Diane Fittipaldi

MBA Director, Assistant Professor



As a practitioner and an academic, I bring a rare blend of experience to my students giving them not only an understanding of theory but also the ways theory comes to life in practice.

I completed my MBA from the University of Michigan in 1982 and spent 30 years in business. I worked as a brand manager for General Mills and later as an advertising executive for two of the world’s largest and most renowned advertising agencies, BBDO and the McCann Worldgroup. During my time at what is now known as McCann Minneapolis, I reached the rank of senior vice president and served as the director of client service and as a member of the senior leadership team.

I received my doctoral degree in leadership with honors from the University of St. Thomas in 2014 and began my teaching career at the University of Minnesota’s School of Journalism and Mass Communications, where I developed and taught courses on strategic communications in digital marketing. I have also served as an adjunct faculty member at Augsburg College, where I taught Women’s Studies and at the University of St. Thomas, where I taught Feminist Perspectives on Leadership and Qualitative Research Methods to graduate students.

I currently teach both MBA and undergraduate courses in the Department of Business Administration at St. Kate’s with a focus on Integrated Marketing Communications.

  • Advertising and Marketing
  • Organizational Leadership
  • Feminist Theory
  • Gender Studies

Doctor of Education in Leadership
University of St. Thomas, Minneapolis, MN, 2014

Masters of Business Administration, Marketing
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 1982

Bachelor of Fine Arts, Graphic Design
Kent State University, Kent, OH, 1978

Gold Quill Award. International Association of Business Communicators (IABC). Best nonprofit campaign, 2013 for Jefferson Action

Bronze Anvil Award. Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). Best Media Relations, Nonprofit Organization, 2013 for Jefferson Action

Pillars of Excellence Award. Nestle Purina Pet Care. Purina Dog Chow Marley & Me Campaign, 2008

Fittipaldi, D. (2014). Sex Sells: How advertising agencies’ commodification of image affects older women in advertising. Dissertation.

  • Branding and Digital Storytelling (MBA)
  • Integrated Marketing Communications (Undergraduate)
  • Marketing Management (MBA)
  • Strategic Integrated Marketing Communications (MBA)

Assistant Professor, St. Catherine University, 2016–present

Associate Director, Pollen, Minneapolis, MN, 2014

Adjunct Faculty, School of Journalism and Mass Communication - University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, 2013–2015

Adjunct Faculty, Department of Leadership, Policy and Administration, University of St. Thomas 2013–2016

Senior Director, Fast Horse, Inc., Minneapolis, MN, 2012–2014

Senior Vice President, Account Director, Campbell Mithun (McCann Workgroup), Minneapolis, Minneapolis, MN, 2010–2012

Senior Vice President, Director of Client Service, MRM, Minneapolis (McCann Workgroup), 2003–2010

Executive Vice President, DVC Communications, Minneapolis, MN, 1999–2003

Vice President, Account Supervisor, BBDO-Minneapolis. Minneapolis, MN, 1996–1999

Marketing Director, The Pillsbury Company, Minneapolis, MN, 1991–1995

Brand Manager, General Mills, Minneapolis, MN, 1982–1991

Fittipaldi, D. (2015). “Encouraging Authenticity: using story to inspire women to find their own leadership style.” University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management Women’s Leadership Conference.

Fittipaldi, D. (2016). “Sex Sells: How advertising agencies’ commodification of image affects older women in advertising.” University of North Dakota Red River Women’s Studies Conference.