Suzanne Altobello named Belk Distinguished Professor for School of Business at UNCP

Mark Locklear


PEMBROKE — Suzanne Altobello has been named the William Henry Belk Distinguished Professor Chair in Business Administration at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

Altobello returns to UNCP after serving as a business faculty member from 2015 to 2018. She has more than 20 years of teaching experience in higher education, including internationally.

“I’m extremely excited to be returning to UNC Pembroke,” Altobello said. “I had an excellent working relationship with the faculty, students and staff while I was here previously. I’m eager to come back and finish what we started in this new role, with regard to working on economic development initiatives in the area and partnering with the Thomas Entrepreneurship Hub.

“As the William H. Belk endowed professor, I’ll have the responsibility of enhancing economic development for local businesses, as that was the initial intent of the endowment.”

Though she has taught almost every course in an undergraduate and MBA marketing curriculum, her expertise is market research, specifically target market analysis, digital marketing and social media analytics. She is a marketing and entrepreneurship professor with a technology-oriented, analytics-focused and project-based approach to her courses.

As she’s done throughout her career, Altobello will coordinate project-based learning projects at UNCP, connecting students with startups, community organizations and small businesses in the area.

“I do a lot of project-based initiatives in my classes, working with clients and collaborating with entrepreneurship hubs and small business development centers,” she said. “My preference is to bring clients into the classroom. This is a great opportunity for students who don’t have that level of business strategy and management experience. It gives them an awareness of the challenges businesses face.”

Her passion is to teach students how to apply marketing concepts to real-life examples of community organizations, startup companies and larger corporations.

For the past three years, she has taught in the Broadwell College of Business and Economics at Fayetteville State University. Her previous teaching stints include UNC Wilmington, Notre Dame and Southern Illinois University. She spent an eight-month sabbatical teaching at the Grenoble Graduate School of Business in France. Earlier in her career, she accompanied her study abroad students to the business school in France for 14 years at SIU. Presently, she teaches marketing research and social media analytics twice a year at Aalto University in Finland.

She holds degrees from the University of Florida and the University of Notre Dame. Altobello completed her doctorate from Notre Dame and a post-doctoral fellowship in marketing from the University of Florida.

Altobello said she’s excited for the opportunity to join UNCP’s business faculty in the new $38 million James A. Thomas Hall, which will house the Thomas School of Business.

“This is an amazing opportunity,” she said. “Dating back to my years at the University of Florida and Notre Dame, I’ve never taught at a university with a new school of business building. This was a big part of the draw to come back to UNCP. We have this shiny new diamond to show organizations, employers and donors when they come to our campus. All those things are critical for the growth of the business school, along with collaborating with the Thomas Entrepreneurship Hub and the Small Business and Technology Development Center.”

A native of Port Chester, New York, Altobello moved to North Carolina in 2014 and lives near the coast with her husband, Kevin. She has two daughters, Julia, a rising senior at Duke University; and Sophia, who will be starting at the North Carolina School of Science and Math in the fall.

Mark Locklear the Public Communications specialist for University Communications & Marketing.