Jaci Jarrett Masztal

Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, 1988
Vice President, Burke Employee Engagement and Retention Management

When Jaci Jarrett Masztal was completing her master's degree in counseling at Florida Atlantic University, she took a position as a deputy sheriff thinking that the personalities she would encounter would provide a good groundwork for her future as a clinical psychologist.

Instead, a conversation with a fellow officer who was unhappy with his job led Masztal to the field of industrial/organizational psychology. She approached the sheriff with the idea to conduct an employee survey that would provide him with opinions and perceptions from the officers throughout department.

Masztal confirmed that there were a number of organizational issues ranging from lack of performance review, a promotional process that was not viewed as being fair, and challenges with shift work, and used that experience to shift career gears. Influenced in part by the quality and accessibility of IIT's faculty, she decided to enter the College of Psychology to pursue her I/O doctorate and in the process, developed a Sources of Stress (SOS) scale for law enforcement

Today, she is vice president of the employee engagement and retention management practice of Burke, Inc., an international research and consulting firm.

"I love what I do and want to be able to continue supporting our clients to achieve maximum employee engagement, customer loyalty, and business performance," says Masztal, who has been with Burke for 15 years. "When you connect the three, it's easy to see that the employee is essential to delivering valuable business outcomes. The customers are always important, but don't overlook the contribution of employees in achieving customer loyalty."

In addition to Masztal's 2002 book, Journey to the Top: Life Stories of 50 Governors, she is also working with fellow alumnus George Langlois (M.S. PSYC '82, Ph.D. '89) on a best practices book on employee survey work, in collaboration with other IIT alumni.

"IIT provided us with a great education and training, and has graduated many talented professionals," explains Masztal. "We're tapping into that collective knowledge and experience. We're excited about what these great people have to offer."


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