About Professor Riley Simone
Professor Riley Simone has been a Lecturer at the Kelley School of Business since the spring semester of 2018. Since then, she has found numerous ways to get involved, in and outside of Indiana University, such as becoming a co-advisor for the American Marketing Association, engaging in the Marketing’s Department DEI Committee, creating a brand-new class, and serving her community through her work with Lotus Education and Arts Foundation. In just a few short years, Professor Riley Simone has already made a huge impact on the diversity initiatives within the Marketing Department.
American Marketing Association
The American Marketing Association (AMA) is a community for marketing professionals supporting their efforts toward personal and career development. At Indiana University’s AMA chapter, Professor Riley Simone sits as a co-advisor. One thing she has noticed since obtaining this position in spring of 2019 is, until this semester, all senior leaders have been women. Alongside this, Professor Riley Simone commends the AMA senior leadership’s diversity in respect to culture. She states how the diversity in leadership has helped bring many viewpoints to light in the organization and has created a diverse set of leadership styles and initiatives.
DEI Committee – Marketing Department
Professor Riley Simone has made a large, lasting impact on the DEI Committee in their most recent initiative. In the fall semester of 2020, Professor Riley Simone started a new class in content marketing. Named Creating Digital Content, students are tasked with working as a marketing consulting agency and creating numerous forms of digital content for local companies/organizations. The marketing department took advantage of this new class by becoming its first client. The students were asked to create content to communicate the initiatives the department have set in place on the topic of diversity, equity, and inclusion. With the help from Professor Riley Simone’s new class, the DEI committee launched a content marketing campaign at the start of 2021 based on the work of the students’, spreading awareness of the marketing department’s commitment to DEI. Professor Riley Simone continues to help ensure.
As a faculty member of the marketing department, Professor Riley Simone has been given many opportunities to experience different cultures. One of her favorite memories was accompanying Professor Dennis Spahr and his Sales for Social Impact class on their trip to Costa Rica. While there, Professor Riley Simone was exposed to their culture, and she was fascinated to learn that their view on entrepreneurialism was very different from the view of the United States. The people of Costa Rica are not solely driven by the western definition of success, which is why there are not a lot of entrepreneurs there. This opportunity gave Professor Riley Simone a fresh perspective on the varying cultures in the world and she was able to bring this experience back with her and implement it into her teaching.
Diversity in the Classroom
Professor Riley Simone makes it a priority to create a trusting classroom environment to help her students feel comfortable. One best practice she has implemented into all her classes is asking everyone their pronouns and their preferred names. She does this so that everyone feels respected in her classroom, because as Professor Riley Simone says, “the basis of DEI is respect”.
Professor Riley Simone works hard to ensure that every aspect of her class is equitable for all her students. She understands that her personal viewpoints are her own and believes they should not drive the measurement of her students. She acknowledges that “one of the hardest parts of teaching is creating clear objectives in rubrics because I do not want my subjectivity to overlay another’s viewpoint”. The progress of diversity initiatives in the Kelley School of Business can be attributed to faculty members like Professor Riley Simone, who dedicate their time to improving diversity, equity, and inclusion, in and outside the classroom.