McIntire Professors Brent Kitchens and Chiraag Mittal have each been promoted to Associate Professor of Commerce, with both earning tenure in their positions as well.
“The Information Technology and Innovation Area is thrilled for our respected colleague,” says IT&T Area Coordinator Professor Steven L. Johnson. “Brent is a popular teacher of undergraduate and graduate Business Analytics courses, has enhanced the global reputation of our school through award-winning research, and has contributed to the University through his leadership at The Colonnade Club.”
Marketing Area Coordinator Professor Richard Netemeyer was also pleased to announce that Mittal, a teacher of marketing and quantitative methods in the M.S. in Commerce Program and undergraduate courses on Consumer Behavior and Marketing Strategy, received promotion and tenure.
“Chiraag has already established himself as fine marketing scholar, focusing his research on consumer decision making by integrating insights from human development and behavioral ecology,” says Netemeyer. “He brings much needed teaching expertise and research visibility for the Marketing Area and McIntire in general, and he will also be heading up a behavioral research lab at McIntire starting in fall 2022 with Professor Emma Zhao. We congratulate Chiraag and are excited that he is a member of our McIntire faculty.”
Mittal, whose current research focuses on the effects of stressors and early-life environment on consumer judgment related to health, personal finance, and well-being, credits the School’s culture with fostering scholarship connections. “The culture at McIntire made it incredibly easy for me to collaborate with researchers with a broad set of skills. This made me view my own work from a different lens and think about ways I can develop it more and make it more impactful,” says Mittal, who has published in top journals such as Journal of Consumer Research; Journal of Personality and Social Psychology; Journal of Consumer Psychology; and Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science.
Kitchens, who serves as Associate Director for McIntire’s Center for Business Analytics, agrees, saying that one of the Commerce School’s strengths is “the diversity of approaches to research among the faculty.”
“Before arriving at McIntire, I was deeply entrenched in one way of looking at research problems,” he says. “The opportunity to work with McIntire faculty from a variety of backgrounds has really broadened my perspective and allowed me to gain a much deeper understanding of the things I research.”
Honored by the University in January 2022 (along with Johnson and McIntire Professor Peter Gray) for his contributions to a paper in MIS Quarterly titled “Understanding Echo Chambers and Filter Bubbles: The Impact of Social Media on Diversification and Partisan Shifts in News Consumption,” Kitchens and his colleagues were also selected as Distinguished Winners of the 2021 Award for Responsible Research in Management.
Despite the success they have enjoyed with their impactful research, both Kitchens and Mittal say that those they work with have proven to be the biggest difference in their experience teaching at the School.
“The best thing about working at McIntire is the people,” says Kitchens. “It is rare to find a place that has such a fantastic research faculty and such motivated and curious students. I think it’s because the culture here places such a high value on both research and teaching—it’s hard to do both so well.”
Mittal was complimentary as well: “I have really enjoyed interacting with some of the nicest and smartest people. We not only have a wonderful group of faculty at McIntire but also a set of exceptionally driven students.”
Looking forward, Kitchens is energized by the opportunity to revamp and develop several courses in the coming year.
Mittal plans to become more involved in the McIntire community, and hopes to interact with both his colleagues and students more fully. “As things seem to be getting back to normal, it would be great to once again have chats in the hallways and (visible) smiles in the classroom this fall,” he says.