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Dividend The official online magazine of the Carson College of Business

August 2017 New Hires

Xinghua Gao is a new assistant professor of accounting. He teaches courses in accounting information systems and managerial accounting. He is published in academic journals including Contemporary Accounting Research, Review of Accounting Studies, Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory, and the Journal of Accounting, Auditing & Finance. Gao had been with Governors State University prior to joining WSU. He obtained his M.B.A. and M.S. in accounting and his PhD in business administration from Wayne State University.
Joan Giese is a new clinical associate professor in the Department of Marketing and International Business. She is returning to WSU after having spent several years on the marketing faculty earlier in her career. She has also been on the marketing faculties at the University of Oregon, Kansas State University, and the University of Montana. Giese received her PhD in marketing at Washington State University. Her research interests in marketing are related to the influences of feelings and design on customer decision making. She is published in several academic journals, including the Journal of Marketing, Journal of Retailing, Psychology & Marketing, Journal of Business Research, Marketing Letters and others. Giese has also served as a marketing consultant to several businesses, agencies, and government organizations.
Shawna Harmon is a new administrative assistant III in the Dean’s Office. She came to the Carson College from the Residence Inn by Marriott in Pullman, where she worked as the front office manager since just after they opened in May of 2014. Shawna, her husband Joe, and their four children moved to the Pullman area in 2009 from Coos Bay, Oregon. In her free time Shawna enjoys swimming, cooking, learning new things, and spending time with her family and friends.
Micah Howard (’16 OMBA) joined the Office of Development as an assistant director of philanthropic engagement. He has experience in fundraising in higher education, sports management, and sales. He previously worked in the NBA G League, Utah Valley University, and Cal State Fullerton. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University and his master’s through Carson College’s online MBA program, with an emphasis in finance. Micah loves spending time with his wife and kids, eating great food, playing basketball, and riding his motorcycle.
Elizabeth “Betsy” Howlett is a new professor in the Department of Marketing and International Business and will hold the Gardner O. Hart Distinguished Professorship. Prior to coming to WSU, she was a professor of marketing at the University of Arkansas Sam M. Walton College of Business, where she has worked since 1995. Previously, she was an assistant professor of marketing at the University of Iowa and at the Stern School of Business, New York University. Her research focuses on consumer preference and public policy. She is published in several academic journals including the Journal of Consumer Research, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Journal of Marketing, Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, and the Journal of Retailing, as well as in popular press publications. She is a member of the editorial review board of the Journal of Public Policy and Marketing and serves as a reviewer for a number of other journals. Howlett earned her doctorate in marketing at the Fuqua School of Business, Duke University.
Alexander S. Kier (Alex) is a new assistant professor of entrepreneurship at WSU Vancouver. His research focuses on imagination in new venture ideation, entrepreneurial decision making/cognition, and escalation of commitment. His research has been published in the Journal of Business Venturing, Academy of Management Perspectives, and Business Horizons. Prior to joining WSU, Alex’s professional experience includes work as a certified public accountant and certified fraud examiner at PricewaterhouseCoopers and Grant Thornton.
Debi Mundell is the new graduate program operations manager in the Office of Graduate and Online Programs. She comes to WSU with 29 years of experience in higher education. In her career path, she has worked in all aspects of student services including recruiting, admissions, academic advising, financial aid, career services, student disability services, registrar’s office, restructuring an orientation program, and assisting with graduation. At Boise State University, she was the director of the Student Services Center in the College of Business for nine years and most recently has worked in advising for engineering at WSU. She has a B.S. in business management and a M.Ed. in higher education administration.
Soomin Park is a new clinical assistant professor in the Department of Finance and Management Science. He teaches a course in operations management. He obtained his PhD in operations and supply chain management from State University of New York, Buffalo.
Kahlil Philander is an assistant professor in the School of Hospitality Business Management at WSU Everett. His research interests are in the socio-economic impacts of gambling. Previously, he was the director of social responsibility at the British Columbia Lottery Corporation and an assistant professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas’ (UNLV) International Gaming Institute. He was named to Global Gaming Business Magazine’s 40 under 40 list, and received the Research of the Year Award from the National Council on Problem Gambling. He holds a PhD from UNLV, a master’s in economics from the University of Toronto, and a bachelor of commerce in finance from the University of British Columbia.
