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Diversity in leadership: 8 business faculty members are paving the way
From left to right: Stav Fainshmidt, Curba Lampert, Suchismita Mishra, Ozde Oztekin, Anna Pietraszek, Jayati Sinha, Jayati Sinha and Arun Upadhyay.

Diversity in leadership: 8 business faculty members are paving the way

January 5, 2022 at 4:00pm

In a push to diversify leadership at FIU, the university has charged eight business faculty members with learning how institutions of higher education operate outside the classroom.

The fellows will participate in committees and work in an administrative environment before leaping into a leadership role. These appointments offer faculty an immersive experience with administrative leadership, the ability to make valuable contributions to curriculums, and the opportunity to raise the FIU Business research profile and benchmarks.

The genesis of the program stems from a suggestion from the FIU Office to Advance Women, Equity, and Diversity to help FIU Business find new initiatives for faculty that could increase diversification in leadership. With diversity, equity, and inclusion in mind, mixed with an entrepreneurial spirit.

When William G. Hardin, interim dean at the college, placed the original call for applications, he noted:

“For the right person, the fellowship could be very enlightening as to what non-faculty roles entail and in letting them get a relatively small exposure to the management of higher education without having to make a career-defining switch.”

The faculty fellows come from different business fields, ethnicities and cultures — five out of eight are women. The fellows range from senior faculty to FIU Business newcomers. They expressed their intrinsic motivation to work with a diverse group of colleagues to bring real-life solutions to an ever-expanding FIU Business community. 

“As a relatively new member of the COB faculty, the faculty fellow role allows me to have more meaningful interactions with people outside my department and to learn more about the administrative operation of the college," said Michael Tang, assistant professor at the FIUSchool of Accounting. "I am thrilled to have these opportunities to bring my previous faculty experience and knowledge from NYU, as well as my international background and my passion for multi-culturalism, to make my contribution to the rapid growth of FIU in its efforts to boost its community outreach and global impact. 

FIU Business faculty fellows are eager to take ownership of their roles to expand their professional profile and increase the college’s reputation. For example, Anna Pietraszek, an assistant teaching professor at the Department of Marketing & Logistics, has recently earned the role of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Fellow, among other titles, and she executed the college’s first Executive in Residence for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. In addition, she invited Deepak Ohri, a global leader in luxury brands, to FIU Business to give learners a new perspective on entrepreneurial thinking.

“I am very honored to be appointed Fellow in Entrepreneurship and Innovation," Pietraszek said. It gives me a perfect platform to teach students why the entrepreneurial mindset is essential and how it can shape their future. It is important that the students understand how to identify new opportunities and make the most of them. Currently, I am working with Deepak Ohri, Executive in Residence in Entrepreneurship and Innovation, on a brand new initiative, Luxury Incubator course, for the MBA program. We will put a lot of our discussion into practice.” 

Notably, the fellows are also energized to set a framework for an in-depth research structure that allows for benchmarking disciplines, monitoring programs and allocation of research resources. During their one-year contract, they plan on maximizing their time by merging professional expertise with academic innovation to propose measures to reach new heights for the college.

“Dean Hardin is reigniting the research conversation at the COB, and I am thrilled to be part of it as his research fellow," said Curba Lampert, associate professor in the Department of International Business. "I have known Dean Hardin for eight years now so I can tell you firsthand that he is passionate about research. Dean Hardin’s vision and strategy regarding research are going to elevate the COB.” 

 FIU Business Faculty Fellows

  • Stav Fainshmidt, eminent scholar, Department of International Business, Research and Innovation Committee 
  • Curba Lampert, eminent scholar, Department of International Business, Research Strategies Committee
  • Suchismita Mishra, professor, Department of Finance, Research Strategies Committee
  • Ozde Oztekin, eminent scholar, Department of Finance, Research and Innovation Committee
  • Anna Pietraszek, assistant teaching professor, Department of Marketing & Logistics, Entrepreneurship and Innovation Committee
  • Jayati Sinha, associate professor, Department of Marketing & Logistics, Program Administration and Evaluation Committee
  • Minye (Michael) Tang, assistant professor, School of Accounting, Program Administration and Evaluation Committee
  • Arun Upadhyay, eminent scholar, Department of Finance, Program Administration and Evaluation Committee

FIU Business is currently among the top-ranked business colleges in the United States, holding a No. 2 ranking for international business, according to U.S. News Best Colleges; a No.3 international MBA, according to U.S. News Best Graduate Schools; and No. 10 Online MBA Program, Online MBA (World) Q.S. World University Rankings.