“Are there mountains around Utica? I am looking for mountains…”

It was with those words that Dr. Lisa Berardino, a New Orleans native with a doctoral degree from Virginia Tech, contemplated the job offer in what would soon become her home for nearly two decades.

The job offer at SUNY Polytechnic Institute came following a national job search, and for the 18 years that have followed, Dr. Berardino has enjoyed the beautiful foothills and vistas of the Adirondacks ever since.

And although a big influence on her move to the Utica area may have been the luscious scenery, Dr. Berardino, Associate Professor of Human Resource Management, has long found herself enjoying her work and the positive influence she shares with her students. It’s that connection with her students, especially the students who remain in touch after graduation, that help continue to drive her in what she does.

“I teach the senior capstone course, and every semester it is exciting to be an important part of students’ lives, especially those transitioning from our college to the ‘real world’ that awaits them after graduation.”

Growing up, Dr. Berardino says her father always loved to study business management and strategy, leaving an impression and valuable lessons that she continues to put to work every day.

“He believed that planning makes things happen that otherwise would not. My father taught me to trust the organization’s chain of command.”

That influence, she says, was instrumental in her education as well as the inspiration for her career as she now plays an important role in the Business Management Program at SUNY Poly, teaching others about Human Resource Management.

“For students seeking advice in possibly pursuing a career in business, I encourage talking to professors, business professionals, and doing internships to observe organizations. For students in human resource management, I recommend that they join the Mohawk Valley Society of Human Resources. After students complete a B.S. in Business, I highly recommend our MBA in Technology Management!”

Those careers could take them into any number of fields, each with an ever-changing, ever-increasing speed of developments and technological advancements, something she doesn’t see slowing down any time soon. In fact, Dr. Berardino predicts the already rapid-pace of changing technology to increase drastically in the next decade.

“When I started teaching, we did not have iPhones or access to Google. As a result moving forward, I believe work will be more automated and the labor force will change.”

And while she is certainly busy in the classroom, that has not stopped her in any way from continuing her pursuits of passion and service, studying philosophy, serving on the Board of Directors for The Paul Brunton Philosophic Foundation, and practicing painting, while also making time for regular visits to the numerous museums in the Mohawk Valley – Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute being her favorite. It may seem like quite a lot to fit into an already busy schedule, but it’s achieving that work-life balance that Dr. Berardino says is key to fulfillment.

“I encourage students to continue to exercise, stay fit, read, but most importantly, to invest time in taking care of themselves,” she says, adding to never stop learning well after students leave the halls of academia. “In my life, I have had very brilliant teachers, professors, and most importantly, mentors. I try to pass along to my students this light of learning every day.”