Representing various disciplines and backgrounds, Rawls College is proud to welcome a dynamic group of 12 new full-time faculty members this fall.
Bringing an impressive range of scholarly knowledge and teaching expertise, 12 new full-time faculty members have joined the Jerry S. Rawls College of Business for the 2021-22 academic year. The new faculty span each of Rawls College's six academic areas and represent the college's growth, momentum and commitment to academic excellence.
“We are thrilled to welcome these outstanding teachers and scholars into the college, and we are looking forward to their impact,” Dean Margaret L. Williams said.
Each new faculty member's unique research interests will enhance the student experience while strengthening the college's community and global impact.
“Each of these individuals has unique talents to share with the college that will allow us to elevate teaching and learning, enhance the college's external research funding and improve the practice of business by translating research findings into application.”
Jared Allen, Assistant Professor, Management
Jared Allen earned his Ph.D. at the University of Central Florida. His research interests are in the field of entrepreneurship, specifically entrepreneurial pivoting and the psychology of entrepreneurship. Allen is also interested in why/how entrepreneurs rebound from failure, the use of meta-analysis in entrepreneurship, the individual antecedents of entrepreneurial performance, and the role of family dynamics in family firms. Currently, he maintains an active research program in entrepreneurship. Allen has published in journals such as Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, Small Business Economics, and Family Business Review. He has presented his work at international management conferences such as the Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference, Southern Management Association Conference, and local entrepreneurship incubators and accelerators.
Allen comes from a long line of family business owners. His grandparents moved to the United States from Canada and shortly after started a business in California. His father worked for the family business until he decided to open his own businesses, which Allen worked at for several years. Eventually, Allen went into business with his brother and also started a venture for himself. He ran those businesses for more than 10 years until he decided to pursue his academic career.
Alanna Hirshman, Assistant Professor, Management
Alanna Hirshman graduated from West Virginia University with her Ph.D. in Management. While at WVU, she earned multiple teaching awards including the WVU's Management Department Ph.D. Student Teaching Excellence Award, the John Chambers College of Business and Economics Doctoral Student Award for Outstanding Teaching, and the Ph.D. Project's Management Doctoral Student Association Young Educator Award.
Theoretically grounded in sense making and sense giving literature, stakeholder theory, and signaling theory, Hirshman's research takes a behavioral approach to strategic management. Specifically, her research explains the behavioral and sociocognitive mechanisms that underlie stakeholders' perceptions of firms' ethical decisions and how firms manage these perceptions through interactions with key stakeholders. In particular, Hirshman studies ethical decisions associated with crisis management, corporate social responsibility, market re-entry, and competitive dynamics. She studies perceptions such as social evaluations (e.g., social approval, organizational stigma, firm celebrity, and reputation), investor reactions, and the role of the media (e.g., social media, traditional news publications, and press releases). To empirically study these phenomena, Hirshman uses quantitative and qualitative content analysis, event studies, and experimental vignettes.
Hirshman's research has been presented at the Strategic Management Society, Southern Management Association, and Western Academy of Management conferences. Her research earned the Best Paper Award in the Strategic Management Track at Southern Management Association's 2020 Annual Conference.
Zachary Keeler, Research Assistant Professor, Energy Commerce & Business Economics
Zachary Keeler earned his Ph.D. and M.S. from West Virginia University and his B.S. from Frostburg State University. His research interests include urban/regional economics and housing/real estate economics. Keeler's current and past research has focused on the impact of various amenities and disamenities on property values, as well as how entrepreneurship and other factors affect regional growth.
Riley Krotz, Assistant Professor, Marketing
Riley Krotz received his Ph.D. in Marketing from the University of Tennessee, and his M.B.A. and B.S. in Biology from the University of North Florida.
Krotz's research explores digital marketing and technology in service settings, with a focus on retail marketing strategy and has been published in the Journal of Supply Chain Management, the Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, and others. Additionally, his retail strategy research has been published through the American Antitrust Institute and has led to two book publications. Krotz's research has been awarded more than $140,000 in external grant funding.
Krotz was named the 2020 Matthew Joseph Emerging Scholar by AMA DocSIG. Other recognitions include the BESH Doctoral Research Award, the AMS Mary Kay Dissertation Proposal Award (runner-up), the Yates Dissertation Fellowship, the Chancellor's Award for Extraordinary Professional Promise, the Haslam College of Business Outstanding Doctoral Researcher Award, the AMA DocSIG's Outstanding Marketing Doctoral Student, the Haslam College of Business Award for Extraordinary Professional Promise, the Haslam College of Business Excellence in Research Award, the AMA-Sheth Foundation Doctoral Consortium Fellowship, the William Thomlinson Outstanding Graduate Scholar Award, the Coggin College of Business Coggin Fellowship, the PowerUp JAX Innovation Grant, and the Innovation in Education Award.
Lauren Locklear, Assistant Professor, Management
Lauren Locklear received her Ph.D. in Management from the University of Central Florida and her B.S. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from the University of Georgia. Her research focuses on interpersonal relationships, emotions and workplace wellness interventions. Specifically, Locklear researches the role of gratitude and appreciation in interpersonal relationships at work, and she has published her work in the Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Management, Journal of Vocational Behavior, and Harvard Business Review. Additionally, her research has been featured in media outlets such as Psychology Today, Forbes, CNBC, Inc., Yahoo News, and U.S. News & World Report.
