About Professor Nickerson
Professor Dionne Nickerson has been a member of the Kelley Marketing Department faculty since July of 2019. She specializes in the intersection between marketing and society, which has given her vast knowledge on sustainability and corporate social responsibility. Beyond research and teaching, Professor Nickerson’s involvement in the Kelley School of Business includes judging a case competition for a non-profit organization and joining the Marketing Department recruiting committee.
Recruiting with DEI in Mind
As a member of the recruiting committee, Professor Nickerson has the important task of assessing potential faculty. One portion of the recruiting process requires candidates to submit a DEI statement. Professor Nickerson emphasized the importance of this step in the process. Internally, the Marketing Department DEI committee has set a focus on hiring women. Several women junior faculty have joined over the last few years and Professor Nickerson attributes this growth to the senior faculty committing to a more diverse workplace.
Inclusivity in the Classroom
Inclusivity is key to classroom success in the eyes of Professor Nickerson. Her goal is to provide students with numerous ways to participate and be engaged. One strategy she uses is small group interactions, as she believes they allow her students to feel more comfortable sharing their ideas. She listens to these discussions, and if a student has a great insight that would benefit the rest of the class, she will ask that student to share when they’re back talking as a class. Professor Nickerson does this to empower her students to actively participate. By validating their ideas/thoughts, students will be more confident to share during the larger group discussion. This strategy improves the overall class environment and increases engagement from students throughout the rest of the semester.
Professor Nickerson also encourages students to participate during class by demonstrating her no-answer is wrong technique. If a student shares an answer/insight that is not necessarily correct, Professor Nickerson will redirect the conversation to help guide the student to the correct answer by asking questions like: “How did you come to that conclusion? Did you think about…?, and What would happen if…?” She explains this strategy helps elevate the students to think more deeply about the topic.
To help expand student perspectives, Professor Nickerson uses two cases that are not set in the United States, in her classes. She believes this strategy helps her students to think about the world as a whole, rather than limit themselves to just the United States, the Midwest, Indiana, etc. This DEI content has proven to be successful as many international students have expressed their excitement and positivity about it.
Professor Nickerson believes, “every person on this planet has value” meaning everyone, no matter where they are from, their economic status, their gender, etc. has worth. She wants her students to encompass this belief in and outside of her classroom. To create an equitable and comfortable environment, Professor Nickerson begins each semester by sharing some of her diverse experiences. She tells her students she is from the south side of Chicago, and she loves to travel. She also shares her journey to the Kelley School of Business. Her intention is to paint a picture of her countless unique life experiences, so her students may be more open to sharing their own.