Student Profiles

The PhD in Business Administration Program attracts individuals from a variety of work and educational backgrounds with a shared interest in understanding organization and social change in its complexity, specifically in its application to real world issues. Our program focuses intensively on how research and analytical skills can be deployed in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors for advancing the economic and social health of regions both locally and globally.


Fall 2016 Cohort

MA, Labor Studies & Emp. Relations, Rutgers University

Laura’s main interests are in conservation and sustainability issues and holds a degree in Neuroscience from Muhlenberg College.. She completed an internship in environmental education at the Elmwood Park Zoo in Norristown, PA, which fostered a love for conservation efforts and inspired her to complete three more environmental education internships at the Lehigh Valley Zoo, the Philadelphia Zoo, and Disney's Animal Kingdom. Her internship as a Conservation Education Presenter at Disney's Animal Kingdom is where she developed my specific sustainability interests. Through her own educational experiences as a Conservation Education Presenter, she learned more information about ecolabeling in product standards. Laura’s current interests focus on exploring sustainability standards in the palm oil industry, an industry that spans across many different product lines. She plans to explore the complex dynamics of the palm oil industry and examine it's sustainability effectiveness.

Yaeli Foint is a PhD student in Business Administration - Organizations and Social Change and an IGERT fellow. Prior to attending UMass Boston, Yaeli worked at a nonprofit organization in western Massachusetts. She has degrees in criminal justice, psychology, and sociology from the University of Hartford. Yaeli is interested in researching systems of inequality and social entrepreneurship in order to ultimately improve access to life-sustaining resources.

Stas has worked in consulting and investing industries, as well as in nonprofit organizations in Russia and the U.S. He received MS in Oceanography and BA in Public Policy from the Lomonosov Moscow State University and MBA from the Yale School of Management. Stas’s research interests lie at the intersection of organizational theory and sustainability. He aims to contribute to these fields exploring transition to sustainable societies from the organizational perspective. He is a member of the Balaton Group and an alumnus of the German-Russian Youth Leadership Forum “New Generation.” 


Fall 2015 Cohort

Prior to joining the OSC program, Jamila serves as a Graduate Research Assistant and Teaching Assistant in the UMass Boston College of Management while pursuing her MBA with a Specialization in Finance.  She also earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Management with a Concentration in Finance at UMass Boston and completed an Undergraduate Honors Thesis titled, “The US Bailout Bonanza: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly”, was an original research project/topic which investigated the causes of the 2008 US Financial Crisis, and progress on economic recovery.  While a Research Assistant, Jamila was engaged in a number of scholarly research projects regarding social enterprise entrepreneurship and local economic development initiatives. This experience strongly influenced her current research interests, which also include impact investing, impact measurement, sustainable innovation, Clean-tech & renewable energy as she explores effective ways to mitigate global warming and to address climate change issues impacting coastal communities. 

Nichole Weber is a currently a PhD student in Business Administration and an IGERT fellow at UMass Boston. Prior to joining the program, Nichole had a variety of experiences in policy, research, and environmental work. In Washington State, Nichole worked in environmental youth education programs and environmental restoration efforts. Nichole's experience extends to international volunteer work in Ecuador where she worked for a nongovernment organization and reforestation project in the Galapagos. Most recently, Nichole worked as a research assistant in public policy at the Center for Public Policy & Administration at the University of Utah where she helped design and implement various applied research projects, such as economic impact surveys and the efficacy of household alternative energy installations. Nichole holds a Master of Arts degree in Sociology from New Mexico State University (NMSU) .At NMSU, Nichole received both qualitative and quantitative training, served as a research co-investigator, lectured on the environment, and investigated climate change discourse in the media and gender in the media.


Fall 2014 Cohort

Debra has worked as a consultant in strategic planning, fundraising and development for a small foundation on the Alabama Gulf coast. Her previous work experience has been primarily in the areas of finance, education and transportation. She has masters’ degrees in business (Brandeis Int’l Business School) and education (Harvard). Her research interests include how organizations can strategically intervene to mitigate the impact of climate change  on the  ecology and economies of coastal/island communities.

Previously, Paul has worked and volunteered for a variety of organizations in both the United States and Egypt. He is interested in entrepreneurship, creativity, innovation, and industry emergence in conditions of extreme scarcity - such as least developed countries and mass refugee camps. Additionally, he is interested in how the personal beliefs and ideologies of entrepreneurs relate to the conception and use of new ventures, especially within the context of social entrepreneurship and economic development. He holds a BA in English Language and Literature from Gordon College, and an MBA from Clark University, where he focused his studies on Sustainability and Social Change.

Prior to joining the OSC Program, Keshav Krishnamurty was involved in qualitative research work on the interactions of business interests with the urban poor. He has an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow and has an undergraduate background in Economics, Political Science and History.  He is interested in the development of mechanisms of corporate governance and corporate accountability, corporate social responsibility as a tool for social change, and the improving the relationship between business interests and society in emerging economies.

Steve has been associated with the financial community in New York since the 1990's and has achieved both an MBA in Finance and Investments as well as the CFA Charter and Financial Risk Manager Designations. Prior to embarking on the path to Wall Street, Steve studied Philosophy and Psychology and developed a strong interest in social theory, which led him to take some Doctoral classes in Philosophy while still an undergraduate. Long active in environmental and consumer organizations, Steve has always thought and acted at the intersection of Business and Society.  He has chaired the Sustainable Investing Committee of the New York Society of Securities Analysts and has worked to advance the use of Environmental, Social and Governance metrics and criteria into the investment management process, including asset selection and portfolio construction. In his role at NYSSA, Steve has organized conferences featuring world renowned financial practitioners and academics who are leading the way to creating a more just and sustainable society.

