Rewarding Careers: McIntire Faculty Earn Promotions and Tenure

The career milestones of the six faculty members reflect their world-class instruction, thought leadership, and incredible service to the Commerce School and the broader community.

Amanda Cowen, Steven L. Johnson, Kisha Lashley, Jingjing Li, Nicole Montgomery, Marcia Pentz

The McIntire School of Commerce recently recognized six of its faculty members for excellence in their work, granting tenure and/or promotions to Professors Amanda Cowen, Steven L. Johnson, Kisha Lashley, Jingjing Li, Nicole Montgomery, and Marcia Pentz.

“Tenure and promotion are significant milestones in the careers of our faculty. It signals world-class instruction, thought leadership, and incredible service to McIntire and the broader community,” says Commerce School Dean Nicole Thorne Jenkins. “I congratulate Professors Cowen, Johnson, Lashley, Li, Montgomery, and Pentz for this important recognition of their efforts.”

Professor Amanda Cowen
Cowen, who serves as Associate Dean for Graduate Programs and is a 2017 recipient of UVA’s prestigious All-University Teaching Award, was promoted to the rank of Full Professor. An Associate Editor with the Academy of Management Journal since 2019, and a member of the editorial review board of the Academy of Management Review since 2009, Cowen conducts research on corporate governance and strategic leadership. Her work has discussed the impact of gender in the C-suite, the structure and value of CEO severance agreements, and how boards seek to maintain legitimacy in the wake of corporate governance scandals or failures.

“I always feel so grateful to have landed at UVA and the McIntire School. I am surrounded by great students, colleagues, and research collaborators. The community here has allowed me to pursue a career that I love, and develop as a researcher and a teacher,” says Cowen, who most recently taught Purpose, Power & Pay: International Corporate Governance, an elective for the M.S. in Commerce Program. “I look forward to this next chapter and being a part of what lies ahead for the School and its programs!”

Professor Steven L. Johnson
Johnson, who has been an Associate Professor of Commerce at McIntire since 2015 and recently began serving as Information Technology Area Coordinator, received tenure.

“Something I really appreciate about the School of Commerce is that not only is there an emphasis on providing a high-quality student experience, there is also strong support for faculty research.”

His recent research of information discovery platforms has had mainstream impact; along with McIntire colleagues Brent Kitchens and Peter Gray, Johnson received the 2021 Award for Responsible Research in Management as Distinguished Winners for their MIS Quarterly paper “Understanding Echo Chambers and Filter Bubbles: The Impact of Social Media on Diversification and Partisan Shifts in News Consumption.” This project was referenced in media outlets internationally; Johnson and colleagues also penned an op-ed about their findings for The Washington Post.

Professor Kisha Lashley
A teacher of Strategic Management at McIntire, Lashley has earned tenure and has been promoted to Associate Professor. Lashley’s areas of expertise lie in organizational social evaluations that include such topics as stigma, reputation, and status, particularly in the area of startups. Some of her recent research includes published work in Organization Science examining the use of soft power by women- and minority-owned firms to manage relationships with larger business partners and a paper discussing the stigma surrounding the U.S. medical cannabis industry, published in Administrative Science Quarterly.

“I am looking forward to this next phase of my career as an Associate Professor, and to contributing to McIntire’s longstanding excellence,” says Lashley. “The journey to this point was filled with all kinds of ups and downs and sacrifices, but I’m happy that I persisted. I am grateful to the friends and family, colleagues, and co-authors who encouraged and supported me.”

Professor Jingjing Li
“As a first-generation immigrant and a woman in tech, my path to tenure has never been smooth,” says Li, who earned tenure and was promoted to Associate Professor. “Among the things that I appreciate the most about McIntire is its cura personalis (care for the entire person) spirit. This nurturing environment has transformed me from a nervous first-time professor to one who wholeheartedly embraces every moment of research and teaching,” she says, noting the support she has received from her students and colleagues throughout the years.

Li, who came to the School in 2014, has been sharing her research interest in big data analytics, AI, and machine learning with both students and the larger research community. Her efforts earned recognition when she won the INFORMS Design Science Award, INFORMS CIST Best Paper Award (with McIntire’s Natasha Foutz), WITS Best Paper Award, WITS Best Prototype Award, Shelby D. Hunt/Harold H. Maynard Award Finalist (with McIntire’s Amar Cheema) and INFORMS Data Science Workshop Best Paper Nominee.

Li believes that she is well-positioned to help McIntire and the University increase their impact on business and society at the global level, while hoping to devote more time to mentoring students and junior faculty members and supporting diversity and inclusion activities, research center efforts, and alumni-corporate relations.

Professor Nicole Montgomery
Montgomery, who is now in her ninth year with McIntire, has been promoted to the rank of Full Professor, having most recently taught the undergraduate and graduate levels of the Digital Strategy & Analytics course.

Her scholarly pursuits center on consumer information processing. Though much of Montgomery’s research has focused on the implications of the business environment on consumer engagement, she has also published co-written works with fellow promoted Professor Cowen on organizational leadership and the influence of gender on how CEOs are perceived by the public following failures. Her research has appeared in Journal of Consumer Research; Journal of Applied Psychology; Journal of Personality and Social Psychology; and Journal of Consumer Psychology.

“I am grateful for all of the support that I have received from my colleagues and collaborators that has allowed me to reach this new career milestone,” Montgomery says. “I look forward to future collaborations with my talented McIntire colleagues to further our important initiatives.”

Professor Marcia Pentz
Promoted to Associate Professor, General Faculty, Pentz came to McIntire with degrees in English literature and Education to make an impact at the Commerce School in Management Communication.

“I’ve always been a teacher at heart, whether teaching high school English in Maine or nearby Fluvanna county, or teaching ENWR and literature in UVA’s English department. Yet, the students and the faculty of McIntire have allowed me to flourish professionally since 2002,” says Pentz, who is also the Communication Coordinator for the M.S. in Accounting Program, and recipient of an All-University Teaching Award in 2010, as well as McIntire’s Order of Claw & Dagger Faculty Recognition Award in 2012.

In addition to giving innumerable public-speaking workshops across Grounds, Pentz says that she’s also been privileged to help co-direct the Meriwether Lewis Leadership Summer Institute since 2015, and “encouraged to stretch into the role of an Integrated Core Experience Team Lead,” positions that she remains grateful for experiencing.

Knowing that the promotion came with the full support of her esteemed colleagues, and calling it “a joy-filled next step” in her Commerce School career, Pentz sends “a heartfelt thanks to all the students, faculty, staff, and administration who make McIntire a renowned institution; it is a pleasure to work with you all.”

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