Christine Nittrouer, Assistant Professor, Management
Christine Nittrouer received a Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology and an M.A. from Rice University, an M.S. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a B.B.A. from The University of Notre Dame.
In 2020, Nittrouer was awarded a collaborative NSF Grant for a project called, “Using allies to expand your network: Implementing a psychological methodology to attract and retain underrepresented (UR) students in the geosciences.” This project expands on her current research exploring stigma theory, prejudice, allyship, and discrimination-reduction, and has received a variety of awards including the 2020 Ralph Alexander Best Dissertation Award from the Human Resources Division of the Academy of Management, 2019 Outtz Grant for Student Research in Diversity, 2019 Graduate Student Scholarship by the Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) Foundation, and 2019 Vaughn Fellowship awarded annually by Rice University.
Nittrouer has 16 published peer-reviewed papers and book chapters at outlets such as the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Journal of Vocational Behavior, and Harvard Business Review, and she has given more than 40 presentations on the impact of diversity in the workplace, with a special focus on selection. Her work has been featured in The Atlantic, The New York Times, NPR, and the Houston Chronicle. Nittrouer received Rice University's 2020 Graduate Teaching Award for her outstanding work teaching undergraduates. Additionally, she has consulted for companies including LyondellBasell (global legal team), Exxon Mobil (affinity group), Baylor College of Medicine (medical students), Proctor & Gamble (global talent assessment team), and non-profits (selection).
Jaime Noriega, Visiting Assistant Professor, Marketing
Jaime Noriega is a multicultural marketing and advertising specialist who earned his Ph.D. from the University of Houston and has taught at DePaul University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the University of Houston. His research explores issues of cross-cultural communication, bilingual memory, bilingual information processing, ethnic identity and ultimately, how these subjects inform advertising effectiveness and persuasion.
Before entering academia, Noriega was an account executive with Moroch & Associates in Houston where he provided marketing and promotional support for the Houston McDonald's Co-Op. While there he developed and produced all local Hispanic print and broadcast advertising and promotional advertising. Additionally, Noriega was directly responsible for the creation of unique advertising and promotional programs directed at the Houston Hispanic consumer market as well as the adaptation of existing general market advertising and promotional programs. He also served as the artistic director for local campaign advertising photo shoots and as the official photographer for local McDonald's Co-Op events.
After his time at Moroch & Associates, Noriega spent several years working for Mexica Communications, Inc., which published a weekly Spanish-language newspaper in Houston and San Antonio until 2004. During his time at Mexica Communications, he serviced advertising accounts from companies such as AT&T, Anheuser-Busch, Kraft, Miller Brewing, Coke, Pepsi, Warner Bros., Universal Studios, Disney and other national and local clients. Noriega was also involved in every step of production including the copy-writing and production of local and regional advertising.
Jason Schwebke, Visiting Assistant Professor, Accounting
Jason Schwebke received his Ph.D. in Accounting from the University of Central Florida and his Master of Accounting Science with a tax concentration and B.S. in Finance from Northern Illinois University.
Additionally, Schwebke is an Enrolled Agent, an IRS-awarded credential for tax practitioners. Prior to academia, he held positions in insurance, operations and management.
Schwebke's research interests focus on a broad range of topics related to individual and corporate taxation, including manager/individual/investor decision-making related to tax, policy issues related to tax and ethical issues related to tax. His work has been published in the Journal of the American Taxation Association.
Hamid Vahidnia, Visiting Assistant Professor, Management
Hamid Vahidnia holds a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Khajeh Nasir Toosi University of Technology, Tehran, and an M.B.A. and Ph.D. from Texas Tech University.
Vahidnia is interested in sociological and psychological approaches to entrepreneurship and organization theory. He has extensive work experience on several national-level projects in the management consultancy industry of Iran as well as in a number of entrepreneurial businesses in the United States, including in Silicon Valley.
Randall Valentine, Associate Professor of Practice, Finance
Randall Valentine earned his Ph.D. in Finance and M.S. in Finance/Statistics from Mississippi State University and a B.S. in Finance from Arkansas State University. His current research interests include academic honesty in online classes and algorithmic reactions to stock market anomalies. Valentine's past research included 30 refereed journal articles, three books, and 71 conference proceedings. This includes four international/university awards for research excellence and multiple media mentions/interviews on research topics.
Dixi Wang, Visiting Lecturer, Accounting
Dixi (Dixie) Wang earned her M.S. in Taxation from Baruch College, City University of New York and her B.A. in Accounting from Purdue University. Before academia, she worked for EY in various roles in New York, Bermuda and Dallas.
Ran (Alan) Zhang, Assistant Professor, Information Systems & Qualitative Sciences
Ran (Alan) Zhang earned his Ph.D. in Information Systems at University of California Irvine, and master's degree in Information Systems in Iowa State University, and Bachelor's degree in Nanjing University of Aero. & Astro (China).
Zhang's research interests lie at the intersection of information science and marketing. Currently, his research primarily focuses on IT business value, online advertising and online markets, healthcare analytics and business analytics. Zhang's works have been published in prestigious IS journals such as MIS Quarterly and in international conference proceedings such as the International Conference of Information Systems and Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences. His teaching interests include information security, database management, IT management, business analytics, block chain application, and e-commerce. Zhang is committed to bringing hands-on skills to the classroom and stimulating interest and appreciation of the transformative effects of information technologies.