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Washington State University

Center for Professional Sales

About Us

Open to all majors at both the Pullman and Vancouver campuses, the WSU Center for Professional Sales prepares students for careers in professional sales and customer account management. The program offers a Professional Sales Certificate and collaborates with leading businesses to provide hands-on experience, helping students develop the skills needed for a sales successful career.

Our objective is to develop and maintain mutually valued relationships between business partners and the WSU Professional Sales program. We do this by offering significant opportunities for hands-on engagement with WSU sales students and faculty that can be tailored to each partner’s needs. Our goal is to develop student leaders who make an immediate impact on their hiring organization.

Vancouver Faculty

Julie Nelsen

Julie Beckel Nelsen is the Director for WSU’s Carson College of Business Center for Professional Sales. Before her academic career, Nelsen enjoyed a 20-plus-year career working in entrepreneurial, corporate, and non-profit sales and marketing roles in the advertising, interior design, and commercial furniture industries. Her sales and marketing experience crossed both B2B and B2C practices. Before earning her Marquette University Ph.D. focused on Strategic Business Communication, Nelsen earned an Associate degree in Interior Design (Century College), a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Merchandising (St. Catherine University), an MBA (Arizona State University), and a graduate certificate in Integrated Marketing Communications (St. Catherine University). Nelsen served as the Marketing Educators’ Association 2021-2022 President, and she is a Past-President of the American Marketing Association Phoenix Chapter. Her research focuses on sales and marketing pedagogy, business ethics, and corporate social responsibility. She creates a strong connection between the classroom and the workplace by bringing the business world to her classroom through speakers, work-world examples, role plays, and other hands-on learning opportunities. She is excited to be a part of preparing students for successful and rewarding careers.

Alberto Sa Vinhas

Dr. Sa Vinhas is an associate professor in the Department of Marketing and International Business. He is based in our Vancouver campus, where he teaches the core MBA marketing class, and the Sales Management and Marketing Management electives in the undergraduate program. His primary research interests are in business-to-business marketing and the structure and management of distribution channels. He has published articles in many leading academic journals, including Marketing Science, Management Science, Journal of Marketing Research, Marketing Letters and the Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management.

Pullman Faculty

Bitty Balducci

Prior to joining Washington State University as an Assistant Professor of Marketing, Bitty completed a PhD in Marketing at the University of Missouri. Her research interests are fueled by her professional experience in development and sales prior to joining academia and seek to enhance understanding of how sales interactions unfold and influence performance. Her research aims to provide practitioners with insights that would enable more effective sales training, management, and evaluation. To answer these questions, she uses unstructured data (acoustic, text) to explore sales interactions dyadically and dynamically through text mining, natural language processing, and acoustic analysis. In her down time, she likes to eat good food, travel anywhere and everywhere, and explore all the Palouse has to offer with her dog Kenai.

Kevin Chase

I am currently an Assistant Professor of Marketing with an extensive industry background in both B2B and B2C sales experience. Previously, I taught sales at both the University of Kentucky and Clemson University, working to develop cutting edge undergraduate education to prepare students for a future career in sales. My research focuses on complex organizational buying and selling processes using both qualitative and quantitative exploration.

Alec Pappas

Alec is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Marketing and International Business. He currently teaches B2B Marketing and Professional Sales and manages the WSU Sales Club in Pullman. Alec grew up in Boca Raton, FL and graduated undergrad and his PhD program from Florida State University. In between undergrad and the PhD program, Alec lived in Philadelphia working as a mortgage closer and moved back to Florida for an account manager position at a tech firm managing websites for international companies. In his free time, he enjoys hiking and photography. He also owns a photography company that sells licensed photos of Florida State University in local Tallahassee retail and online outlets.

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