Scott Stewart primarily is a business professor and the Director of the MA International Management program at LCC International University. He is also the proud coach of the LCC Moose football teams for men and women, as well as a devoted husband and father. After spending twenty five years in the United States Air Force, twenty four of which he lived abroad, Scott found himself settling into the area which was once considered “forbidden fruit.”
What has your life looked like, as you lived in different countries and been a part of different cultures?
I spent twenty four years overseas in the US Air Force, deployed to different countries and spent the majority of my adult life in Europe. I lived in Greece for two years and in Germany for twenty-two years. I deployed so often that home was essentially a place that I would just go to wash my underwear. Living in Germany was great, but there were a lot of challenges depending on which section of the country I lived in. Lithuania is amazing, because it has a lot of German background and history. You can see similarities in the culture, and similarities in the construction and architecture. It is also super nice when your wife is Lithuanian too. I have an in-house interpreter and guide to make sure that my head is squared away. Greece was the biggest culture shock. I have found that once you go south of the Alps, it is like a different world.
I did not realize that in Greece, raising your hand to get picked up from a taxi driver, was a big insult. On my first day there, I was out there trying to catch a taxi doing this, making all of the drivers angrily return the same gesture back to me.
What is your story of becoming a part of LCC International University? How did you end up working here?
I was teaching and doing curriculum development at Grand Canyon University, but the short version of the story is that I found out about LCC because my wife is an LCC graduate. We met when I was stationed in Germany, and after some time, we went to the United States and realized that it was not for us, so we came back to Europe. I definitely wanted a change of scenery. From being in the military, we always felt that everything east of Germany was considered to be forbidden fruit as we were never allowed to go there. My wife spoke so highly about LCC and I was getting burned out where I was. After twenty five years in uniform and having people constantly raise their voice to you, I was very exhausted. One day I realized it was time to move on. I found an opening in the business department at LCC and since I was working on my doctoral degree at the time, it matched up perfectly. The timing could not have been any better.
Can you tell me more about your expertise and focus in teaching? What are your responsibilities at LCC?
I am a professor in the Business Department, and the Director for the MA in International Management. I am also the football coach here at LCC. I am actually very much a history guy. My undergraduate and master's degrees are in history and military history. Teaching in business fit perfectly with what I had done in the military, because leadership was taught from the start of every military career through organizational structure. Here at LCC, I teach the basic business course, but my primary focus is Foundations of Leadership, which I teach for both the Business programs and Contemporary Communications. I also teach Organizational Behavior, which is a requirement for business students. A lot of Psychology majors take the Organizational Behavior class, which gives the class a very different perspective. We speak the same language, but we have got two different vantage points, which is a perfect illustration of the challenges people can face within an organization. I also teach an Introduction to Sports Management course. I feel blessed and fortunate to be the trainer and coach for both the men's and the women's football teams here at LCC.
What do you like most about your job at LCC?
Seeing people “get it” is what I like the most about teaching. One of the things that military training does is shape your mind by providing specific training that you eventually embody. When there is complete physical exhaustion, the mind will still direct the body to do the right thing. My favorite moment is when students realize they get it. Helping students make that part of their daily routine and part of their lifestyle is my favorite part. It does not matter if that is in the classroom, talking to people in the lobby, or on the pitch. I absolutely love that part of teaching.
You are the coach of LCC Moose football teams. Why football? What is the experience like so far?
I played football for almost thirty years. I love it primarily because anybody can play it. From my own perspective, it is the most democratic sport that is out there. It does not matter how tall you are or how short you are, if you work hard enough, love the sport enough, and respect it for what it is ... anybody can play it. I have played a lot of sports: basketball, baseball, football, American football, and volleyball. But I always had a different passion for football.
When I started working at LCC, I was approached by a few football players and asked if I was interested to become the coach. I agreed and it took us the first year and a half to get into the program that I introduced the men’s team to. The first two years the team didn’t do very well and then last year in 2019, we really clicked. I wanted to have a women’s team too, it seemed unfair to have only men. It took about two years to get a women's team together. When people ask me what the differences are between the teams, I say women are easier to coach and harder to outfit. For men, I could put their uniforms in an icky bag with their name on the back. Men are easier to dress but tougher to train. It is just a drastically different approach to train each.
What is the best part of being the coach of the LCC Moose Football teams?
I have the best seat to every football match. Honestly, the best part is seeing the people use what they are learning in football, like discipline and structure, and turning that into academic success. There is a standard and code that they have to live by. Watching them embody that and turn it into academic and life success is truly the best.
Do you have a favorite place at LCC?
The classroom is tied with the football court. I like the classroom because of the environment. People are willing to open up and a lot of my courses are very practical in nature. However, the classroom is a tie for favorite, with being on the court during football matches. My next favorite place is the office because I always have coffee. People feel comfortable to come in and ask for assistance or use my office as a place to decompress. There are very few problems that cannot be solved over a cup of coffee.
What do you usually like to do in your free time? Do you have any hobbies?
First of all, I go to the gym devoutly. It is one of the things the military teaches you to do. If you want your body to work, work your body. That also helps with mental refinement.
I am very much of a history lover. My master's thesis was on World War II. Again, what once was considered “forbidden fruit” to adventure to, now, I get to see. All the places that I had only read about, now I can visit it, take pictures, and appreciate the area for what it is and its history. Lithuania has such an unbelievably cool and rich history. All these things also involve spending time with my wife and daughters and anything I can do with my wife and two girls, to me is platinum.
How would you describe yourself to other people? What kind of person are you?
That is a pointed question. I do have a standard answer that I give to everyone I meet. “My name is Scott Stewart. I am originally from Southern California. However, I need you to understand that I was in the United States Air Force for twenty five years, one month, twenty six days, three hours and thirty nine minutes. The reason I know this is because I looked at my watch the minute I went under the arch at Lackland Air Force Base for basic training, and I thought that six years later I would be done. I was wrong. Twenty five years later, I retired and that defines who I am as a person. Because of that, it has designed me to follow a cause and a principal more than a person. If I believe in an organization, I will support it to the point where I will fall on my sword for it. Integrity to me is one of the most important attributes that somebody can have. Doing the right thing regardless of who is watching is critical. I would never do anything or ask you to do anything that I am unwilling to do myself. I love my wife and daughters above anything in the world and I would literally throw myself in front of a bus to make sure that they were safe.”
What are your plans for the future?
I need to defend my doctoral dissertation and put that behind me. After my years in the military, having been to all the places that I have been and seen all the things that I have seen, I consider myself probably the most fortunate man walking the face of the earth. I just want to keep waking up. I want to make sure that my daughters are taken care of. I want them to grow up and be the beautiful, strong, independent, intelligent ladies that they are supposed to be. I want my wife to keep on smiling. Anything outside of that is a lens of perspective.
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