to help people. She is adept at assessing her audience and creating practical applications of current theory and research, which add value for her clients.
Dr. Pollard's graduate degrees in Business Administration (MBA) and Organizational Psychology (MA and Ph.D.) have given her a unique perspective, resulting in a model which ensures business needs are met (sound strategic business plan), while providing the process infrastructure (accountability and communication strategies) and insight necessary for implementing decisions (team-building and leadership development). Her expertise in team-building and leadership development help ensure that the “team” responsible for implementation has the knowledge and skills to do so, which she believes is the differentiating factor for success. The balance of this theoretical process knowledge, with practical business models, is Rolanda's core competency.
Dr. Pollard is successful, in part because she is a skilled facilitator, a skill she employs in both her consulting and her work at San Jose State University where she teaches undergraduate, Business Communication and graduate, Managerial Communication courses. She has successfully facilitated focus groups and conflict resolution processes, as well as a variety of learning experiences. As a consultant, she has facilitated strategic planning, team-building, and leadership development processes for companies such as The Gap, Sun Microsystems, 3COM, Via Rehabilitation, San Jose State University , and the American Red Cross.
In addition, Dr. Pollard has broad research interests. She has recently conducted assessment research for the City of San Jose , and is currently researching communication skill deficiency in San Jose State University business students, and creating a model for addressing communication diversity in the curriculum. Other research includes the topic areas of women entrepreneurs, organizational culture, organizational change, leadership, start-ups, and succession planning.
Dr. Pollard is certified in the use of the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator, and Choices! a leadership development program for executive women.