News & Events

Vanderbilt Business 2023 Female Faculty Spotlight

Mar 14, 2023
Female faculty members advance research in a variety of business fields and inspire students, all year long

By Lacie Blankenship

March is Women’s History Month, a nationally recognized, 31-day commemoration of women’s vital role in American history. Many see this month as a chance to honor the women who have and continue to fight for equality, justice, and opportunity. 

At Vanderbilt Business, the insight and instruction of female faculty have helped shape the careers of countless students and contributed to globally significant research. The female faculty advances research in various business fields, including accounting, finance, marketing, organization studies, and strategy. It’s important to note that female faculty members contribute to the lives of their students, the business community, banks of literature, and to groundbreaking research all year long

There are still great strides to be made in business and in the workplace to ensure women are truly honored for their contributions. For now, we’d like to shine the spotlight on the incredible female faculty members at Owen and the work they are doing.


Rita Nevada Gunn, Assistant Professor of Accounting, primarily studies the impact of mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructurings, and private targets. Gunn is an expert in financial reporting and uncovers accounting trends that challenge popular assumptions. 

Catherine F. Lee, Senior Lecturer of Accounting, studies the impact of political influence on financial statements. She views financial statements as puzzles–she researches the pieces and teaches students how to solve them.  


Veronika Krepely Pool, 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, MS Finance, MAcc, Accelerator, and Master of Management in Health Care students. She shares her expertise in presentations, business writing, active listening, mediation, crisis communications, public relations, and personal branding in her courses. 

School Leadership

Jennifer Edson Escalas, Associate Dean of Academic Programs, and Dean Samuel B. and Evelyn R. Richmond Chair in Marketing, focuses on curriculum and course delivery across Owen’s degree programs. Escalas is one of the first researchers to explore narrative processing, which proposes that individuals process information by thinking in the form of a story. 

Cherrie Wilkerson, Assistant Dean for Young Professional Programs, MSF Faculty Director, and Professor of the Practice of Management, makes a significant impact as an instructional leader for Vanderbilt Business. Wilkerson oversees the school’s one-year residential master’s programs


Brianna Escoe, Senior Lecturer of Marketing, is an expert in consumer emotion and studies its impact on everyday life and purchasing decisions. Her recent work is the first to explore the emotion cringe, and how it impacts branding and consumerism. 

Kelly Goldsmith, E. Bronson Ingram Professor of Marketing, is recognized for her exceptional teaching—she was named one of the “Best 40 Under 40 Professors by Poets&Quants in 2014. She has expertise in and publishes on scarcity, consumer psychology, uncertainty, goals, and self-regulation. 

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 has researched the effectiveness of special day promotions (like Pi Day).

Dawn Iacobucci, E. Bronson Ingram Professor of Management in Marketing, specializes in marketing research, customer perceptions, service quality, networks, and mediation analysis. Iacobucci has authored several books including Marketing Models: Multivariate Statistics and Marketing Analytics.

Operations Management & Quantitative Methods

Hallie Sue Cho, Assistant Professor of Operations Management, brings a background in mechanical engineering and startup experience that complements her research exploring online product reviews, interactions with AI systems (like Siri), 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 has worked with industrial partners including L’Oreal, Marriott International, Dell, Alibaba, and Vanderbilt University. 

Nancy Lea Hyer, Associate Professor of Production Management, Emerita, focuses on cellular operations, lean production, product management, and law practice operations. Hyer has taught several MBA courses, including Managing and Improving Processes and Managing Processes for Quality.   

Organization Studies

Jessica A. Kennedy, Associate Professor of Management, is an expert in hierarchies and gender in work organizations. 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 based on her research, Diversity in Organizations

Gabrielle Lopiano, Assistant Professor of Management, 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 how adverse life experiences can lead employees to develop unique assets and skills.  

Kendall Cox Park, 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. 

Strategy & Business Economics 

Roxanne Jaffe, Assistant Professor of Strategy, is one of 6 new faculty who joined Vanderbilt Business in August 2022. She is an expert in how firms, competition, and geographic locations impact domestic and international strategic choices. She studies international business, location choice and agglomerations, and industrial organization economics.  

Xi Kang, Assistant Professor of Strategy, joined Vanderbilt Business in 2022, bringing expertise in technology management, strategic human capital, organization design, and strategy. Kang’s research explores how organizations implement new technology, like artificial intelligence (AI), and its impact on the Future of Work. 

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. She was named a 2022 “Best 40-Under-40 MBA Professor” by Poets&Quants

Sruthi Thatchenkery, Assistant Professor of Strategy, joined Vanderbilt Business in August 2022. Thatchenkery’s research sits at the intersection of networks, competition, and innovation. Her newest publication addresses the complexity of competition and innovation in platform ecosystems and is nominated for the 2023 Antitrust Writing Awards. 

Other Stories

Which program is right for you?