Dubay follows a well-worn path to success


Editor’s Note: This October, we will celebrate our 30th class of 40 Under Forty honorees. Each week in 2022, The Business Journal of Tri-Cities Tennessee/Virginia will highlight one of our 2021 40 Under Forty honorees leading up to the announcement of our milestone class this fall.

Teddy Roosevelt once said, “The prerequisites of success are hard work, keen intelligence and unflinching will.”

Dr. Chelsie Dubay, ETSU’s Director of Instructional Design, has followed that blueprint, and as a result, she has achieved a great deal of success at an early age.

For Dubay, it all starts with hard work.

“My dad is an exceptionally hard worker and instilled in my sister and I a pretty relentless work ethic,” she said. “He just encouraged us to never settle for mediocre. Strive for something that will make you proud for yourself.”

For Dubay, taking her present role at ETSU was a decision that came down to channeling her hard work into an area where she could make a lasting impact. With the job offer on the table, Dubay consulted Dr. Rich Rhoda – her friend and mentor – for advice.

“He said, “You can make a lot of people a little bit great, but if you focus on one thing, you can make that really, really special.’ I think that really helped me make that decision to accept this role,” Dubay recalled.

Dubay’s aptitude for instructional design has allowed her to have a major impact on education in our region. She has spent 15 years helping other transform learning environments to ensure students and instructors can maximize their time.

Jennifer Hunt, a full-time faculty member at ETSU, has experienced the positive effects of Dubay’s hard work and keen intelligence. “Chelsie devotes hundreds of hours to ensure our faculty and students receive a quality experience through our program, as well as other programs across campus,” Hunt wrote in a recommendation letter. “Chelsie has been essential in helping me design quality courses for my students.”

In addition to her work at ETSU, Dubay also co-founded Optimal Concept Solutions, LLC along with fellow 40 Under Forty honoree Dr. Stephanie Barham. This venture started when Dubay and Barham realized instructional design services were lacking in our region.

“Together, through their work with ETSU and OCS, LLC, Dr. Dubay and Dr. Barham have assisted over 100 faculty in creating and improving well over 300 online courses across five institutions,” Deidre Close, registrar at Northeast State Community College wrote in a letter on Dubay’s behalf.

“One of the things to come out of the pandemic in the realm I work in is a lot of people were pushed into the deep end,” Dubay said. “We had a lot of people teaching online that swore they never would, and they found themselves right in the middle of it and thriving.”

Dubay’s unflinching will is most evident in the lofty goals she has set for herself in the months and years ahead. In addition to her work with OCS and in the community, Dubay wants to achieve the lofty goal she set for the department of computing at ETSU when she took her current job.

“I told them it was my intention that we would be the best computing department in Tennessee,” Dubay said.

“That’s a pretty lofty expectation because we have a lot of great competition across the state, but I think given our faculty and our community partners, that’s something that’s obtainable, and that’s something that we can work toward and achieve.”

Next week we will profile Cyrus Fees of Vision Quest VR. If you would like to nominate someone for inclusion in the 2022 class of 40 Under Forty, visit 40under.com and follow the instructions.

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