Hanjiang Zhang is a new assistant professor of finance. She joined the Carson College from the Securities and Exchange Commission. Prior to that, she taught in the business schools at the University of Texas at Austin and the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. Her research interests are mutual funds and investments. She published in top journals such as the Journal of Finance, Review of Financial Studies and the American Economic Review papers and proceedings. Her work also won top prizes such as the Kepos Capital Award for the Best Paper on Investments at the Western Finance Association 2014 meeting, as well as the Best Paper Award in Investments at the Financial Management Association 2011 European Conference.

March 2017 New Hires

Stacey Smith-Colon is a new academic and student success advisor in the Carson Center for Student Success. She is a first generation college student and earned her B.A. in history from the University of Idaho. Her background includes significant experience with developing, implementing, and evaluating curricular and co-curricular student programming designed to strategically affect access, retention, and completion in higher education. Most recently, she was the associate director of Bridge Idaho at the University of Idaho College of Education.
Chanc Hiatt is the new system administrator in the Office of Technology. He was previously employed with WSU facilities operations as an electrician for four years and for two years as a computer systems administrator. He has over 20 years of experience in switching, routing, server administration, virtual environments, and supporting users. He earned his B.S. in management information systems from the University of Idaho with emphasis in computer science and networking technologies. He looks forward to providing “above and beyond” service for the employees he supports.
Justin Hope is the new front-end web developer in the Office of Technology. He’s worked as a designer for the OT since August 2015 and recently joined the OT as a full-time staff member. He received his B.S. in computer information technology, with an emphasis in visual technologies from Dixie State University, in St. George, Utah. As the front-end web developer, he works closely with faculty members and staff to design web pages and websites for various Carson College departments as well as the college’s online alumni magazine, eDividend.
Stephanie Rink (’02 Neuroscience) is the new assistant to the dean. She came to Pullman after being principal assistant to the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration at WSU Vancouver. She earned her bachelor’s degree from WSU and her MBA from Marylhurst University. She loves to spend her free time with her husband and two daughters, running, and reading.
Nathan Roberts (’08 History) is a data analyst in the Dean’s Office, providing custom data analysis and reporting of student and faculty data and managing the college’s business research agenda. He has worked as a writer, editor, content manager, and data analyst at several companies on the Palouse.  Most recently, he worked as a research analyst for Decagon Devices Inc. He has also worked in M.A.S.C. building digital collections and in teaching and volunteer service across WSU. Originally from Texas, Roberts attended Austin College and earned his B.S. with honors in economics with a focus on the post Cold War Military-Industrial Complex. He came to WSU for his master’s, studying European socialism.
William Souders is a new academic and student success advisor in the Carson Center for Student Success. He came to the Pullman campus with 18 years of experience in higher education, having served as a graduate instructor with Eastern Washington University and lastly as academic dean for ITT Technical Institute in Spokane WA. He received his B.S. in applied mathematics from University of Oregon and his M.S. in mathematics from Eastern Washington University.
Cat Taylor (’16 English) is the Carson College’s digital measures administrator. She came to the Office of Technology as a graduate assistant in 2015, and after earning her M.A. in English, joined the team full-time. In her role as digital measures administrator, she enjoys working with faculty to help them showcase and report on their academic contributions and accomplishments using DM’s Activity Insight software.

December 2016 New Hires

Carson College of Business portraits Sophia Gaither is the new associate director for employer connections and career outcomes in the Carson Center for Student Success. She oversees the career connections team which embodies employer relations and career education. She previously served as the director of career and professional development for Livingstone College in Charlotte, North Carolina. She has been recognized by colleagues for some of her efforts to improve freshman engagement with career services and access to resources to increase professional development. She earned her B.A. in English from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and her M.S. in higher education with a specialization in college administration and leadership.
Chelsea Gese, CCOB Graduate Programs Chelsea Gese (’15 Strategic Communication) is the new admissions coordinator for Graduate Programs. She is a new employee at WSU and has many years of experience working in hospitality, client relations, sales, and customer service. She is passionate about the community she lives in and is excited to be working for her alma mater.
CCoB Portraits Courtney Anne Jackson is the new international study abroad coordinator in the Carson Center for Student Success. She recently moved from Washington D.C., and is originally from Quincy, California. She has previously worked supporting international students with Hult International Business School in San Francisco and with the American International Recruitment Council (AIRC) in Bethesda, Maryland. She received her B.A. from Whittier College in Los Angeles County and her M.A. in international education management from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.
CCoB Portraits Robin Olson is the new college facilities coordinator in the Carson College Office of Technology. She has been with the college for the last three years as a student employee and has recently joined the team full-time. She graduated from WSU last May with a bachelor of arts in interior design with an emphasis in sustainable development.
