Bernard Banks, Kellogg School of Business, Northwestern University

Dr. Bernard (Bernie) Banks is a noted expert on the subjects of leadership and organizational change. Currently, he is the Associate Dean for Leadership Development and Inclusion and a Clinical Professor of Management at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management.

As an associate dean, Bernie possesses responsibility for leader development integration across the school's global portfolio of programs, as well as the generation, integration, and implementation of Diversity/Equity/Inclusion initiatives for the institution. Bernie retired from the US Army as a Brigadier General in 2016 after having successfully led West Point's Department of Behavioral Sciences & Leadership from 2012 to 2016. In addition to having studied leadership extensively, he has led multiple military units ranging in size from 10 to more than 3,000 people. In 1995, Bernie was selected from over 40,000 officers to receive the Army's top award for entry-level managers (General Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award). In 2006, the Apache Helicopter unit he was leading in South Korea was designated as the top Apache Helicopter unit globally in the US Army's annual best aviation unit competition. A West Point graduate, Bernie is broadly educated. He holds graduate degrees from Northwestern, Columbia, and Harvard. Additionally, he earned his PhD in social-organizational psychology from Columbia University.

Brandy Edmondson, Carlson School, University of Minnesota

Brandy joined the Initiative from Spelman College, where she graduated in May 2016 with a BA in Economics. As an undergraduate, Brandy spent time as a research assistant, mentor, and peer tutor in economics.

Brandy’s primary goal is to create research that drives companies to pursue diversity in a way that appreciates minorities’ contributions, versus simply meeting quotas. Her interest in economics was largely inspired by her constant questioning of the world from a young age. She chose to join the PhD Excellence Initiative because she wanted to be a knowledge producer and a difference maker for disadvantaged communities. Additionally, Brandy held internships with The City of Atlanta, The Coca-Cola Company, General Electric, the Spelman Endowment Office, and Columbia Business School.

Terry Esper, Fisher School of Business, Ohio State University

Dr. Terry L. Esper is Associate Professor of Logistics in the Department of Marketing and Logistics at the Fisher College of Business of The Ohio State University. In 2018 he was honored with the Williams-Qualls-Spratlen (WQS) Multicultural Mentoring Award of Excellence by the American Marketing Association.

Esper has previously served as the Oren Harris Endowed Chair of Logistics and Associate Professor of Supply Chain Management (SCM) at the University of Arkansas Sam M. Walton College of Business, Executive Director of the Walton College SCM Research Center, and was a SCM professor at the University of Tennessee Haslam College of Business. He is a recognized expert in the area of last-mile logistics. He was honored for his contributions to others and for serving as a valuable mentor in the marketing community. In addition to his full-time academic activities, Esper also serves as an adjunct faculty content expert for the University of Iowa Tippie College of Business CIMBA Italy Program. He also maintains global academic engagement, having served on the faculty at the University of Verona (Italy), as a key faculty liaison with Universidad Santa Maria de Antigua (Panama) and ESSEC Business School (France), and as a faculty leader for study abroad programs to Panama. Prior to his academic career, Esper worked for Hallmark Cards as a Transportation Manager and for the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department in their Research and Statewide Planning Divisions.

Aziza Jones, Rutgers University & University of Wisconsin

Aziza Jones is a PhD candidate in the Marketing Department at Rutgers University. She received a BS in marketing, management, and entrepreneurship from the University of Wisconsin—Madison in 2013.

After graduation, Aziza spent time as a project manager for a construction company, a paraprofessional educator, and a research assistant for a professor at Georgia State University. Her experience as a research assistant helped her discover her passion for consumer research, prompting her to apply to Rutgers University. After joining Rutgers in 2015, she began studying how social factors influence consumer behavior. Aziza’s dissertation investigates how consumers use products to influence how they are perceived by others, and how social identities impact consumer behavior. Projects outside of her dissertation also focus on social influence, examining concepts such as how racial identity influences interpersonal decision-making, or how interpersonal factors can influence generosity. In addition to progressing her research, she is currently the President of the PhD Project Marketing Doctoral Student Association for the 2020-2021 academic year. She will be starting as an assistant marketing professor at the University of Wisconsin—Madison in June 2021.

