Assistant Professor, Department of Management
As the first Hispanic American to earn a Ph.D. from Syracuse University's Whitman School of Management and only the 39th Latina management business professor in the United States, Mariana J. Lebron knows firsthand the importance of pursuing a degree at an institution that embraces diversity.
“The leaders of Towson University are looking for ways to give students the best possible experience,” says Lebron. “Towson is both transformative and collaborative in its approach to teaching and research, and it is a place that values diversity.”
As a doctoral student, Lebron was part of the PhD Project, an initiative of the KPMG Foundation to cultivate, recruit and retain a more diverse group of business faculty members and professionals. She remains active with the project to make learning environments more accepting of diverse viewpoints.
“My mother was a teacher and always taught me to be true to myself and the things I have to contribute,” explains Lebron. “Towson has given me an opportunity to be myself in an under-represented field.”
Always interested in leadership and advocacy, much of Lebron’s current research looks at power constructs at the highest level of organizations , the board of directors, and will eventually lead to studies of power at the team and individual levels.
“I look at the positive and negative effects of power and how it is influenced by demographics, gender and organizational and environmental factors,” says Lebron, who attests that under-represented individuals typically must work harder to show they are capable. “When they do more, the integrity of how they accomplished what they did, including their competency, may be questioned. The cycle continues with an ever-increasing expectation to produce more, though this extra work may not be evaluated in the same way as work done by those in a dominant group,” she explains. “We must work together to overcome systemic barriers that may make further accomplishments more difficult.”