Dr. Sarita Stewart is an Assistant Professor of Entertainment Industry Studies in the Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business. Her journey to becoming a college professor was circuitous at best. Sarita, a native of Oregon City, Oregon, grew up dreaming of a career in the music business. Soon after her graduation from Oregon State University armed with a degree in Business Administration, she headed to Los Angeles. She soon met legendary record company executive Mike Curb, and became a receptionist at his company.
Sarita learned the business from the ground up, working with such top musical artists as Tim McGraw, LeAnn Rimes, Wynonna Judd, JoDee Messina and many other artists over the course of her 14-year employ at Curb Records. She also earned a Masters of Business Administration at Claremont Graduate University during her time in Los Angeles. One of the highlights from that time was the opportunity to take a class from management theorist Peter F. Drucker. Following her graduation, Sarita transferred to the Curb Records Nashville headquarters, having received a promotion to Director of Marketing for the label. She eventually left to become the U.S. Marketing Director for the Vienna-based microphone and headphone manufacturer, AKG Acoustics in 2000.
Dr. Stewart began teaching part-time as a Belmont adjunct in 2005, prior to becoming a full-time instructor in the Entertainment Industry Studies program in 2007. She went on sabbatical leave in 2009 to undertake a Ph.D. in Communication at The University of Alabama. While at Alabama, Sarita received UA’s Graduate Council Fellowship award, which allowed to her study with the communication scholar, Dr. Jennings Bryant, prior to his retirement. Her 2013 dissertation, Artist-Fan Engagement Model: Implications for Music Consumption and The Music Industry, was overseen by her Graduate Studies Dean, Dr. Shuhua Zhou.
As an entertainment researcher, Dr. Stewart continues to focus upon varied research interests, including music consumption, video games, artist fandom, and mood management. She has several published book chapters, including an essay on LeAnn Rimes’ album Blue in Please Allow Me To Introduce Myself: Essays on Debut Albums (Ashgate). Her most recent book chapter, “TV, Radio, and Music Research,” written in collaboration with Dr. Louisa Ha of Bowling Green University and Jeff Green of Stone Door Media Lab, was published in Research Methods in Communication (Third Edition) (Vision Press). She has also served as a participant at various academic and industry panels.
Most importantly, Dr. Stewart loves working with her undergraduate and graduate students. Her teaching expertise is in the areas of public relations, music marketing, and consumer research. It is very important to her to pass along her passion for, and love of, the entertainment business. It is indeed an honor to help educate the next generation of entertainment and music industry artists and executives.