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Ascendant Scholars

Ascendant Scholars Award

  • Eligibility: Must be a scholar, preferably in a business school in the Western Academy of Management region, and normally someone with a maximum of six to seven years of experience.  To be “ascendant,” the person should have a record that includes:

  1. Great research, which is usually determined by the quality and number of articles published,

  2. Great teaching, which is usually determined by teaching nominations or awards or other types of teaching contributions,

  3. Engaging professional service, whether with the Academy or with business, and

  4. A trajectory or potential that looks very promising for the future.

  • Preference: This is given to nominees who are current members of WAM or regular attendees of WAM meetings, although nominations in the past have not been limited to this group.  Those named a WAM Ascendant Scholar are expected to attend the annual meeting where they will present their research in a special session. 

  • Process:  Nominations are solicited from the membership.  The EC reviews the nominees and selects Ascendant Scholars. Nominators are asked to please send the following to the current WAM president by email:

    • Nominee info: Name, contact, and CV

    • Nominator info: Name and contact

    • Letter: A short letter from the nominator answering why they think this person would make a great nominee.

Congratulations to our 2024 Ascendant Scholars:

Chantal van Esch, Jessica Huisi Li, & Hatim Rahman

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Chantal van Esch is an award-winning professor of management and our Faculty in Residence at Cal Poly Pomona. She takes a multi-disciplinary approach to teaching organizational behavior, leadership, diversity in organizations, senior project, and business abroad.

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Jessica Huisi Li is an Assistant Professor in Management & Organizations at the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington in Seattle. Her work is motivated by a desire to help teams and organizations fully utilize their diverse talents.

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Hatim A. Rahman is an Assistant Professor of Management and Organizations at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University. His research investigates how artificial intelligence, undergirded by algorithms, is impacting the nature of work and employment relationships in organizations and labor markets.

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Congratulations to our 2023 Ascendant Scholars:

Michael Daniels, Sarah Doyle, Joe Raffiee, & Phil Thompson


Michael Daniels earned his Ph.D. from Bowling Green State University. He is an Assistant Professor in the Organizational Behaviour and Human Resources Division at the University of British Columbia. His research interests include emotions at work, shaming in organizations, humility, leadership, and workplace mistreatment. He has published work in peer reviewed business journals such as Personnel Psychology, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, and the Journal of Management.


Sarah Doyle joined the Eller College of Management in 2017 after earning her PhD in Management and Human Resources from The Ohio State University. Her research focuses on status, social hierarchy, interpersonal and intergroup relations, cooperation and competition and interpersonal helping. Sarah is currently Co-coordinator of the M&O department's PhD program.


Joe Raffiee is an Associate Professor of Strategy. Joe's research focuses on strategic human capital, employee mobility, and entrepreneurship. Joe's research has been published or is forthcoming in Administrative Science Quarterly, Strategic Management Journal, Organization Science, Management Science, Academy of Management Review, Academy of Management Journal, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, and the Academy of Management Perspectives. His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation and the Kauffman Foundation and covered by media outlets such as the Harvard Business Review, Huffington Post, Inc. Magazine, and Wired. In 2021, Joe was recognized as one of the “Top 50 Undergraduate Business Professors" by Poets and Quants.


Phil Thompson is an Assistant Professor in the Pamplin College of Buisness at Virginia Tech. He earned his PhD in Organizational Behavior from Case Western Reserve University. Phil’s research examines micro-organizational behavior topics including organizational citizenship behavior, curiosity, impression management, organizational politics, and perceived organizational support and how they, along with gender differences, influence employees’ job performance.  His work has been published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, and Harvard Business Review and he is currently on the editorial board of the Journal of Management. Phil worked as a manager and executive for multiple Fortune 500 companies prior to entering academia.

Past Ascendant Scholars

2022 Brooke Lahneman, Montana State University; Simon Pek, University of Victoria; Courtney Masterson, University of San Francisco; Allison Marie Ellis, Cal Poly

2021 Jeremy D. Meuser, University of Mississippi; Julena M. Bonner, Utah State University; Madeline Toubiana, University of Alberta

2020 Jeffrey S. Bednar, Brigham Young University; Oliver Schilke, University of Arizona; Lauren Lanahan, University of Oregon; Chenwei Li, San Francisco State University

2019 Kyle J. Emich, University of Delaware; Abhinav Gupta, University of Washington; Dejun Tony Kong, University of Houston; David T. Welsh, Arizona State University

2018 Allison S. Gabriel, University of Arizona; Joel Gehman, University of Alberta

2017 Marco DiRenzo, Naval Postgraduate School; Marion Eberly, University of Washington Tacoma; Crystal Farh, University of Washington; Anthony Klotz, Oregon State University

2016 Ryan Fehr, University of Washington; Samuel S. Holloway, University of Portland; Ryan A. Krause, Texas Christian University; Pauline Schilpzand, Oregon State University

2015 Keith Leavitt, Oregon State University; David Wagner, University of Oregon

2014 Darren Good, Pepperdine University; Andrew Nelson, University of Oregon; Chris Barnes, University of Washington

2013 Chris Bingham, Univ. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Arran Caza, Griffith Univ.; Peter Madsen, Brigham Young Univ.; Feng Zhu, Univ. of Southern California

2012 John Bingham, BYU; Michael Johnson, Univ. of Washington; Paul Leonardi, Northwestern Univ.; Matthew McCarter, Chapman Univ.

