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About the Author

Dr. Karel Sovak
Dean, Gary Tharaldson School of Business
University of Mary

Karel Sovak, PhD, was named Dean of the Gary Tharaldson School of Business at the University of Mary in 2020, after 18 years of service at the university including terms as director of the Business Administration, Marketing, and Emerging Leaders Academy (ELA) programs. Dr. Sovak has taught courses in business, entrepreneurship, sales, retail, management, marketing, tech and strategy, and leadership. Dr. Sovak is a two-time national Collegiate DECA Advisor of the Year, earned for his leadership with the University of Mary’s Marauders On Business (MOB) program.

Dr. Sovak served in the United States Air Force and brings over 20 years of entrepreneurial experience as a consultant and strategic planner and is the former owner of the Sovak Insurance Agency. He has served on both the Bismarck State College (BSC) Innovation and United Tribes Technical College (UTTC) Advisory Boards. Dr. Sovak currently provides consulting and training for the Virtuous Leadership Institute in Washington, DC, and is a current and former member and advisor for nearly 20 boards and civic organizations in Bismarck-Mandan.

Dr. Sovak frequently speaks on virtuous and servant-leadership in presentations and workshops to various organizations and was the co-founder of the Incubator for Developing Entrepreneurial Activity (IDEA) Center of Bismarck — a student developmental laboratory for students working with entrepreneurial venture projects.

Published Pieces

Serving the poor

Social Justice and Social Charity in the Business World

Rhetoric based on social justice has been on the rise, often interpreted through a narrow set of concerns. But what if there is better way to understand and address social ills?

Dr. Karel Sovak
Sep 1, 2022
Acts of service

The Gift of Fraternal Humility

It is critical for us to understand that our gifts are not ours to hold onto, but rather are ours to give away to others in need.

Dr. Karel Sovak
Jun 2, 2022
Two men working in a field

"Laborem Exercens" and the Dignity of Work

St. John Paul II's encyclical "Laborem Exercens" explores the connection between human dignity, flourishing, and labor, providing a vision of work that is especially important today.

Dr. Karel Sovak
Jan 27, 2022
A lighthouse in the morning

Business and the Light of the World

Mission-driven Catholic business education is founded upon the truths contained in the Nicene Creed and seeks to form professionals who shine forth with the light of Christ.

Dr. Karel Sovak
Dec 9, 2021
Pedestrians and bicyclists

Common Grace and the Common Good

Guiding business students to view their careers through the lens of Catholic Social Teaching assists in forming them to see how business can be used as a force for good.

Dr. Karel Sovak
Jun 24, 2021
A Man Looking at an Urban Horizon

Perfections, Powers, and Excellence

Alexandre Havard, founder of the Virtuous Leadership Institute, joined Dr. Karel Sovak, Dean of the Gary Tharaldson School of Business, to discuss virtue, business, and education.

Alexandre Havard
Dr. Karel Sovak
Apr 22, 2021
Business Education

Catholic Social Teaching in Business Education

The infusion of Catholic Social Teaching into business education programs contributes to the formation of virtuous leaders capable of bringing the Gospel to bear on all aspects of life.

Dr. Karel Sovak
Mar 18, 2021
A Man with a Messenger Bag and a Book

How Virtuous Capitalism Reins in Selfishness

Once we grasp the distinction between selfishness and self-interest, we are able to see that virtuous capitalism is directed to serving the needs of others and assisting in human flourishing.

Dr. Karel Sovak
Dec 4, 2020