Carson College of Business portraits Ana Maria Sears (’01 Chemical Engineering) is the new employer relations coordinator in the Carson Center for Student Success. She will work with employers who wish to hire WSU students for internships and career positions. After earning her degree, she postponed a professional career to raise four children with her husband, who owns an investment and insurance business in Pullman.
angie_senter Angela Senter (’02 Agricultural Education; ’10 Education) is the new Carson College event coordinator and is located in the marketing and communications unit. Prior to coming to WSU, she worked for the past seven years as an activity director and health care educator for a local senior living facility.
mitch-_swanger Mitch Swanger (’14 M.A.Ed.) , former graduate recruitment and admissions manager, is now the Graduate Programs coordinator for online programs.

New Hires in the Carson College of Business

SaraAckerman_resized Sara Ackerson is a new academic and student success advisor in the Carson Center for Student Success. She comes to the Pullman campus after serving as an academic advisor in the Carson College of Business at WSU Vancouver for two years. Sara brings over eight years of advising experience to the college. She is the current technology chair for NACADA Region 8, a standing member of the NACADA Professional Development Committee, and on the directorate for the ACPA Commission for Academic Support in Higher Education.
Stephen Baldridge CCOB Stephen Baldridge is the new chef de cuisine in the School of Hospitality Business Management. He has recently moved from Texas, where he was teaching at the Art Institute of Austin. Originally from Little Rock, Arkansas, he has over 10 years of restaurant and catering experience and received his B.A. from the University of Kansas and his M.S. from the University of Arkansas.
Kasi Balmforth Kasi Balmforth is the new fiscal specialist for the college. She is a new employee at WSU and previously worked at the University of Alaska, Anchorage where she earned a dual degree in accounting and small business administration. Originally from the Lewis-Clark Valley, she is excited to be back in the area and to work with the many faculty and staff throughout the college.
Portraits CCOB Jessica Billings (’09 Agric., Human & Nat. Res. Sci.) is a new development coordinator in the Office of Development. She worked for Ruffalo Noel Levitz for the past three years, serving as a senior manager for fundraising services. Her responsibilities include management of the annual giving program, small events, reporting and discovery/assessment visits.
Suzi Billington Suzi Billington is the new director of the Carson Center for Student Success. She will oversee the center’s operations. She most recently served the University of Idaho as director for the Career Center and the Academic Support and Access Programs office. She received the 2015 Leadership in Career Development Award from the Idaho Career Development Association for her work in enhancing career development resources and services to the students and alumni of the University of Idaho. She earned her M.S. in business education from the University of Idaho in 1995.
DanielleBuckner_133x187 Danielle Buckner is a new career advisor in the Carson Center for Student Success. She is excited to assist business students in career planning and professional development and is currently the Carson College ambassadors’ advisor. Previously, she was a graduate assistant in the Career Development Center at Western Illinois University while earning her master’s degree in college student personnel.
BJ Carlson (’14 Economics) is the new assistant to the senior associate dean and personnel coordinator in the Dean’s Office. She is a proud member of the WSU Quarter Century Club, having previously worked in the Budget Office and Conferences and Institutes. She specialized in international development while earning her degree.
michelle-carter2 Michelle Carter is a new assistant professor in the Department of Management, Information Systems, and Entrepreneurship. She previously served on the faculty of the University of Washington in Seattle. She holds a PhD in management information systems from Clemson University. Her current research investigates the involvement of information technologies in identity, humanness, and social change. She is based at WSU North Puget Sound at Everett, where she will helping to deliver the new undergraduate program in data analytics.
JessicaCassleman Jessica Cassleman is the new assistant dean of international programs in the Carson Center for Student Success. She will build upon the college’s existing strengths in international programs, including the undergraduate international business program that is consistently ranked in the top 25 nationally by U.S. News and World Report. Cassleman was formerly the assistant dean in the WSU Honors College for the last 16 years and worked closely with international programs for over 20 years. She was a pioneer of faculty-led trips, which are a hallmark of the Carson College’s study abroad program. A native of Chile, she has taught at the Universidad de Chile in Santiago and Universidad Austral in Valdivia, Chile, as well as Central Michigan University, the University of Illinois, and WSU.
Ming Chen Ming Chen is an associate professor of hospitality business management and was a professor of finance at the National Chung Cheng University in Taiwan before joining the WSU School of Hospitality Business Management in 2015. Chen’s current areas of teaching are hospitality operational analysis, financial management, revenue management, and travel and tourism.
