News & Events

Vanderbilt Business Female Faculty Spotlight

Mar 29, 2022
In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re spotlighting research and contributions from our full-time female faculty members

By Lacie Blankenship

The female faculty at Vanderbilt Business advance research in a variety of business fields, including accounting, finance, marketing, organization studies, and strategy. Their insight and instruction have impacted countless students and business leaders worldwide. Celebrate their accomplishments with us and take a closer look at their work. 


Rita Nevada Gunn, Assistant Professor of Accounting, primarily studies the impact of mergers and acquisitions, corporate inversions, and earn-outs. She uncovers accounting trends that challenge popular assumptions. Gunn is spearheading the inaugural Music City Accounting Research Conference scheduled for June 2022. 

Catherine F. Lee, Senior Lecturer of Accounting, studies the impact of political influence on financial statements. She is interested in managerial decisions around financial reporting, regulation, and standards-setting, managerial incentives, the effect of taxes on business decisions, and risk management. She views financial statements as puzzles; she teaches students how to solve them and researches the pieces. 


Veronika Krepely Pool (PhD’06), Professor of Finance, researches hedge funds, mutual funds, 401(k) plans, and conflict of interest. Much of Pool’s research is rooted in the concept of incentives. Some of her recent work explores the dynamics between portfolio choices and personal backgrounds.


Kimberly Pace, Professor for the Practice of Communication, is recognized for her instructional impact; she teaches MBA, MSF, MAcc, Accelerator, and MMHC students. She shares her expertise in presentations, business writing, active listening, mediation, crisis communications, public relations, and personal branding in her courses. Pace plays an integral role in organizing and teaching in the Women in Leadership program. Pace advises on communicating in a remote environment and discusses camera strategy for virtual meetings

School Leadership

Cherrie Wilkerson (BA’78), Assistant Dean for Young Professional Programs, Professor of the Practice of Management, and MSF Program Director, makes a great impact as an instructional leader for Vanderbilt Business. Wilkerson is hands-on with students, faculty, staff, alumni, and recruiting companies to optimize Vanderbilt. She oversees the school’s one-year residential Masters programs.   


Jennifer Edson Escalas, Professor of Marketing, has recently focused on consumer narrative processing (thinking in the form of stories) to generate emotional responses to brands/advertisements. She looks at how consumers use brands to meet psychological needs (i.e.: self-expression). Escalas’ work is featured in several prominent marketing journals, including the Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Consumer Psychology, and Journal of Public Policy and Marketing

Brianna Escoe, Senior Lecturer of Marketing, is one of the 6 new faculty that joined Vanderbilt Business in the fall of 2021. Escoe is an expert in consumer emotion and studies its impact on everyday life and purchasing decisions. Her dissertation is the first to explore the emotion ‘cringe’ and how it impacts branding. 

Kelly Goldsmith, Professor of Marketing, is recognized for her teaching- she was named one of the Top 40 Most Outstanding B-School Professors in the World Under 40 by Poets&Quants in 2014. She focuses on scarcity, uncertainty, goals, and self-regulation. Goldsmith recently published on public recognition and charitable giving and how long ‘ownership’ lasts

Kelly L. Haws, Anne Marie and Thomas B. Walker, Jr., Professor of Marketing, is an expert in food and financial decision making, and consumer behavior. She was recently published for research on the effectiveness of special day promotions (like the recent Pi Day) and the decisions involved with large food portions.  

Dawn Iacobucci, E. Bronson Ingram Professor of Management in Marketing, specializes in marketing research, customer perceptions, service quality, networks, and mediation analysis. Iacobucci helps students and corporations use marketing analytics to solve various business problems. She receives consistent praise for Marketing Analytics and Marketing Management courses. Iacobucci has authored several books including Marketing Management, Marketing Models: Multivariate Statistics and Marketing Analytics, and Handbook of Services Marketing and Management.    

Operations Management & Quantitative Methods

Hallie Sue Cho, Assistant Professor of Operations Management, focuses on new product development processes, technology management, and online product forums. Her background in mechanical engineering and unique insight from startup experience co-founding a medical device company complements her research exploring online car review forums, interactions with AI systems (like Siri), and GPS, and product design.

Kejia Hu, Brownlee O. Currey Jr. Dean’s Faculty Fellow, Assistant Professor of Operations Management specializes in unlocking business value from data. She is an expert in service operations, artificial intelligence, and business analytics. Hu’s recent research explores restaurant industry business analytics and cost-efficient ways to improve customer service.

Nancy Lea Hyer, James A. Speyer, Associate Dean and Associate Professor of Production Management, Associate Dean for Curriculum and Learning, focuses on cellular operations, lean production, product management, and law practice operations. Hyer teaches several MBA courses, including Managing and Improving Processes and Managing Processes for Quality.   

Organization Studies

Jessica A. Kennedy, Brownlee O. Currey Jr. Dean’s Faculty Fellow, Associate Professor of Management, studies hierarchies and gender in work organizations. Kennedy looks at the intersection between ethics, gender, and power. She busts the myth that women are bad negotiators in her research. Kennedy was recognized as one of the Best 40 Under 40 Professors by Poets&Quants in 2018. 

María del Carmen Triana, Cal Turner Chair in Moral Leadership, Professor of Management, studies diversity and discrimination in organizations, human resource management, organizational behavior, and project management. She launched a new course in the fall of 2021, Diversity in Organizations, and was a panelist on the recent Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Corporate Leadership Panel

Gabrielle Lopiano, Assistant Professor of Management, joined Vanderbilt Business in 2021 and studies the effects of stigma and social hierarchy on workplace outcomes. She takes a strengths-based approach to the experience of stigma as an advocate for the value of diversity. Some of her current work focuses on the ways that adverse life experiences can lead employees to develop unique assets and skills.  

Kendall Cox Park (BA’11), Assistant Professor of Organization Studies, came to Vanderbilt Business in the fall of 2021 and looks at social problems through a business lens. She primarily researches social enterprise, corporate social responsibility, strategic sustainability, and leadership. Park’s current work looks at how new leadership positions shape corporate performance.  

Strategy & Business Economics 

Megan Lawrence, Assistant Professor of Strategic Management researches how firms select and implement new organizational and management practices. She focuses especially on understanding the antecedents and consequences of differences in firm practice adoption on firm performance. In recent research, she explores the relationship between competency traps and work experience

Other Stories

Which program is right for you?