EPIC Spotlight: Adam Stoverink

Adam Stoverink loved college. Even after he earned his management degree and worked in the corporate world, he wanted to go back to school.

“I did everything I could to stay in college for the rest of my life,” Stoverink says.

He figured it out.

Stoverink’s academic experience continues at the Sam M. Walton College of Business where, over the summer, he assumed the position of assistant professor with the Department of Management.

Just walk into his office, and it’s college everywhere – University of Arkansas, Texas A&M and University of Missouri football memorabilia adorns his shelves. He has personal associations with all three and is particularly pleased to be at Arkansas, the only school that plays both his other teams in football every single year. But it gets better. He was offered to teach leadership classes to upper level undergraduates.

“That’s my favorite course, so I’m excited that it was available,” he says.

His enthusiasm is infectious. He drinks from a mug with Walt Disney characters (he interned as an undergraduate at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando) and already feels a connection with Walton College – Sam Walton, the college’s namesake, and he both earned their bachelor’s degrees at the University of Missouri.

“The Sam M. Walton College of Business is a household name, a reputable name,” Stoverink says. “It brings me great pride to say I work for the Walton College.”

Stoverink grew up in Carthage, Illinois, “surrounded by cornfields” just east of the Mississippi River near the Iowa and Missouri state line. His interest in business began in grade school when he started a lawn mowing business.

After high school graduation, he earned a management degree at the University of Missouri and worked in various marketing and advising jobs before returning to school to earn an M.B.A. at St. Louis University and a Ph.D. with a concentration in Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management from Texas A&M. Stoverink taught at Northern Illinois University before coming to Walton.

Stoverink says before his first trip to Fayetteville, he knew people in the Walton College and was aware of its reputation. When he and his wife visited Northwest Arkansas, they knew this is where they wanted to raise their family.

“What’s great about Fayetteville is that it has the feel of a traditional college town, but it’s also part of a larger metropolitan area,” he says, adding there’s lot of great dining, shopping, history, art and natural beauty. “I could go on.”

Stoverink’s research includes studying adversity in the workplace and how employees overcome challenges collectively. He’s eager to dive into the studies and, at some point, utilize Walton’s Behavioral Business Research Lab, which allows researchers to test current theories in business and economics.

“This behavioral lab is state of the art,” Stoverink says. “It’s the best I’ve ever seen.”

His work has been published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Management, Human Resource Management Review and Human Resource Management Journal.

Stoverink says he’s already enjoying his coworkers, whom he describes as “collegial” and “fun.” “It’s a group of people everyone would like to work with,” he says.

He also says he’s impressed already by his students, who bring interesting ideas to the classroom. “I love helping others learn, and in doing so, I learn a lot myself,” he says.