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Information Technology and Administrative Management

Dr. Laura Portolese Dias, Assistant Professor

Office: Shaw-Smyser 236
Phone: 509.963.1019

I bring over 15  years of teaching experience at the technical school, community college, bachelor, and graduate levels to the ITAM Department.   My industry experience includes over 10 years of retailing experience in management and visual merchandising.  In addition, I have consulted with companies such as Microsoft on package design and consumer behavior color theory. These experiences allow me to bring "real world" examples into the classroom and bring theories to life in a fun and understandable way.

My terminal degree is a Doctorate of Business Administration in Consumer Behavior, and my thesis revolved around generational buying behaviors--all applicable to my retailing background!  I attended the University of Montana for my undergraduate degree in business (Go Griz!) and have also published in a variety of areas, demonstrating breadth and depth in ITAM subject areas.  I have written textbooks published by McGraw-Hill and Flat World Knowledge. My writing experience has allowed growth in the area of professional writing and research. Textbook publications include:  Introduction to Business, Introduction to Fashion, Human Resource Management, Human Relations, Consumer Behavior, and Leadership and Supervision  I have also presented and published in the area of best practices in online classrooms for ultimate student satisfaction, including social presence in the online classroom, use of different types of feedback, and student success.

In my teaching, I focus on a learner centered model which consists of case studies, discussion, activities, and group work. My classroom is extremely active (both onsite and online). I have been known to bring play-dough to classes to demonstrate challenging Administrative Management concepts.  To find out how play-dough and Administrative Management can relate . . . you will just have to sign up for one of my classes!  I keep the lectures to a minimum because my primary focus is on helping students realize their potential through asking questions and getting you to express your ideas.  Rarely will you need that extra coffee before attending my classes!  Online, I strive to be responsive, caring, and interactive.  In my online classes, you will never feel like a "number;" instead you will feel engaged and mentored as you learn challenging concepts in a fast-paced online classroom. 

I am currently serving as the coordinator for the ITAM Advisory Board.  The Advisory Board is an important part of curriculum development and allows faculty to partner with industry to create cutting edge curriculum that meets the needs of current and future employers.  What does this mean to you, as a student?  ITAM makes sure our courses are created with JOBS in mind--adding content and information that employers need!  In addition, I am the faculty coordinator for FlexIT, our competency-based program, and faculty coordinator for the ITAM Master of Science program. 

Personally speaking, I am a fun-loving person who keeps a positive attitude and can't hide my enthusiasm for teaching.  I love just about anything outdoors such as backpacking, trekking, and kayaking.  I am also a water-lover, scuba diving as often as I can.  My passion is travel!  I have hiked, dove, and swam in places such as Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Honduras, Mexico, France, Denmark, Iceland, Germany, Palau, China, The Netherlands, and Peru.

"It's not about becoming a new person, but becoming the person you were meant to be, and already are, but don't know how to be." 
~Heath Buckmaster

"Live as if you were to die tomorrow.  Learn as if you were to live forever."  
~Mahatma Gandhi


Doctorate Of Business Administration, Consumer Behavior, Argosy University
M.B.A. City University
B.S. Business Administration The University of Montana


ADMG 371 - Administrative Management
ADMG373 Training and Development
ADMG525 Global Business Communication
MS-ITAM Graduate Boot Camp
ADMG641 Innovation and Entrepreneurial Growth



Publications and Presentations

  • Portolese Dias, L.  (2015) Human Resource Management. Flat World Knowledge: Washington, D.C.
  • Krause, J., Portolese Dias, L, & Schedler, C. (2015).  Competency Based Education:  A Framework for measuring quality.  Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, Spring 2015,  Vol, 18: 1.
  • Portolese Dias, L. & Trumpy, R. (2015) The impact of Perceived Instructor Engagement on Student Performance in Online classes.  Marketing Educators Conference (MEA).
  • Lupton, R., Portolese Dias, L, Braunstein, L.  (2015).  Competency Based Programs: Rethinking Educaiton.  Presented at the Marketing Educators Conference (MEA).
  • Claar, C. & Portolese Dias, L. (2014).  Student Acceptance of Learning Management Systems, International Association for Computer Information Systems.
  • Portolese Dias, Laura, Trumpy, Robert & Upperman, Phil, The Art of Leadership and Supervision, Flat World Knowledge.
  • Portolese Dias, Laura (Spring 2014) “Social Presence Cues in the online classroom” Marketing Educators Association Position Paper presentation.
  • Portolese Dias, Laura & Trumpy, Robert (Spring 2014) “Online Instructor Use of Audio Feedback to Increase social presence and student satisfaction” Journal of Educators Online, Special Edition.
  • Braunstein,, Lori, Portolese Dias, Laura & Stehle, Laurie (January 2014) “Advising for the Online Student,” Hawaii International Conference on Education presentation.
  • Braunstein, Lori, Portolese Dias, Laura & Stehle, Laurie (January 2014) “Departmental Role in Online Course Retention,” Hawaii International Conference on Education presentation.
  • Braunstein, Lori & Portolese Dias, Laura (November 2013) “You Jing, I Jing, we all Jing,” Sloan-C Conference Presentation
  • Trumpy, Bob & Portolese Dias, Laura (April 2013), “Instructor Feedback and the Online Student: Measuring Satisfaction,” Marketing Educators Conference Proceedings.
  • Trumpy, Bob & Portolese Dias, Laura (April 2013), “Instructor Feedback and the Online Student: Measuring Satisfaction,” Marketing Educators Conference Presentation.
  • Sirgy, Rahtz and Portolese Dias, Consumer Behavior, publication expected in early 2014 with Flat World Knowledge publishing
  • Portolese Dias, Laura (October 2012) Human Relations textbook published by Flat World Knowledge publishing
  • Portolese Dias, Laura (November 2011) Human Resource Management, textbook published by Flat World Knowledge
  • Portolese Dias, Laura (2010) Business Now and Customer Service, supplemental author and contributor, textbook published by McGraw-Hill
  • Portolese Dias, Laura (2009) Introduction to Business, textbook published by McGraw-Hill
  • Portolese Dias, Laura (2008) Core Concepts in Fashion, textbook published by McGraw-Hill
  • Portolese Dias, Laura.  (2004)  “Baby Boomers:  A Study in their Buying Behaviors,”  MMA Spring Proceedings.  Pp 168
  • Portolese Dias, Laura.  (2003), “Generational Buying Motivations for Fashion, The Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, Volume 7 No 1 pp78-86
  • Portolese Dias, Laura.  (2002) “Different Generations Become Us” Marketing Volume 15 No 183 pp 14