Saturday, June 15th, 2024
Who Makes Millersville Special

Dr. Lexi Hutto

From a lumberyard to Millersville!

This edition of Who Makes Millersville Special features Dr. Lexi Hutto, assistant professor of management and marketing.

Q: Where are you originally from?
I grew up in a suburb of Chicago just over the Indiana side of the border, Munster, Ind.

Q: What is your educational background?
I graduated from Northwestern University with a B.A. in political science, Indiana University with an MBA in marketing, and the University of Pittsburgh with a Ph.D. in business administration with a concentration in marketing.

Q: How did you become interested in studying marketing?
I literally grew up in my father’s lumberyard from the age of two and developed a love of retailing. When I was 10 years old, my dad promised, after some prodding from me, that I could start working there at 14 years old. I never brought it up again until my 14th birthday. After reminding him of his promise, which stunned him, I started working there that weekend.

Q: How many years have you been at Millersville?
I’m just starting my third year teaching here.

Q: What area(s) of marketing interest you the most?
After earning a Ph.D., I took my love of retailing to the next level. I became a specialist in retail marketing research, discovering insights about people, their motivations and behaviors. It’s very exciting to see your insights get turned into strategic and tactical decisions…and, finally, profits for your client.

Q: Do you have a favorite class to teach at Millersville? Why?
Fortunately, at MU I get to teach a bevy of classes I enjoy—Retail Marketing, Consumer Behavior, Sports Marketing and Advertising, to name a few. My top-of-mind favorite is advertising because it reflects a colorful, highly visible and dynamic aspect of marketing. Everyone can relate to it as it’s so pervasive in our culture.

Q: How do you want students to remember you?
 I’d like to be remembered as a professor who truly cared about their learning. I make them stretch, but I think that’s empowering.

Q: Who or what has had the greatest influence on your life?
I’ve had many influential figures, but one who stands out is Professor Jerry Zaltman. He was the director of the doctoral program at Pitt and one of my professors there. Not only was he identified as one of the top five marketing thinkers in the world, but he was (and is) a kind-hearted, generous person. He’ll be receiving a lifetime achievement award this October. There has been a great outpouring of accolades in the build-up to this recognition.

Q: What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
Seeing students progress and succeed is very rewarding. I like to watch their confidence grow and see them step up to greater challenges.

Q: What do you think your students would be most surprised to know about you?
 Over a lifetime, I’ve studied German, Spanish, French, Catalan, Modern Greek, Ancient Greek and Latin. Spanish is my best second language, but at least I know a bit about the others.

Q: What are your hobbies outside of work?
The activity on which I spend the most time outside of work is working out. I love to do it, have been active most of my life and expect to continue on with it for the rest of my life. When I get a chance, I also love to ski, bike, hike and go camping. As an adventurer, I love to travel near and far, whether it’s taking a quick trip up to the Poconos or planning a long-anticipated journey to New Zealand.

Q: What type of music do you listen to?
I have eclectic tastes in music, listening to jazz fusion, R&B, some classical and a bit of country music. I grew up on Motown music and that’s my favorite.

Q: What is your biggest pet peeve?
Gratuitous cruelty—I can’t stand it when people are cruel to each other, especially for no apparent reason—or when they take out their hostility on innocent targets.

Q: If you could meet anyone, living or deceased, who would it be and why?
Cleopatra has consistently been someone with whom I’ve been fascinated. She was both powerful and alluring.

Q: What is your greatest accomplishment?
My earliest one was surviving and thriving in Barcelona, Spain, as a student at School Year Abroad during my junior year of high school. I arrived hardly being able to say, “Hola, qué tal?” (Hello, how are you?). By the end of my stay, I was rattling off a series of idioms in quick succession. I owe my success there largely to the supportive Spanish family, a widow and her daughter, with whom I lived for that year. That experience bolstered my confidence.

Q: If you could do any job in the world, what would it be?
My three top picks would be Marketing Professor, Marketing Researcher and Fashion Designer. I’ve had the privilege of working at two of those professions…and I still hold out hope for the third in some form or “fashion.”

Q: Is there anything else you want to add?
My favorite quote is “Patience is a virtue.” I’ve found those to be words by which to live although I don’t always have a lot of patience. It’s certainly something to strive for.


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