Hailing from Visakhapatnam, a coastal city in Andhra Pradesh, India, Anusha had completed most of her schooling followed by her Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Production Engineering from there. Soon after, she pursued a Post Graduate Diploma in Rural Management from Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA) in Gujarat, India where she was exposed to various NGOs during the two years there and after passing out, when she worked at Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (India), an NGO in central India, working in a tribal region. Her academic interests developed during her post graduate degree and were strengthened by her experiences at work, where she observed that the underlying values of management education and practice were not exactly aligned with democratic values of equality even in NGOs which claim to address issues of inequality in the society. She wants to focus her research on understanding how management discourse allows organizations to function as undemocratic spaces while perpetuating existing inequality. Her current research interests are in critical management studies, development management and NGOs, organizational inequality and hierarchical structures, sociology of organizations and visual research methods.

A native of Nova Scotia, Chris’s family has close ties to the fishing and coal mining industries which have historically driven the local economy.  He attended Dalhousie University in Halifax, before beginning a career in business development.  After 15 years as an entrepreneur and general management consultant, he returned to Dalhousie for a Master of Environmental Studies (MES) degree to gain a better understanding of environment and resource management.  His research interests revolve around the intersection of business and sustainability.    Chris has worked with numerous businesses across a wide variety of industries and regions, including some of Canada’s top franchise companies and financial institutions.  Chris has also worked in partnership with various economic development agencies, First Nation communities, and has served on several Team Canada Trade Missions to the US.

Chris chose to investigate methods of integrating environmental dimensions in economic development and strategic planning.  He studied strategic environmental assessment and produced a thesis titled Planning a SEA Change.  Chris is interested in building on his more nuanced understanding of environmental management to research the dynamic economies of coastal communities.


Fall 2013 Cohort

Prior to the program, Erynn enjoyed a successful career in marketing - most recently in brand management at the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company.  She received her Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Nebraska and her MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern.  Her research interests are in the economics of the nonprofit sector. It is an interest inspired by her experience with several nonprofit organizations, including board leadership at Reading in Motion, a charity dedicated to the literacy of at risk children in Chicago.

Through his academic, professional, and personal experiences, Thomas Bejarano has developed a vision of business that emphasizes its potential to empower individuals and act as a catalyst for positive economic, social and political change. He cemented this interpretation, not within the confines of business, but as a student of psychology and as a social worker. Thomas received his BS in Psychology and MS in Global Technology and Development from Arizona State University. Most recently, while living and traveling in Brazil, he dedicated his master’s research to examining entrepreneurship and business incubation as development tools and hopes to continue his research not only within the business incubation sector but also within the nexus where entrepreneurship, innovation, and development meet.

Prior to joining the program, Hozami worked as a university instructor of Business Administration for King Saud University for Girls in Saudi Arabia. She received her Bachelor and Master degrees in Public Administration from KSU in S.A. Understanding ethical decision-making in business organization and creating sensitivity to the implications of business decisions are her main current interests.  Hozami is a mother of five children and reside currently in Brookline. 

Georgianna is currently working in dual roles at UMass Boston. The first is as the Interim Chief Diversity Officer in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.  The second is as Executive Director for Commonwealth Compact, a workforce diversity project aimed at improving Massachusetts reputation as a leader in diversity and inclusion.  She has served as an assistant commissioner for the MA Department of Transitional Assistant; executive director of Casa Myrna Vazquez and executive director of RESPOND, Inc., both are domestic violence agencies serving communities in and around Boston.  She holds a BA in English, with a minor in cultural studies from Bentley University and a MS in Public Affairs from the McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies at UMass Boston. 


Fall 2012 Cohort

Prior to joining the program, Laura served as the Chief of Staff and Policy for the City Attorney for the City of New Orleans, Louisiana.  She received her BA in Sociology from St. Mary’s University of San Antonio, Texas, and her MA in Sociology from The University of New Orleans (Master’s Thesis: “Gender at Work: The Role of Habitus and Gender-Performance in Service Industry Occupations”

Lisa is currently the Director of the Center for Collaborative Leadership, including its Emerging Leaders Program, at the College of Management at UMass Boston.  She received her BS in Business Administration from Bryant University and her MBA from Regis University in Denver, Colorado.

Prior to joining the program, Chacko served as Team Lead / Business Analyst, in the Chief Information Officer’s Organization, with Accenture, Ltd, in Gurgaon, India.  He received his Bachelor of Technology from the University of Kerala in India and his MBA in International Business from the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade in New Delhi, India. His research interests include emerging economies, livelihood solutions, outsourcing, and CSR

Prior to joining the OSC program, Elena worked with Teach for America Corps Member in the Mississippi Delta which increased her awareness of the role organizations play in maintaining, creating, or—in a few positive cases—mitigating, major social issues including but not limited to education, unemployment and sustainability.  She holds a Masters in Education from Delta State University and has experience in nonprofit development, teacher training and childcare management. Her research interests include social entrepreneurship, selection and retention in mission driven organizations, and sustainability initiatives.

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