Michael Kimbrough, Smith School of Business, University of Maryland

Dr. Michael Kimbrough is an associate professor and area chair in accounting and information assurance at the University of Maryland Smith School of Business.

Michael D. Kimbrough joined the Robert H. Smith School at the University of Maryland in 2010 after spending eight years at Harvard Business School as a faculty member in the Accounting and Management Unit. Professor Kimbrough earned his BA in Economics from Washington University in St. Louis and his PhD in Accounting from Indiana University in Bloomington. Prior to returning to graduate school for his doctoral studies, he worked as a certified public accountant with Price Waterhouse, where he worked with a variety of manufacturing and high-technology clients. Professor Kimbrough's research focuses on corporate financial reporting, with particular emphases on firms' voluntary disclosure practices and on accounting for intangible investment.

Denise Lewin Loyd, Geis School of Business, University of Illinois

Dr. Denise Lewin Loyd is an Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Gies College of Business at the University of Illinois.

Denise went to the University of Miami and studied civil and architectural engineering. She then decided to go straight into her master's degree in Construction Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After that she worked for a few years in construction management working on large and small projects and that's where she really got interested in group dynamics. She was fascinated about the dynamics around status, around issues like diversity, both with respect to demographic differences and also with respect to background differences, or expertise and knowledge. That led her to a PhD in organizational behavior at Kellogg, Northwestern in Evanston and after that she was excited to join the faculty at MIT, on the other side this time in organizational behavior and organization studies. She worked there for several years before making the transition to Gies. She has taught courses such as Introduction to Management and Leadership, Core Leadership classes for MBA students, and business ethics. She has also taught negotiations and led lots of workshops on diversity in teams.

Izuchukwu Mbaraonye, University of Nebraska

Izu Mbaraonye is a third-year PhD student in management at the University of Nebraska. His research interest centers on how firms and firm leaders interact with non-market stakeholders.

Izu is also interested in the role of entrepreneurs’ moral beliefs in their pursuit of entrepreneurial opportunities. His current research investigates the role of firms' knowledge search behavior as an antecedent of firms' political activities. He holds Master of Science in Accounting and Master of Business Administration degrees from the University of Texas at Dallas, as well as a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Oklahoma. Prior to starting his doctorate program, he worked as a tax consultant at Ernst & Young, LLP.

Dionne Nickerson, Kelley School of Business, Indiana University

Dr. Dionne A. Nickerson joined the Department of Marketing at the Indiana University Kelley School as an assistant professor. She received her PhD in Business Administration with a focus on Marketing from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta.

Dionne research examines the impact of sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR) on marketing strategy and firm outcomes. In her current research, she takes a multimethod approach to understand how, contingent on brand reputation, different types of CSR affect brand sales. She also explores the impact of the chief marketing officer on the relationship between CSR and firm financial performance. She received the 2018 Emerald/EFMD Outstanding Doctoral Research Award in Marketing for her dissertation work. She, along with her co-authors, was recently awarded “Best Paper in Track” for the Sustainability, Social Responsibility, and Ethics track at the 2020 AMA Winter Conference. Professor Nickerson received an A.B. in engineering from Brown University and an MBA from Providence College. Before becoming an academic, she worked in technology consulting, advising clean technology start-ups funded through the EPA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program on marketing strategy, and taught English through the Teaching Assistant Program in France (TAPIF).

Shana Redd, Broad School of Business, Michigan State University

Shana Redd is a Professor of Practice in the Marketing Department and a fifth-year marketing PhD student in the Broad College of Business at Michigan State University. Shana teaches undergraduate and masters-level courses, including new product development, marketing strategy, conjoint analysis, corporate innovation, and data visualization in Tableau.

