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8 young B-school professors on the rise

Feb 12, 2014

Kelly Goldsmith

Title: Assistant Professor of Marketing
Age: 34
School: Northwestern-Kellogg

The charismatic daughter of renowned executive leadership coach Marshall Goldsmith is known for her quirky humor and her explanations of complex concepts with authentic scenarios--she even incorporated clips of her stint as a contestant on reality TV show "Survivor" in a course video. "The more I teach, the more I give myself permission to have fun with the class, to really let the course organically emerge as we go through the content," she explains.

Photo: Kolarik/Servus TV

Markus Giesler

Title: Associate Professor of Marketing
Age: 37
School: York University-Schulich

The youngest marketing professor to be hired by a North American B-school, Giesler is known as a dynamic instructor willing to go to extreme lengths to drive a point home, even setting his PhD dissertation on fire as part of one demonstration. The German-born professor eschews textbooks in favor of real-world cases and hands-on experience. He spends summers touring Europe with his band.

Deepak Malhotra

Title: Professor of Business Administration
Age: 38
School: Harvard Business School

Top CEOs, advisors to heads of state, and even former supermodel Tyra Banks turn to Harvard's Deepak Malhotra for advice. The master negotiator is a sought-after instructor, and MBAs have tapped him twice to present the end-of-year lecture. His attributes his success at the bargaining table and in the classroom to empathy, "the No. 1 quality of a great negotiator," and even attends undergraduate courses in different disciplines to maintain the perspective of a student.

Leslie Robinson

Title: Associate Professor of Business Administration
Age: 38
School: Dartmouth-Tuck

Leslie Robinson brings "accounting to life" for her students. From reviewing their backgrounds before class to sleeping in the backseat of a van for a 200-mile overnight relay with her MBAs, LesRob (as she's affectionately called) has inspired a near cult-like adoration among her students -- an entire class once serenaded her with Simon & Garfunkel's "Mrs. Robinson." Between the races, hijinks, and motherhood (she has two children), she's made a name for herself as the go-to academic on tax and accounting issues for multinational firms.

Nicholas Epley

Title: Professor of Behavioral Science
Age: 39
School: Univ. of Chicago-Booth

A broken nose led this former college offensive lineman to a career in academia rather than football. The exemplary educator is credited with boosting the status of behavioral science in Booth's curriculum and bringing dynamism to the classroom through realistic examples. When the Iowa native is not studying why people think and behave the way they do, he's feeding chickens, nurturing fruit trees, or splitting wood at his Chicago-area suburban farm.

Catherine Tucker

Title: Associate Professor of Marketing
Age: 36
School: MIT Sloan

It's a bold move to post your course evaluations online, unless you're Catherine Tucker, who shares hers in her faculty profile. Her outstanding student reviews have not gone unnoticed. MIT's first tenured female marketing professor was voted the B-school's "Teacher of the Year" in 2014, an honor she was nominated for three times previously. In 2013, she received the Jamieson Prize for Excellence in Teaching.

Rodrigo Canales

Title: Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior
Age: 38
School: Yale School of Management

Both in practice and in his research, the Mexico City native is focused on improving the world, whether through studies on social enterprise and microfinance or a TED talk on brand management and Mexican drug cartels that accumulated more than 1 million views.

Xiaoyan Zhang

Title: Associate Professor of Finance
Age: 37
School: Purdue-Krannert

The lively finance instructor brings so much energy to the classroom that she sheds three pounds for every eight-week course she teaches; she also boasts a rare perfect score of 10.0/10.0 on Purdue's course evaluation system. Her research has earned her recognition from both the Federal Reserve System's Board of Governors and the European Central Bank.

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