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Kelly Ottman, Ph.D. - Milwaukee School of Engineering. Milwaukee , WI, US

Kelly Ottman, Ph.D. Kelly Ottman, Ph.D.

Professor | Milwaukee School of Engineering


Dr. Kelly Ottman is an expert in facilitation of boards, strategic planning, and leadership development and coaching.





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WI Servant Leadership - A. Klotsche & Dr. K. Ottman 5-22-13


Education, Licensure and Certification (4)

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator: Certified Administrator

Ph.D.: Organizational Leadership and Adult Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison 1999

M.P.A.: Health Care Administration and Public Policy, University of Wisconsin-Madison 1989

B.S.: Therapeutic Recreation/Recreation Therapy, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse 1986


Dr. Kelly Ottman is a professor in MSOE's Rader School of Business. For the past 25 years, her focus has been on developing leaders and executive teams. Ottman’s knowledge, skills and experiences center on the growth of individuals, teams and organizations. Key areas of expertise and impact include leadership and team development, mission and value, strategic planning, organizational culture, diversity and inclusion, employee engagement, global mindsets and business with China.

Areas of Expertise (9)

Mission, Values and Culture Alignment

Employee Engagement

Organizational Culture

Diversity and Inclusion

Global Mindset

China/Asia and Cross-Cultural Understanding

Adult Education

Leadership Development

Facilitation of Boards, Strategic Planning, Leadership Meetings

Accomplishments (4)

Servant Leadership

Library Project, Hunan, China, 2017

Friends of Rockwell Automation Asia Pacific (RAAP)


Outstanding Teaching Award for Academic Staff

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 2005

Outstanding Teaching Award

Concordia University, 2000

Affiliations (4)

  • International Leadership Association : Member
  • American Society of Engineering Education : Reviewer for Annual Conference
  • Worldwide Association of Business Coaches : Member
  • Milwaukee Women, Inc. : Steering Committee Member, Virtual Member Chat Facilitator


Media Appearances (5)

Leading By Serving

Wisconsin Servant Leadership  online


Presentation to the Wisconsin Servant Leadership Servant Leadership City Tour.

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Kelly Ottman | China Rising - Ep. 89

On Life and Meaning  


Kelly Ottman is a professor in the Rader School of Business in the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE). She teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in leadership, strategic planning, team development and organizational behavior. Kelly developed and leads the Doing With Business China program in which engineering students undergo 11 weeks of classroom preparation that culminates in a 12-day working tour of China. She is a leadership coach providing consultation to executives throughout the world. Kelly earned a B.Sc. degree in Therapeutic Recreation at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, and an M.P.A. in Health Care Administration and Public Policy and a Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership and Adult Education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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Dr. Kelly Ottman

MSOE News  


Whether it’s her work at MSOE, her executive coaching or her community service, Ottman says she likes to make a difference. “And if I can make a difference in which the people I’m interacting with have the ability to make a larger difference, that is very rewarding.”

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Milwaukee Servant Leadership: A. Klotsche & Dr. K. Ottman

Wisconsin Servant Leadership  online


Dr. Kelly Ottman and Allan Klotsche from the Brady Corporation talk about the "Emergence of Servant Leadership Across Global Cultures"

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Students learn the power of Guanxi

Dimensions by Milwaukee School of Engineering  print


In Chinese, the word guanxi literally means "relationships." It is a critical component of the business world in China, which is built on a fragile network of relationships between business, society and government. Before a company can successfully conduct business in China it must first forge relationships with these groups. This was just one of the many important lessons that nine graduate students learned while participating in a new program called "Doing Business in China." The students traveled with Dr. Carolyn "Kelly" Ottman to China in June 2009 as part of MSOE's Rader School of Business graduate management program.

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Event and Speaking Appearances (15)

Becoming More Resilient: Tips and Tricks for Keeping Yourself Healthy and Sane

Keynote for 2020 Baldridge Conference Higher Education Summit  Virtual presentation, October 2020

Leading From the Edge: Sustainability and the Intersections of Leadership and Social and Environmental Justice

International Leadership Association Annual Global Conference  Virtual workshop, November 2020

Complex Collaborations and Cultural Collisions: Uneasy Thresholds of Leadership

International Leadership Association Annual Global Conference  Chair for virtual panel discussion, November 2020

Dimensions of Diversity and Food: What, Why and How We Eat

Rotary International World Affairs Seminar: Building Strong International Leaders for Tomorrow  Virtual presentation, June 2020

Widening your Workforce

ConExpo – Con/Ag 2020  Las Vegas, NV, March 2020

Leadership portal to social justice, in and out of classrooms, via intellectual, empathic and civic courage

International Leadership Association Annual Conference  Ottawa, Canada, Oct. 2019

How to leverage our advantages as female leaders and employees, as well as how to make an impact on the work environment and beyond

Women’s Initiative Network (WIN) Forum for Texas Instruments Asia Global Headquarters  Shanghai, China, Oct. 2019

Opportunities and Responsibilities of Leadership and Decision Making

Undergraduate Management at New York University  Shanghai, China, Oct. 2019

Board development and Strategic planning

Wisconsin Center for Performance Excellence  Madison, WI, Aug. 2019

Shaping and Aligning Departmental Culture through Leadership

2019 Chairs Conclave Program - Best Practices of Successful Chairs  Tampa, FL, June 2019

CREATE Institute

ASEE Conference Entrepreneurship and Engineering Division Social/KEEN Reception  Tampa, FL, June 2019

Doing Business with China

MSOE PEAK Workshop  Milwaukee, WI, June 2019

Identity and Social Media

Rotary International World Affairs Seminar: Building Strong International Leaders for Tomorrow  Waukesha, WI, June 2019

Servant Leaders Share their Journey

Wisconsin Servant Leadership Servant Leadership City Tour  Milwaukee, WI, April 2019

Learning what is REAL to students

Lilly West  Anaheim, CA, March 2019

Selected Publications (1)

Communications Education and Training: The scholarship of teaching and learning

IEEE Communications

D. Michelson, P. Ostafich and C. K. Ottman

The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) encourages teachers and educators to examine their own classroom practice, record their successes and failures, and ultimately share their experiences in a formal and scholarly way so that others may reflect on their findings and build upon existing teaching and learning processes. SoTL acknowledges that concerns for privacy and other ethical issues associated with studies involving human subjects place limits on the types of research that can be conducted in the classroom setting. Nevertheless, SoTL provides a mechanism for raising the standard of discussion concerning teaching and learning in the literature. The Scholarship of Research and Supervision (SoRL) is a related concept that invites the same reflective approach to improving the quality of training through research, especially that conducted at the postgraduate level. This Feature Topic on SoTL is intended to hasten the incorporation of SoTL and SoRL into communications engineering curricula by providing educators and researchers with an opportunity to share their experience, best practices, and case studies. The articles run the gamut from case studies in experiential learning and research-oriented courses to a comprehensive study of student understanding of key concepts to a novel framework for conducting lab-based courses.

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