College of Business > News & Events > Introducing Our Newest Business Faculty Members

Introducing Our Newest Business Faculty Members

New faculty group photo
Ten of the fourteen faculty members who joined the Driehaus College of Business. | Photo by Kathy Hillegonds

The Driehaus College of Business welcomes 14 new full-time faculty members to its classrooms this fall, including a new Coleman Foundation Endowed Chair in Entrepreneurship. From award-winning teachers and researchers to a certified chef with fine dining experience, the college’s newest faculty members bring a range of knowledge and expertise in areas of management, economics, entrepreneurship and hospitality to DePaul.

In this first of a two-part series, you'll meet who’s new in the Department of Management & Entrepreneurship at Driehaus:

Maija Renko, Coleman Chair of Entrepreneurship
Maija Renko, Coleman Chair of Entrepreneurship | Photo by Kathy Hillegonds

Maija Renko

Maija Renko is the new Coleman Chair of Entrepreneurship at Driehaus College of Business, and a professor who teaches courses in entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship. An award-winning researcher and teacher, Renko is passionate about the role entrepreneurship can play in bringing about social change. In her research, she focuses on understanding how entrepreneurs build successful businesses, especially in the early stages of business development. Most recently, she and research partners were awarded a $2.4 million grant to study entrepreneurship as a pathway for people with disabilities. Renko earned her PhD in business administration from Florida State University.

“One of my goals is to make sure that the latest research about ‘what works’ for entrepreneurs gets communicated in DePaul classrooms and to the constituents that can benefit from this knowledge. I’m also looking forward to building programming and providing opportunities in social entrepreneurship, in particular, which fits with the mission of the college to develop socially responsible leaders who are prepared to add immediate value in today’s diverse and globalized environment.”

Michael Braun, Assistant Professor
Michael Braun, Assistant Professor

Michael Braun

Michael Braun is an award-winning researcher in the field of organizational psychology. He teaches principles of management, data ethics, and training and career development as an assistant professor. Braun brings industry experience from Starling Trust Sciences, an applied behavioral sciences technology company, where he conducts socio-metric data and analysis, and leads survey development and psychometric assessment. He earned his PhD in organizational psychology from Michigan State University.

“My professional experiences influence my teaching in two ways. First, they keep me informed of the workforce challenges organizations face today, which allows me to arm my students with that knowledge. Second, I’m able to utilize real-world case studies and anonymous data in my classes, so that student can get hands-on experience in the topics we cover.”

Stephanie Dohrn, Clinical Professor
Stephanie Dohrn, Clinical Professor | Photo by Kathy Hillegonds

Stephanie Dohrn

Stephanie Dohrn is a former student affairs professional and student athlete. As a clinical professor, she teaches organizational behavior, strategic human resource management and principles of management. Her research interests focus on sports and management principles. Dohrn was a long-time adjunct faculty member in the college and is a recipient of the Daniel Seiden Adjunct Teaching Award for teaching excellence. She also teaches multi-staged capstone and research courses for the Sport, Fitness, and Recreation Leadership graduate program in DePaul’s College of Education, which she helped plan and develop. Stephanie earned her PhD in leadership and policy studies from Iowa State University.

“Using my past experience in student affairs and sport, I emphasize accountability to my students and coach them by breaking down concepts and theories into relatable examples. I also like to use group work and cases in my classes so that students can apply theory to practice, while learning the value of team work and collaboration.”

Robert Gramillano, Clinical Professor
Robert Gramillano, Clinical Professor | Photo by Kathy Hillegonds

Robert Gramillano

Robert Gramillano consults, teaches and coaches in the fields of leadership and organizational, career and business development from the perspective of personal mastery and emotional intelligence. As a clinical professor, he teaches courses in international business, human resources management, training and career development. Gramillano is also a certified, licensed NLP (Neuro-Linguistic-Programming) master practitioner, a certified Empowerment Coach, and a certified Emotional Intelligence Coach. He holds an EdD in organizational leadership from Argosy University. “I seek to make a difference in clients' and students' lives by sharing expertise and experiences from a diverse, international career in academic and business settings.”

