Texas Tech University

Beloved Rawls College Professor Dies Following Long Cancer Battle

April Chavez

July 30, 2020

Shannon Rinaldo

A scholarship has been established in honor of Shannon Rinaldo, associate professor of marketing, who died July 27.

The Jerry S. Rawls College of Business has lost a longtime faculty member to a battle with glioblastoma brain cancer. Shannon Rinaldo, associate professor of marketing, passed away peacefully on July 27 at her home in Lubbock, Texas.

Shannon was diagnosed with a brain mass in 2016. A true researcher at heart, Shannon set out to find alternative treatments and therapy regimens that could slow the growth of her mass. She underwent three surgeries, countless rounds of chemotherapy and radiation treatments and blazed a trail in the study of metabolic therapy, all while still teaching courses, serving the Area of Marketing and continuing her academic research.

"Shannon was a truly special person whose passion and commitment for students and research leave a lasting impact on the Rawls College and Texas Tech communities and far beyond," said Rawls College Dean Margaret L. Williams. "She will be remembered for her commitment to social justice and inclusion, her tenacity, her sense of humor and her unique character which she shared so freely with all of us."

Shannon earned a bachelor's degree in psychology, and her master's and doctoral degree in marketing from the University of Kentucky. She came to Rawls College in 2008 where she ultimately touched the lives of hundreds of Texas Tech students, staff and faculty members.

Among Shannon's career honors were numerous awards recognizing her influence on students and her innovative approach to teaching. She received the President's Excellence in Teaching Award, the Academy of Marketing Science's Outstanding Marketing Teacher Award and the Jerry S. Rawls College of Business Administration Excellence in Teaching Award.

Shannon was also a favorite among students, recognized multiple times as the "Most Outstanding Professor of Marketing" by members of the Delta Sigma Pi Business Fraternity, as a "Favorite Professor" by the Texas Tech Men's Tennis Team and several times as an "Outstanding Professor" by the Mortar Board Honor Society.

"I observed Shannon teaching in two consumer behavior classes; one undergraduate and one MBA. Beyond her command of the subject and how she was able to teach at two very different levels, what stood out was the fluidity with which she interacted with her students. Her students connected," said longtime colleague and friend, Bob McDonald, United Supermarkets Professor of Marketing. "Such student engagement is rare and something we strive to achieve, but Shannon made it look easy. Her unique ability to connect with students carried over from the classroom to the dozens of students that she mentored in various research projects."

Shannon was the driving force behind the establishment of the Physiological and Neurological Imaging Laboratory (PANIL), which is home to state-of-the-art research equipment that can be used to measure brain activity, muscle tension, breathing patterns, heartbeat, galvanic skin response, eye tracking, and other physiological responses to help understand consumer behavior and purchasing decisions. The lab has provided both undergraduate and graduate students with unique technical research opportunities, enhancing their academic experience and providing a competitive advantage in the workplace.

Colleagues and friends have established a scholarship fund in Shannon's memory. The goal is to ultimately raise enough money to establish an endowment that will serve as an enduring tribute to a talented educator and researcher who had a major influence on the Rawls College community.

"Students were very important to Shannon. Our goal is to raise $25,000 by the end of 2021 to establish an endowment, which would allow us to fund a scholarship each year for an undergraduate student who is involved in research, one of Shannon's passions," said McDonald.

Anyone interested in contributing to the "Shannon Rinaldo, Ph.D. Honorarium Fund" can make a donation through one of the following methods:

Check should be addressed to "Texas Tech Foundation Inc," and include "Shannon Rinaldo, Ph.D. Honorarium Fund" in the memo.

Rawls College of Business Office of Development
Box 42101, Lubbock, TX 79409-2101

Contributions can be made online.

Shannon is survived by her son, Aidan and her husband Jason Rinaldo, mother, Angie Campbell and stepfather Bob Campbell; father and stepmother Steve and Fabyan Bridgmon of Owensboro, KY; as well as several siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and a host of friends across the world. The full obituary can be found here.

An online memorial service for Shannon will be streamed on Saturday, August 1, 2020 at 2 p.m. through Combest Funeral Home in Lubbock Texas. The streaming link will be available beginning ten minutes prior to services on her memorial page.