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FACULTY ROCK STAR: Mark Stoiko | Professor: Business | Faculty of Business

Written by Anju Kakkar
Picture of Mark stoiko

“One of the great revelations in my collective experience with teaching & learning is that research, much like other aspects of life, participates in the three transcendentals–three properties of being: truth, beauty and goodness–the interplay and connection with truth, beauty in discovery, and goodness in impacting real change. I celebrate the privilege of being an instructor who chooses to interplay with objective truth–it is attainable, reachable, understandable–the best part is that it is teachable. If a concept can be understood and explained, then by definition, it can also be taught.”- Mark Stoiko

Wise words from our Humber Researcher Rockstar, and this is how we spent our time getting to know Mark.

Background & Expertise

Mark Stoiko is an expert in business planning, marketing, and research. He possesses an enriched background in financial services, marketing, advertising, and marketing research industries, having owned an advertising agency and marketing research firm. Mark spent a significant part of his career as a corporate banker with BMO Nesbitt Burns, and the President of Martin Grove Group Inc. His experiences have greatly assisted in developing his entrepreneurial skills and research expertise.

Mark attained his Bachelor of Arts in Political Economy from the University of Toronto in 1976 and Master of Arts in Quantitative Studies from York University in 1977. In the next few months, Mark expects to complete his DBA (Doctorate of Business Administration) from Waterford Institute of Technology, indeed, an outstanding achievement. He is conducting a major research study of digital transformation, internationalization, and entrepreneurship to fulfill his doctoral studies.

Mark asserts that thinking like a researcher felt incredibly familiar to him, given his natural inclination with MADs (mean absolute deviation). He has applied quantitative methods in applied research towards political studies, including voting behavior and religiosity in Canada, to name a few. In the past few years, he has presented his work and observations at several conferences on teaching & learning and entrepreneurship practices.

With a desire to share knowledge and pursue ‘learning’ as a lifelong goal, Mark joined the Humber Faculty of Business in 2012. Mark has eight years of digital transformation experience; he has worked with five companies on digital transformation capstone projects and fourteen industry partners on digital transformation projects. He reflects on his joy for teaching from these two angles:

“Firstly, I lived vicariously through the university experiences of my children. Hence returning to a college campus was an immersive opportunity to bring back the joy and love for scholarship and study. I recalled how much I enjoyed being a student and the positive influence some of my professors had on shaping the way I think. Secondly, after four years as an instructor, I realized that teaching was the easy part of my responsibility; I wanted to contribute to theory and discovery.” – Mark Stoiko

On Research

We prompted Mark Stoiko to share his passion and involvement with applied research. He informs us that after joining Humber, he had the opportunity to guide his students through several capstone projects. He inculcates, in his students, a desire to search for meaning, to have an inquiring mind, and a philosophical approach to research. Mark encourages his students to pursue purpose, understand social injustice, question their realities, participate experientially, and conduct research on matters closest to their hearts to unearth new learnings.

Following his early years as a professor, Mark acknowledges that peers guided him to initially undertake minor research projects to help broaden his perspectives, leading him to Teaching + Learning at Humber College. Since then, Mark has completed three research studies funded by TIF grants (Teaching Innovation Fund) and acquired a fourth TIF grant before the pandemic hit. So began his journey with conducting research that encouraged reflective thinking towards his teaching practice. He stresses that these studies have been truly invaluable in more ways than one. Mark shares an example stating that the “Breadth of Learning vs. Depth of Learning“ study was particularly insightful. Overwhelmingly, the analysis shed light that though students were naturally inclined to choose easy grading (Breadth), the data clearly indicated they agreed that the most meaningful learnings emerged from the deep-dive assignments (Depth).

Mark Stoiko is an emerging researcher with experience in digital transformation modeling and project management. He is leading a research project funded by the NSERC Engage grant, in partnership with NTN Bearing Corporation of Canada Limited, as Principal Investigator:

Digital Transformation of Operational Processes

As a result of a collaboration with industry partner NTN Corp. Ltd., Humber College was invited to undertake a collaborative study. Existing operational processes are no longer effective, and so the technical challenge experienced in the company is around the lack of knowledge and resources of moving from legacy operations into digital operations using digital transformation modeling. The research outcomes would be implementing and testing digital transformation models in all aspects of operations, including manufacturing, engineering, and supply chain, which could contribute to the enterprise’s survival within the pandemic and beyond.

This is what Mark had to say about his involvement with Humber’s Office of Research & Innovation (ORI):

“ORI has supported me through research advancement, academic growth and financial funding. First, by sponsoring my application for an applied research grant at NSERC, ORI is advancing my research. This is an opportunity to study the digital transformation of a manufacturer in Ontario under the conditions of the pandemic. Second, ORI has expanded my academic horizons by giving me the opportunity to conduct applied research for business innovation, technology adoption and a growing manufacturing sector. And third, ORI has supported me financially by funding me to present a paper on effectuation theory and its impact on entrepreneurship and internationalization at an international academic conference. Thank you, ORI.”- Mark Stoiko

Humber greatly appreciates Mark’s contributions to teaching & learning and research. Mark remains eager to give back through his dedication to several volunteer roles, including Humber Centre for Entrepreneurship, end-of-life care at The Dorothy Ley Hospice, and as Subdeacon at the Ukrainian Catholic Church. In addition, Mark is engaged in part-time studies to acquire a Master’s of Theological Studies from the University of Toronto – University of St. Michael’s College to follow his passion for serving a higher cause. We were deeply moved by these reflective words from our faculty rockstar:

“As my calling and purpose in life, I know it to be in the service of those who are dying, for those who are approaching the end seek a simpler and more centred existence. They emit tremendous love, and they respond and reciprocate to the love they receive and sense around them. This love nurtures and feeds me. It continues to give my life purpose and a reason to return to them.” – Mark Stoiko

We know you want to get to know Mark a little better; here are four things you didn’t know about him, in his words:

  • When I’m not at work: I am in prayer.
  • A book that most influenced me: Of course, ‘The Bible’. If I were to take three books with me wherever I go: ‘The Bible’, ‘Catechism of the Catholic church’ and ‘The Closing of the American mind‘  by Allan Bloom – a professor who had a formidable influence on me. He authored this philosophical book on the disruption of higher education.
  • A website I visit most often: Humber’s valuable resources on Teaching & Learning. Online resources on Spirituality.
  • Coffee or Tea: Either. Participation in coffee or tea = the principle of breaking bread.