EDI Programs and Research

EDI in the Classroom

Pitt Business is creating a wide range of equity, diversity, and inclusion learning opportunities for students in the classroom. Including equity, diversity, and inclusion in the classroom enables students to share diverse knowledge, participate in an inclusive environment, and build broader perspectives necessary to devise solutions to challenges confronting businesses. Here are some of the classroom innovations happening at Pitt Business:   

EDI Consulting Projects
  • In the MBA Social Entrepreneurial course, students participate in a strategic racial justice consulting project for cultural institutions. 
  • The spring BNY Mellon CSR Fellowship program focused on the theme of diversity and inclusion. Fifteen fellows worked on collaborative teams on the following consulting projects: social justice and business schools; diversity, inclusion, and experience-based learning; financial literacy and community engagement; microaggression research; a case study on building race, racism, and social justice into a college curriculum.”
  • Courses are engaging students in consulting field projects and service-learning projects that involve non-profit community organizations promoting social justice and social responsibility in business.
    New Course in CBA
    Diversifying Guest Speaker Representation

    Pitt Business courses are expanding the representation of guest speakers in the classroom. Diverse guest speakers in Race and Business Ethics Course and Social Entrepreneurship courses include:

    • Louis Vuitton – Manager for Store Planning and Development
    • Apple TV Division – Director for Video Marketing
    • Texas Retirement System – Vice President for Diversity and Equity
    • Microsoft – Senior University Recruiting Manager, Global Talent Acquisition
    • FrickPittsburgh Museum – Executive Director
    • US Environmental Protection Agency – Chief Ethics Officer
    • Yale University – Past Director of the African American Cultural Center
    • Charlottesville City Council – Past Vice Mayor
    Enhancing EDI Curriculum Materials
    • Pitt Business courses are diversifying their multimedia resources and films, such as Spike Lee’s Bamboozledand Gentleman’s Agreement by Elia Kazan in the Race and Business Ethics Course. 
    • Pitt Business courses are increasing the number of case-study and curriculum assignments that cover diversity and inclusion.
    Engaging EDI Alumni

    Faculty are engaging Black Alumni in mentorship experiences for undergraduate and graduate students in courses.

    EDI Out-Of-The-Classroom

    At Pitt Business, we are working to move the needle in how business schools support and develop, equity, diversity, and conclusion.

    Pitt Business Diverse Leaders Summit

    Each year, Pitt Business hosts its Diverse Leaders Summit, an annual event that promotes inclusivity within the workplace. In February 2020, The Diverse Leaders Summit’s featured a fireside chat with Shelley Archambeau, a Fortune 500 board member, Former CEO of MetricStream, and author of Unapologetically Ambitious: Take Risks, Break Barriers and Create Success on Your Own Terms, and Dr. Kathy Humphrey, Senior Vice Chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh. Kayla Haddad, a senior at CBA, served as student moderator and experienced the positive impact of the event, “I’m glad we were able to have these open conversations with Pitt Business students during the summit and continue to stay engaged in the diversity and inclusion space.” Haddad added,  “The biggest thing I took away from the summit was we need to continue to be educated and have these important and open conversations, in order to make an inclusive workplace for people of all different backgrounds.”

    James B. Tafel Summer Internship Scholarship Program Supports Minority Business in Pittsburgh

    The James B. Tafel Endowed Internship Fund was established in 2001 to enable Pitt Business students to accept challenging business internships that prepare them as outstanding business leaders in the global business environment. Tafel Fellowships are awarded for internships at a variety of organizations, including large, well-established companies, small and medium-sized businesses, startups and young companies, and nonprofits. The Fellowships provide students with a stipend to support costs associated with internship experiences and foster equity in professional development experiences.

    In 2020-2021, The Tafel Summer Internship Program expanded their efforts to focus on providing students with internships at minority owned businesses and non-profit organizations in Pittsburgh that are striving to create a more equitable, diversity, and inclusive business environment and society. Emphasis was placed on fostering internships at local businesses and organization in the Pittsburgh community. Here are our summer 2021 internships:

    For information or questions regarding available Tafel Fellowship internships, students should contact Carli Anselmi at canselmi@business.pitt.edu.