Robert Crossler Robert (Rob) Crossler is a new assistant professor in the department of Management, Information Systems, and Entrepreneurship. He teaches undergraduate students in the area of data management. His research focuses on individual information security and privacy behaviors. He earned his doctorate in information systems from Virginia Tech.
Scott Eckstein Scott Eckstein is the new clinical assistant professor and senior-living-executive-in-residence for the hospitality business management program at WSU North Puget Sound at Everett. He will teach Introduction to Senior Living Management and begin developing it for online delivery. Additionally, he will develop a new online certificate program targeting senior housing industry professionals and associations, among other responsibilities. He earned an MBA from The Leonard N. Stern School of Business and is a veteran management executive with extensive experience in the senior living industry. He also is an international senior living and real estate consultant with Active Living International, LLC.
ashley-gale_headshot-1 Ashley Gale is a new academic coordinator at WSU Vancouver. She has over seven years of experience advising business students and extensive experience coordinating student retention and recruitment efforts. She is very motivated to help undergraduate students navigate their higher education experience, and to prepare for life after graduation. She previously worked at Arizona State University as a retention manager.
Finkas-Ganders Headshot Hannah Finkas-Ganders (’09 Gen. Studies, Soc. Sci.) is a new development coordinator in the Office of Development. She serves as the board relations manager for the Carson College National Board of Advisors and assists with stewardship, assessment, and discovery visits. She recently returned to the Palouse after a three-year absence.
Alex Germer Alex Germer is the new administrative assistant for the Department of Finance and Management Science. She provides support in purchasing, class scheduling, and travel and assists students with enrollment. She previously worked in the WSU Graduate School and is excited to work with the faculty, staff, and students in the Carson College.
Kunter Gunasti Kunter Gunasti is a new assistant professor in the Department of Marketing and International Business and teaches courses on decision making and public policy. His research focuses on consumer behavior issues with strategic marketing implications such as branding, numerical processing, decision making, gift giving, inference making, and country of origin effects. His work has appeared in premier academic journals and he has received various recognition including AMA Best Paper, Advena World Outstanding Speaker, Uconn Teaching Excellence, and Thomas Kinnear Best Article. Prior to coming to WSU, he was an assistant professor of marketing at the University of Connecticut. He earned his PhD in marketing from Penn State University, his MBA from the Lubin School of Business at Pace University and his B.S. in engineering from Istanbul Technical University.
Lisa Hall Lisa Hall is the new chief financial officer for the college. She has over 15 years of financial and management experience, with a record of innovation, process improvement, and leadership in financial reporting. For the past four years, she was the manager of financial and office services at Clearwater Power Company in Lewiston. Prior to that, she was the financial manager at Public Health-Idaho North Central District. She earned her MBA from Idaho State University, and she is also a certified public accountant licensed in Washington state. She also has taught not-for-profit and governmental accounting at the University of Idaho.
Rhonda Hammond - small res-1 (002) Rhonda Hammond is a new assistant professor in the School of Hospitality Business Management at WSU Tri-Cities. She received her PhD in hospitality administration from Texas Tech University where she taught beverage management courses in the Restaurant, Hotel, and Institutional Management program while serving the Texas Wine Marketing Research Institute. She most recently comes from the Hospitality Innovation program at the University of Arkansas where she taught undergraduate and graduate students in the areas of beverage management and marketing, and food and beverage pairing. Her culinary arts background and wine research, particularly regarding underserved market segments, furthers her interest in defining the art of hospitality.
Joe Harris Jr. (’02 MBA), a new adjunct professor in the Department of Management, Information Systems and Entrepreneurship, received his J.D. from Gonzaga University. He is the vice president at Digilent, which was recently acquired by National Instruments. He has worked in the high-tech industry for 15+ years and is a Fulbright Fellow to Albania, where he worked with micro-business development issues.
Kathleen Harris is a new assistant professor in the Department of Accounting where she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in auditing. Her research interests include corporate governance, audit quality, and the audit process. She earned her doctorate in accounting from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Prior to entering academia, she worked for Deloitte and Touché, LLP, in Denver, Colorado.
Brandon Holbrook CCOB Brandon Holbrook (’10 MBA) is a new clinical assistant professor in the Department of Accounting. His primary teaching responsibilities are undergraduate managerial and tax courses. He earned a J.D. from the University of Idaho and received an LL.M. in taxation from the New York University School of Law and worked in the New York office of Ernst & Young in their transfer pricing department.