2011 Alison Cook, Utah State Mark Kennedy, USC Elizabeth Mullen, Stanford Univ. Antoaneta Petkova, San Francisco State Univ.

2010 Kristin Behfar, UC Irvine Peer Fiss, USC Camille Johnson, San Jose State Univ. Anne Parmigiani, Univ. of Oregon

2009 Teppo Felin, Brigham Young Univ. Kevin Groves, Pepperdine Univ. Mooweon Rhee, Univ. of Hawaii

2008 Berrin Erdogan, Portland State Univ. David Hannah, Simon Fraser Univ. Mary Sully de Luque, Thunderbird School of Global Management Chris Zatzick, Simon Fraser Univ.

2007 Sally Baack, San Francisco State Univ. Marc Da Rond, Cambridge Univ. Ana Maria Peredo, Univ. of Victoria Roy Suddaby, Univ. of Alberta

2006 Christine Beckman, UC Irvine Michael Lounsbury, Univ. of Alberta Jeff Shay, Univ. of Montana Marvin Washington, Texas Tech Univ.

2005 Brooks C. Holtom, Georgetown Univ. Sally Maitlis, Univ. of British Columbia K. Praveen Parboteeah, Univ. of Wisconsin-Whitewater Barry M. Goldman, Univ. of Arizona

2004 Craig Pearce, Claremont Graduate Univ. Shawn Berman, Santa Clara Univ. Peter Kim, USC Don Jung, San Diego State Univ.

2003 Larissa Z. Tiedens, Stanford Univ. Gerardo Andrés Okhuysen, Univ. of Utah Gregory A. Bigley, Univ. of Washington Livia Markoczy, UC Riverside

2002 Marta Elvira, INSEAD and UC, Irvine Christina Gibson, USC Tammy Madsen, Santa Clara Univ. Candace Ybarra, Chapman Univ.

2001 Talya Bauer, Portland State Univ. Ellen Ensher, Loyola Marymount Univ. Thomas Lawrence, Univ. of Victoria Rajnandini Pillai, CSU-San Marcos

2000 Amy Hurley, Chapman Univ. Lisa Hope Pelled, USC Daniel Skarlicki, Univ. of British Columbia Katherine Xin, Hong Kong Univ. of Science & Technology

1999 Nick Argyres, Univ. of Southern California William Hesterly, Univ. of Utah Kathleen Montgomery, UC Riverside Michael Morris, Stanford Univ. Steven M. Sommer, Univ. of Nebraska

1998 Cliff Cheng, UCLA Sandra Robinson, Univ. of British Columbia Stephen Tallman, Cranfield School of Management

1997 Joyce Osland, Univ. of Portland Gretchen Spreitzer, USC Sully Taylor, Portland State Univ. Pushkala Prasad, Univ. of Calgary

1996 Hal B. Gregersen, Brigham Young Univ. Pamela R. Haunschild, Stanford Univ. P. Devereaux Jennings, Univ. of British Columbia Nandini Rajagopalan, USC

1995 J. Stewart Black, American Graduate School of International Management Kay Devine, Univ. of Alberta Michael Vincent Russo, Univ. of Oregon

1994 Nakiye Boyacigiller, San Jose State Univ. Jennifer A. Chatman, UC Berkeley Margarethe Wiersema, UC Irvine

1993 Laurence Barton, Univ. of Nevada Raphael H. Amit, Univ. of British Columbia Sydney Finkelstein, USC

1992 Charles Hill, Univ. of Washington Robert Eder, Portland State Univ. Arvind Bhambri, USC

1991 Joan G. Dahl, CSU-Northridge Gibb Dyer, Brigham Young Univ. Gerald Ledford, USC Glenn McEvoy, Utah State Univ.

1990 Connie Gersick, USC Jay B. Barney, Texas A & M Univ. Kathleen M. Eisenhardt, Stanford Univ. Michael Lawless, Univ. of Colorado, Boulder

1989 Anne Tsui, UC Irvine Barbara Lawrence, UCLA Marilyn Gist, Univ. of Washington Rod Kramer, Stanford Univ. 

1988 Thomas Lee, Univ. of Washington David Bowen, USC Mary Barton, CSU-Northridge

1987 Douglas Howley, Univ. of Arizona Kimberly Boal, Univ. of Nevada, Reno Vandra Huber, Univ. of Washington

1986 Alan Meyer, Univ. of Oregon Janet Fulk, USC Manuel Velasquez, Santa Clara Univ.

1985 Gerardo Ungson, Univ. of Oregon Jone L. Pearce, UC Irvine Mary Ann Von Glinow, USC


1984 Craig C. Pinder, Univ. of British Columbia John W. Seybolt, Univ. of Utah Susan Mohrman, USC

1983 David Boje, USC John Bigelow, Boise State Univ. Kurt Motamedi, Pepperdine Univ.

1982 Dean Tjosvold, Simon Fraser Univ. Joanne Martin, Stanford Univ. Meryl Louis, Naval Post Graduate School

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