    CBA International Programs

    Global Consulting Projects

    The International Programs Office’s global consulting project portfolio gives undergraduate students the opportunity to develop and utilize professional business skills for the benefit of our global community. Students work with non-profit organizations and start-ups startups around the world on semester long consulting projects. Partnerships are long-term and projects typically build on the work done by previous project teams. Students engage directly with community members in diverse settings, which allow students to develop creative solutions for our partner organizations, considering the unique circumstances in each host country.

    Bolivia – partnership with Fundacion CEOLI, a school for disabled youth in Cochabamba, Bolivia. This is a multi-year partnership. Long-term goal with the organization is to help develop and support financial sustainability through entrepreneurial projects.

    Puerto Rico – partnership with Caras con Causa, a non-profit, community-based organization focused on education and environmental causes in San Juan, Puerto Rico. This is a multi-year partnership, with a primary focus on LabCom, a community-based science lab based in an urban wetland.

    Trinidad – partnership with Nature Seekers, an environmental conservation organization in Natura, Trinidad. This project is open to students pursuing the Certificate Program in Leadership and Ethics. Long-term project goals are focused on community and economic development in the context of ecotourism.

    Germany – client is a start-up company based in Augsburg, Germany and specializes in B2B digitalization, purchasing optimization, and sales for small companies. The project is for junior and senior level marketing students, and this is the second year of the global project.

    Katz Bridge Program

    In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Katz Career Management Center (CMC) created the Bridge Program to support the immediate needs of graduate students seeking internships and professional development.  The program is designed to bridge the gap for students to attain purposeful and career-enhancing internship opportunities while providing support for community-based organizations. The program continues into its second year (summer 2021) with renewed emphasis on equity, diversity, and inclusion and community impact in Pittsburgh throughout the summer projects.

    Developing the Bridge Program required creating structure—quickly. Fortunately, Pitt Business has been a leader in experience-based learning for decades. Modeled off of Professor Bud Smith’s Consulting Fields Project course, the internships were set up as consulting projects.

    “I believe that the structure developed in support of this summer’s successful Bridge Program proved to be both efficient and flexible, such that future students can continue to positively impact local organizations for years to come,” says Bud Smith, Professor of Business Administration and Faculty Lead for the Bridge Program. “At Pitt Business, we are particularly grateful to our volunteer coaches for providing guidance to our student teams. I was honored to be part of such valuable support to our community.”

    To learn more about how you can help support the Bridge Program, please contact the Katz Career Management Team at careermanagement@katz.pitt.edu.

    Katz Allyship Series

    Katz Inclusive Leadership Series

    In 2020, Katz increased their efforts in providing allyship and inclusive leadership development for students, faculty, and staff across Pitt Business. During the Friday Forums, Katz hosted interactive workshops aimed at building allyship at Pitt Business.  The live zoom sessions strived to build community and bridge difference across the diverse identities at Pitt Business and the broader business community.

    Workshops focused on listening, talking, and discussing the following topics:

    Inclusive Leadership Series Topics 2020-2021

    Fall 2020:

    • Introduction to Allyship
    • How to be an ally to Colleagues of Color
    • How to be an ally to LGBTQIA+ Colleagues

    Spring 2021:

    • Combatting Microaggressions in the Workplace
    • Transgender Awareness and Pronouns
    • Being an ally for International Colleagues
    • Being an ally for Women Colleagues
    • Being an ally for Colleagues with Disabilities (cancelled due to speaker conflict)

    Special Topics:

    • Black Students Speak
    • Stories of Asian an Asian American Experiences
    Katz Invitational

    Each year, the University of Pittsburgh’s Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business hosts an invitational case competition that showcases the skills and talents of participating MBA students from around the country. In Fall 2021, the Katz Invitational Case Competition is specializing on the theme of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in the Workplace.  Encouraged by the corporate commitments to support equity, diversity, and inclusion launched over the past year, the Katz Graduate School of Business is focusing its national case competition on diversity and inclusive change in the workforce.

    The Katz Invitational Case Competition has been reimagined this year to encourage MBA students to envision change and transformation that advances equity, diversity, and inclusion.  Katz is partnering with the organization Vibrant Pittsburgh, whose mission to build a thriving and inclusive Pittsburgh region by attracting, retaining and elevating a diversity of talent will be front and center of the case. MBA students will be tasked to critically analyze this case and formulate and present recommendations that foster a diverse inclusive business environment. The case will give students the opportunity to evaluate a tough business situation and present their creative recommendations to senior executives.

