Marriott School Welcomes New Faculty

PROVO, Utah – Sep 12, 2016 – The Marriott School of Management welcomes nine professors to the Tanner Building this fall.

New additions to the full-time faculty include Abigail Allen, Troy Lewis, Jake Thornock and Melissa Western in the School of Accountancy; Lisa Jones Christensen and Taeya Howell in the organizational leadership and strategy department; Marc Dotson in the marketing and global supply chain department, and Robert Christensen in the Romney Institute of Public Management. In addition, Reid Robison will join the organizational leadership and strategy department.

“The quality of our incoming faculty is outstanding,” says Keith Vorkink, associate dean. “Some come with great experience from working at excellent business schools and others out of top PhD programs in their discipline. We are confident they will make a difference in their respective departments and programs.”

The Marriott School is located at Brigham Young University, the largest privately owned, church-sponsored university in the United States. The school has nationally recognized programs in accounting, business management, entrepreneurship, finance, information systems and public management. The school’s mission is to prepare men and women of faith, character and professional ability for positions of leadership throughout the world. Approximately 3,300 students are enrolled in the Marriott School’s graduate and undergraduate programs.

New Faculty Bios

Marketing and Global Supply Chain Department

Marc Dotson did not anticipate he would end up as a professor at BYU. His brother Jeff, an associate professor at the Marriott School, was his inspiration for wanting to enter the world of academia. By the time he was nearing completion of his doctoral program at The Ohio State University, Dotson had formally met the marketing faculty at BYU and knew that teaching for the Marriott School was what he wanted to do. “The faculty, the quality and commitment of students, and the opportunity to teach spiritual principles was more than inviting,” Dotson says. “It was genuinely compelling.” Now he joins the Marriott School as an assistant professor of marketing for the Department of Marketing and Global Supply Chain. Prior to BYU, Dotson taught courses in marketing research at Ohio State. He is a recipient of multiple honors, including the Alpha Chi National Honor Society Robert W. Sledge Fellowship during his graduate work at the London School of Economics. He is a Mittelstaedt and the Haring Doctoral Symposium Fellow. Among other initiatives, Dotson will contribute to the Marriott School’s emphasis on undergraduate marketing analytics.

Organizational Leadership and Strategy Department

“I am so moved by my deeper understanding of the mission of BYU,” says Lisa Jones Christensen, alumna and assistant professor of organizational behavior for the Marriott School. “I had some idea as a student, but now that I am on the other side I am inspired and grateful for all that goes into teaching here. I cannot wait to contribute.” Jones Christensen has an MBA from BYU and a PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is recipient of multiple honors including the National Federation of Independent Business Award for Excellence in Research, the Oikos Social Entrepreneurship Case Writing Contest and the Innovation in Entrepreneurship Pedagogy Award from the Academy of Management conference.

Taeya Howell received her JD from the BYU J. Reuben Clark Law School before working for six years as an associate attorney in commercial leasing and bankruptcy at Elsaesser, Jarzabek, Anderson, Marks, Elliott & McHugh. Howell then returned to the world of academia and earned an MS and PhD in management at McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin. “After working as an attorney, I decided that I wanted to devote more time to researching what drives change and how people communicate their ideas to others,” Howell says. “I also had a desire to teach others about my findings and what I hoped to learn.” Her research focuses on how individuals challenge the status quo at work and how they go about doing so. This fall as an assistant professor of organizational behavior she will teach courses on organizational effectiveness and micro/macro organization theory.

Reid Robison is not a stranger to BYU. He has previously held various administrative positions, such as director of BYU alumni regional activities, and as placement director for both OBHR undergraduate and graduate students in the department of organizational leadership and strategy in the Marriott School. Now he serves as assistant professor of organizational behavior, OBHR MBA track leader and manager of partner relationships in the Ballard Center for Economic Self-Reliance. He is passionate about helping students find their path and is excited to return after two years of missionary service as MTC president with his wife in Ghana and three years as a mission president in the West Indies. “I love BYU students,” Robison says. “I am excited to contribute to their process of learning and discovering who they want to become. I feel like it is an extension of the mission field when you counsel students.” Robison has a PhD in educational leadership from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and an MBA from Northwestern.