Shana also serves as a faculty advisor for the MBA program’s design-thinking business challenge. Shana’s research interests are focused on the empirical analysis of firm performance related to marketing strategy. Specifically, her research examines the internal and external drivers of successful marketing strategies in B2B and B2C environments, the effect of brand-level characteristics on firm performance, and the drivers of new product and service success across various stage-gate and launch activities in B2B and B2C environments. She is already a Spartan graduate twofold: she earned her bachelor’s in communications in 2007 and her MBA in business administration, with a concentration on marketing and leadership and change management, in 2011.

Luis Rios, Krannert School of Business, Purdue University

Dr. Luis Rios is an assistant professor of strategic management at Purdue’s Krannert School of Management.

Luis holds a bachelor’s in literature from Harvard University as well as an MBA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Kenan-Flagler Business School and a doctorate from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. He specializes in business strategy. Prior to coming to Purdue, he was an assistant professor of management at the Wharton School.

Jose Uribe, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan

Jose Uribe is an assistant professor in the Management and Organizations Department at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.

Jose's research focuses on the social dynamics affecting strategic outcomes for teams and organizations. He studies the performance implications of network structures, with special attention to those configurations that endow teams and organizations with a competitive advantage. He obtained his MBA and PhD from Columbia Business School, an MPP from Georgetown University, and a BA in Economics from McGill University.

Michele Williams, Tippie School of Business, University of Iowa

Dr. Michele Williams is an assistant professor of management and entrepreneurship and a John L. Miclot Faculty Fellow in Entrepreneurship at the University of Iowa Tippie College of Business.

Michele's areas of interest include Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Gender and Social Categorization and Trust and Collaboration. She has a BA in Psychology from Johns Hopkins University, a Master in Education from Columbia University and a PhD in Business Administration from the University of Michigan. In September 2020, Tippie created a new faculty fellow position to help the college meet key strategic goals around diversity, equity, and inclusion and named Michele Williams as the first person to take on the role. Williams has been interested in team relationships since she was a student herself. This interest quickly sprouted a fascination in research dealing with team dynamics. The deeper she looked into the field of entrepreneurship, the more she discovered several reoccurring patterns which ultimately inspired her to embark down a path of research. Today, Williams’ research focuses on key concepts in the areas of entrepreneurship.

Marie Zara, PhD Project affiliation; KPMG

Marie Zara is the director of advancement at The PhD Project, KPMG U.S. Foundation in Montvale, New Jersey.

Marie began working with the PhD Project in February 2005 after working for nine years as an account supervisor at Bernard Hodes Group. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Marketing from the Pace University Lubin School of Business and a certificate in Fundraising and Grantmaking from New York University.

Moderator Idie Kesner, Kelley School of Business, Indiana University

Idalene (Idie) Kesner is the dean and the Frank P. Popoff Chair of Strategic Management at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business.

Prior to July 2013, Idie served as the associate dean for faculty and research. From 2006 to 2009, Idie served as the chairperson for the Department of Management and Entrepreneurship. Prior to this, from 2003-2006, she served as the chairperson of the Full-Time MBA Program, and from 1996 to 2003 she was co-director of the school’s Consulting Academy. Idie also served as a faculty member at the Kenan-Flagler School of Business at the University of North Carolina (from 1983 to 1995). She received her MBA and PhD from the Kelley School of Business. Her research and teaching is in the area of strategic management with particular emphasis on executive succession and corporate governance. Her publications have appeared in numerous academic and practitioner journals, and she has written numerous business cases. She has won more than 25 teaching awards, and she has taught in more than 100 executive programs in areas ranging from strategy to change management and crisis management. She has served as a consultant to various national and international firms in the areas of strategy and board related issues. Idie served in numerous service roles for the Business Policy & Strategy Division of the Academy of Management and the Strategic Management Society. She served on the corporate board for Sun Life Financial (2002 to 2014) and Clarica (1997 to 2002). Currently she serves on the boards of Berry Global, Olympic Steel, America Family Insurance, and Lincoln Industries. She also serves on the Kelley Executive Education Foundation board and the board of AACSB, the main accrediting body for business schools.