Chrystal Quisenberry for Graduate School Paulette House is the new assistant director for academic and student success and oversees the academic advising team in the Carson Center for Student Success. She is a first generation college student and earned her B.S. in natural resource management and her M.S. in public administration. Her background includes a unique interface with students, families, and administration as well as working with high risk student populations, teaching, and developing science-based curricula for schools and hands-on science centers in Idaho, Washington, and Alaska. Most recently, she was the assistant director for college recruitment at the University of Idaho College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.
Andrea Julian Andrea Julian joined the WSU-Vancouver Carson College of Business in August 2015 as the academic assistant. She brings seven years of administrative experience to the position. Previously, she worked for Duke University in North Carolina.
Chrystal Quisenberry for Graduate School Leslee Kimbleton is a new academic advisor in the Carson Center for Student Success. She received her B.A. in English at The Ohio State University and went on to graduate work at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, all while working with various student success programs. She is excited to be a part of the ever-growing Carson Center.
Tallie Kuraspediani Tallie Kuraspediani (’12 Communications) is the new program and community engagement coordinator for the Carson College of Business at WSU-Vancouver. She assists with the Business Growth Mentor Analysis Program, marketing coordination for the college’s many offerings and events, connecting businesses in the community with students for internships, mentorships, and more. She previously worked for the Western U.S. Agricultural Trade Association.
Lahiri_headshot Amrita Lahiri is an assistant professor of entrepreneurship in the Department of Management, Information Systems, and Entrepreneurship. Her research examines entrepreneurial firms with a focus on strategic management of resources and innovation. Her recent research has investigated ways in which a start-up’s past influences its future strategy and performance trajectory. She will teach strategic management and entrepreneurship courses. She earned her doctorate in strategic management at the University of Washington.
NIKOLOV_portrait_large (2) Nik Nikolov is a new assistant professor in the Department of Marketing and International Business. He teaches in the area of marketing and international business. His research interests include the intersection of marketing and firm performance, CSR, and innovation. His recent work focuses on institutional investors’ impact on marketing and innovation policies in publicly traded firms. He earned his doctorate degree in marketing from the University of Georgia in 2016.
Kelly Pratt Pic Kelly Pratt is a new academic and student success advisor in the Carson Center for Student Success. She graduated from Gonzaga University with a focus in political science and philosophy and brings a variety of non-profit and higher-education skills. Most recently, she was an operations manager for the Greater New Orleans Youth Orchestras and an education consultant in New Orleans. Previously, she was a program manager at the University of Notre Dame in Pre-College Programs and a senior academic and career advisor at Tulane University in New Orleans.
Leanne Ralstin Leanne Ralstin is a new career advisor in the Carson Center for Student Success. She is a certified global career development facilitator with over 10 years of experience in career advising. Her education also includes an M.S. in English from the University of Idaho and a B.A. in business and English from Lewis-Clark State College. She also recently earned her global career development facilitator certification, specialized training that allows her to help individuals or groups make informed decisions about their career development. She enjoys helping students develop and achieve career goals.
Mario Reyes is a new clinical professor in the Department of Finance and Management Science. He mentors the Cougar Investment Fund and teaches corporate finance and investments. His research focuses on the behavior of financial markets. He comes to the Carson College of Business from the University of Idaho College of Business and Economics, where he served in various capacities for over 31 years. Reyes retired from the University of Idaho in June 2016 as dean emeritus and professor emeritus of finance.
Jenni Sandstrom Jenni Sandstrom is a clinical assistant professor in the School of Hospitality Business Management where she teaches hospitality leadership and lodging-related classes. Her research focuses on hotel general manager leadership, hotel culture, and hospitality education. She has published papers in the Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research, the Journal of Sustainable Tourism, and ICHRIE Research Reports. She is pursuing a PhD in hospitality and tourism with the goals of contributing an operational focus to hospitality research and educating future hoteliers. Prior to coming to WSU, she earned an MBA from the University of Portland and a B.A. in communication from the University of Washington.
Rohny Saylors Rohny Saylors is a new assistant professor of entrepreneurship. His research is focused on entrepreneurial storytelling processes and methods. He will teach the capstone small business consulting course associated with the Business Growth Mentor and Analysis Program and help start the entrepreneurship program at WSU-Vancouver. Saylors has published in Organizational Research Methods and Human Relations.
Ben Warnick Ben Warnick is a new assistant professor in the Department of Management, Information Systems, and Entrepreneurship. His research focuses on passion and motivation in entrepreneurship, including entrepreneurs who found businesses related to their hobbies or passions. He earned his doctorate in entrepreneurship and strategic management from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business.