Romney Institute of Public Management

Robert Christensen was raised in Idaho Falls, Idaho, and as a teen had career aspirations that ranged from being an orchard farmer to an orthodontist, but never a professor. “I was actually working on my JD/MPA at BYU when my professor, Dr. Kirkwood Hart, suggested that I look into a doctoral program,” Christensen says. “He planted the idea in my head that I could combine my law and public administration training with a career of research and teaching. I have been grateful ever since; I love what I do.” Since earning his PhD at Indiana University, Christensen has held faculty positions at the University of North Carolina Charlotte and the University of Georgia. Now he returns to his alma mater as associate professor of public management in the MPA program.

School of Accountancy

Prior to BYU, Abigail Allen taught at Harvard Business School where she covered topics such as MBA analytics, financial reporting and control, and business administration. Now, as an assistant professor of financial accounting at the Marriott School, Allen’s focus of teaching will be intermediate financial accounting in the junior core. Allen looks forward to teaching in BYU’s religious environment. “The unique atmosphere and common faith at BYU remove the barriers to open and deep gospel discussions,” Allen says. “I believe that learning is most impactful when centered on gospel principles.” Allen earned a DBA in accounting from Harvard Business School. She is also the recipient of various honors such as the Financial Accounting Doctoral Consortium Fellow, KPMG Minority Doctoral Scholarship and the AAA 2014 Western Regional Conference Best Paper Award. Aside from research and teaching, Allen loves to hike, scuba dive and play chess.

“Every time I teach a class, I feel a deep connection with the students and the university,” says Troy Lewis, who has previously served as an adjunct professor of taxation for five years in the School of Accountancy. “That feeling of being a positive influence in a student’s academic pursuits has become addictive. When BYU asked me to join the faculty in a full-time position for the upcoming school year, I was more than willing to continue the relationship because of the positive experience it has been so far.” Lewis’ focus in research and teaching is taxation. He has also served for the past two years as chair of the AICPA Tax Executive Committee, during which time Lewis has testified before Congress four times.

Jake Thornock received a BS in accountancy and a MAcc from BYU. Now he returns to Provo as an associate professor of financial accounting. “BYU is unique among academic institutions for its emphasis on faith, intellect and character,” Thornock says. I’m honored to be back and excited for the chance to be part of an excellent faculty, specifically in the School of Accountancy.” After studying at BYU, Thornock earned his PhD at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. For the past six years, Thornock was an assistant and associate tenured professor of accounting at the University of Washington. His research focuses on tax evasion and the usefulness of accounting information. He has received multiple honors, including the American Accounting Association’s National Service Award, the PricewaterhouseCoopers Alumni Professorship and the Foster School of Business’ Outstanding PhD Mentor in Accounting.

Melissa Western trades in her Utah red for Cougar blue as she joins the Marriott School this fall. “I was really inspired by BYU’s commitment to excellence in all areas of life, not just academics,” says Western, who was an associate professor of accounting for nine years at the University of Utah. “There is a strong sense of community in the Marriott School; I feel like I can be innovative and make more of a difference in this type of environment.” Western joins the Marriott School as an associate professor of financial accounting and says she is most excited about the mentorship aspect of her position in addition to teaching courses in the junior core. She earned a PhD in business administration from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. Aside from conducting research, one of Western’s favorite summer projects was taking skateboard lessons from her son, Elijah.  

The Marriott School is located at Brigham Young University, the largest privately owned, church-sponsored university in the United States. The school has nationally recognized programs in accounting, business management, entrepreneurship, finance, information systems and public management. The school’s mission is to prepare men and women of faith, character and professional ability for positions of leadership throughout the world. Approximately 3,300 students are enrolled in the Marriott School’s graduate and undergraduate programs.

1168-Dotson_Marc.jpg
Marc Dotson
1168-Lisa Christensen.jpg
Lisa Jones Christensen
1168-Taeya Howell.jpg
Taeya Howell
1168-Robison_Reid_12 (1).jpg
Reid Robison
1168-2016 BYU-1 (1).jpg
Robert Christensen
1168-Allen_Abigail_lores (1).jpg
Abigail Allen
1168-Troy Lewis.jpg
Troy Lewis
1168-Thornock_Jake_lores.jpg
Jake Thornock
1168-Head shot (1).jpg
Melissa Western

Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Kelly Brunken