Sharon Glennon, Senior Instructor
Sharon Glennon, Senior Instructor | Photo by Kathy Hillegonds

Sharon Glennon

Sharon Glennon has over 25 years’ experience as a human resources professional. A Double Demon with degrees in finance and accountancy from DePaul, she’s held various leadership roles over the span of her career. Glennon has served as director of employee benefits and later vice president of human resources for Equity Group Investments, where she was responsible for HR strategic planning, talent acquisition, compensation and benefits, payroll and management of daily human resources operations. Previously she served as the first director of human resources for Citadel Investment Group, as well as a human resources business consultant for health care schools across the country through Career Education Corp.. Most recently, Glennon was a vice president and HR business partner supporting the global IT function at TransUnion during their IPO and global expansion. Now a senior instructor in the business college, Glennon teaches courses in management, compensation, training and career development.

“As the first person in my family to graduate from college, I look forward to meeting my students where they are in their learning journeys, and infusing my professional experiences into my classes so that students can connect what we are studying to what is happening in the world.”

Xingzhi Jia, Assistant Professor
Xingzhi Jia, Assistant Professor | Photo by Kathy Hillegonds

Xingzhi Jia

Xingzhi Jia joins DePaul from Texas A&M University, where he earned his PhD in business administration, with a focus on operations and supply chain management. At Texas A&M, he received one of the most prestigious awards at the university—the Distinguished Graduate Student Award—as well as the Outstanding Teaching Award, which he earned two years in a row. Now an assistant professor of management, he teaches operations management, applied statistics and business analytics.

“Chicago is a vibrant international business center where exciting ideas, technologies and business models emerge every day. I look forward to connecting my students to the newest developments in businesses and encouraging them to embrace the dynamic nature of today’s business world.”

Mona Pearl, Senior Instructor
Mona Pearl, Senior Instructor

Mona Pearl

Mona Pearl is a global business development and implementation leader, helping companies plan, shape and carry out strategies to launch products, services and private/public initiatives across borders. She has worked with businesses –from Fortune 1000 companies to middle-market and emerging market ventures – as well as governments around the world to help these organizations tap into their global potential. Pearl has been an adjunct faculty member in the business college for 10 years and recently became a senior instructor. She teaches international business and international management, and integrates the Global Learning Initiative into many of her classes. Pearl received her master’s degree from DePaul.

“I like to provide my students with a global learning experience by providing opportunities for them to collaborate on projects with students in other countries. I believe this gives them a competitive edge when they apply for jobs, and equips them with hands-on experiences in an intercultural work environments. This is a major trend in the workplace, and successfully dealing with globalization and diversity are sought after skills, especially for newly graduated students.”

Paul Sanchez-Ruiz, Assistant Professor
Paul Sanchez-Ruiz, Assistant Professor

Paul Sanchez-Ruiz

Paul Sanchez-Ruiz has successfully launched and managed three start-ups in his career and also has worked in the Environmental Protection Agency for the Federal Government in Mexico. He received the Best Dissertation Award in 2018 and 2019 at Oklahoma State University, where he recently earned his PhD in entrepreneurship. Sanchez-Ruiz conducts research on the impacts of family ties in ownership and management of businesses, and he is also interested in how entrepreneurial ventures adopt resourceful actions and strategies under extreme environmental constraints. At DePaul, he teaches strategic management and entrepreneurship as an assistant professor of management.

“I hope to influence not just what students know, but how they think. I want them to think and act more entrepreneurially, to recognize their potential and to capitalize on the opportunities available to them, especially within a learning environment.”

Kevin Taylor, Senior Instructor and Executive-in-Residence
Kevin Taylor, Senior Instructor and Executive-in-Residence | Photo by Kathy Hillegonds

Kevin Taylor

Kevin Taylor has over 20 years of high technology industry experience as a software developer, entrepreneur, angel investor, executive and startup advisor. In 2005 he founded Obtiva, a custom software development company acquired by Groupon in 2011. A long-time adjunct faculty member at DePaul, Taylor recently became an executive in residence at the business college, where he teaches management and entrepreneurship. He also chairs the advisory council for DePaul’s Coleman Entrepreneurship Center and he was awarded the Coleman Fellowship in 2011 for innovation in teaching entrepreneurship. Taylor is currently earning his doctorate in business administration from DePaul.

“My experience running a fast-growing technology company and then selling it to Groupon just before its IPO provides some exciting classroom stories. Students remember stories. As an instructor, I use those stories to illustrate evidence-based principles that students can carry with them beyond the classroom.”

Read about five more faculty members who joined the college: Anthony LoSasso and Brian Thompson in the Department of Economics; Peter Aghimien and Anton Shigaev in the School of Accountancy & MIS; and Joel Reynolds in the School of Hospitality Leadership.