María del Carmen Triana

María del Carmen Triana

Professor of Management

Research Interests/Areas of Expertise

Diversity and discrimination in organizations, human resource management, organizational behavior, managing teams in organizations, project management



Prior to joining Vanderbilt University, Professor Triana was at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for 12 years, where she served as the Academic Center Director of the Strategic HR Center and MBA HR Specialization. She has over 20 years of work experience in human resource management as a practitioner and researcher. Before joining Academia, she worked as a business analyst and project manager at Intel Corporation in Santa Clara, California. She has worked in the areas of diversity and inclusion, discrimination, human resources information systems, payroll, benefits, and expatriate management. She holds three professional certifications, including the SHRM Senior Certified Professional in Human Resources (SHRM-SCP), the Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), and the Project Management Professional (PMP). She has also completed consulting research projects for the National Air and Space Administration (NASA) and the United States Naval Academy. She is the author of Organizational Behavior published through Wiley as well as the author of Managing Diversity in Organizations: A Global Perspective published through Routledge/Taylor & Francis.

Awards & Accomplishments

In 2013, she was awarded the Erwin A. Gaumnitz Junior Faculty Research Award at the University of Wisconsin – Madison prior to earning tenure. In 2018, she was named the Kuechenmeister-Bascom Professor in Business. In 2020, she was awarded the best International Human Resources Paper Award by the Human Resources Division of the Academy of Management.

Professor Triana is a past winner of two major teaching awards at the University of Wisconsin-Madison: the Mabel Chipman Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Cynthia and Jay Ihlenfeld Inspired Learning Chair for excellence in educational innovation.

Professional Certificates
Project Management Professional (PMP) – Certified by the Project Management Institute
Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) – Certified by the HR Certification Institute
SHRM-Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) – Certified by the Society for Human Resource Management


Human Resource Management (Associate Editor 2019-2021)
Personnel Psychology (editorial board member)
Journal of Management Studies (editorial board member)
Journal of Organizational Behavior (editorial board member)
Journal of Business and Psychology (editorial board member)
German Journal of Human Resource Management (editorial board member)


The primary purpose of Professor Triana's research is to study diversity and discrimination in organizations. Diversity is part of the workplace, and it is important for both scholars and managers to understand how workplace diversity affects employees, and how best to manage a diverse workforce. As an immigrant to the United States, a woman, and a Latina, diversity issues have always been salient for her. She is passionate about understanding how diverse groups of people can best work together productively and in a manner that is inclusive and free of discrimination. To date, she has published 34 research articles in her research program. Many of her research articles have been published in leading journals including Academy of Management Journal, Personnel Psychology, Organization Science, Journal of Management, Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Journal of Business Ethics, Research Policy, Human Resource Management, and the Journal of Management Studies, among others.


Professor Triana's teaching philosophy is to motivate students, to intellectually stimulate them, and to utilize a feedback-intensive pedagogy. She combines theoretical approaches with real-world examples to produce a highly integrated understanding of diverse phenomena in the business world. She ties her own research and corporate work experience as a project manager and HR analyst to research-based discussions to make learning interesting, relevant, and multi-dimensional. She motivates students and intellectually stimulates them by utilizing diverse activities including individual and team discussion, case studies, field interviews, short videos, team projects, simulations, role-playing activities, guest speakers, discussion panels, and traditional lectures.

At Owen, Professor Triana teaches Strategic Human Resource Management, Employee Engagement & People Analytics, and Diversity in Organizations in the daytime MBA program.

On A Personal Note...

On the first day of class, Professor Triana tells her students a story about why she has a passion for teaching. She explains to them that her family immigrated to the United States from Cuba with little more than the clothes on their backs. Having lost all possessions to Castro’s communist dictatorship, her family immigrated to the U.S., learned English, and started over. Earning college degrees in the United States was without a doubt the most critical factor which changed her family’s fate and allowed them all to establish professions in the U.S. She tells her students that she is living proof that education will change your life and that is why she wants them to learn as much as they possibly can.

Professor Triana is fluent in Spanish. In her free time, she enjoys visiting museums, going for walks, doing yoga, cooking, and listening to music.

Research Interests

Professor Triana’s research interests include diversity, discrimination in the workplace, and human resources. She has published over 40 peer-reviewed journal articles, books, book chapters, and technical reports on diversity, discrimination, and human resource management. Her research has been published in leading journals including the Academy of Management Journal, Organization Science, Personnel Psychology, Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Management Studies, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Journal of Business Ethics, Journal of Vocational Behavior, Research Policy, and Human Resource Management. She currently serves as an Associate Editor of the journal, Human Resource Management. Her research has been presented over 50 times at national and international conferences.


PhD, Texas A&M University, 2008

MBA, University of Arizona, 2000

B.A., Business Administration, University of Texas at Austin, 1998