    EDI Research

    Dr. Sharon Alvarez & EDI Research

    Throughout the past year, Dr. Sharon Alvarez, the Thomas W. Olofson Chair in Entrepreneurship, has led cutting-edge entrepreneurship research focused on advancing our understanding of how gender, race, and culture impact entrepreneurship. Her research includes the development of the following papers:

    • All entrepreneurs are equal but some are more equal than others: The effect of ethnicity and race on legitimacy perceptions
      • Sonia Siraz, Sharon Alvarez, Bjorn Claes
      • This paper examines how firm failure is viewed by society depending on the ethnicity and race of the entrepreneur. We collected data from California, Colorado, Pennsylvania, and Texas.
    • Culture, Gender, and Rationality: The case of women entrepreneurs in Ghana
      • Arielle Newman Badger and Sharon Alvarez
      • This paper examines how women entrepreneurs in certain cultures deliberately make non-optimal financial decisions to not achieve more financial success than their husbands.
    • Does Gender Matter? Cognitive Biases and Entrepreneurial Funding
      • Anushka Iyengar Daunt, Sharon Alvarez, and Lingling Pan
      • This paper examines how entrepreneurs based on gender display cognitive biases to manage impressions when “pitching” their ideas.  We examine the differences between men and women on the display of cognitive bias and whether they are equally financially rewarded.
    Leading Race and Business Ethics Research

    Over the past year, Pitt Business faculty member, Paul T. Harper advanced his research portfolio on race and business ethics to new levels receiving accolades at Pitt and nationally. His contributions to the University of Pittsburgh, Academy of Management, and field of Business Ethics and Management Studies broadly have provided critical perspective to the experience and responsibility of businesses confronting the racial justice social movement. His recent accomplishments include:

    Dr. Haper has been awarded the University of Pittsburgh Faculty Momentum Fund Seeding Grant for his research project “Conceptualizing Corporate Reparations.”

    Dr. Harper has also been named co-chair of a new Racial Justice Committee of the Social Issues in Management Division of the Academy of Management, where he will work to lead new knowledge creation, educational innovations, and networks to address racial justice during a crucial period of broad social movement.

    Dr. Harper is recipient of the Chancellor’s Distinguished Public Service Award for his work on improving racial justice and inclusive innovation, in particular, by encouraging Black entrepreneurship; serving on Pittsburgh’s Equal Opportunity Review Commission and on the board of the Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority of Pittsburgh.

    In the spring of 2021, the Frick Pittsburgh announced Dr. Harper is elected to the Frick Pittsburgh Board serving on the EDI & Governance committee.

    Dr. Harper is also recognized as a national thought-leader in bringing racial justice into the Business School curriculum. For more information on his accomplishments in the classroom, visit the Poets & Quants feature here.

    EDI Movement in Microaggression and Human Resource Research

    Dr. Deborah Good, Associate Clinical Professor, and Dr. Nisha Nair, Assistant Clinical Professor, have launched a portfolio of research focused of microaggression in businesses and Business Schools.

    Their first research project investigates the critical role and experience of microaggressions in business and in business schools. Dr. Nisha Nair received the Honors College Faculty Fellows Seed Research Grant (2021) to continue to advance her microaggression research. Dr. Deborah Good and Dr. Nisha Nair also published the following research:

    • Nair, N. and Good, D.   (2021).  “Microaggressions and Coping with Linkages for Mentoring.”  International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.
    • Nair, N., and Good, D.  (2021).  Coping Strategies and Sensemaking for Microaggressions.  Academy of Management
    • Nair, N., and Good, D.  (2020). “Diversity in the Classroom: Microaggressions and their Impact.” In Murrell, A., Petrie-Wyman, J. and Soudi, A.  Diversity Across the Disciplines.  Information Age Publishing.

    Dr. Deborah Good received the Honors College Faculty Fellows Seed Research Grant (2021) to develop and research diversity and inclusion in HR trainings. Both Dr. Deborah Good and Dr. Nisha Nair also created inclusive student research and consulting projects examining the role of equity, diversity, and inclusion in business and business schools.

    Cyber Ethics and Justice

    Dr. Anthony Rodi, Clinical Associate Professor at Katz Graduate School of Business and College of Business Administration and Dr. Jennifer Petrie-Wyman, Assistant Director of the Berg Center for Ethics and Leadership, have been working to develop new research and practice aimed at confronting ethics and justice in cyber leadership. Influenced by the dual impacts of remote learning and the racial justice social movement, Dr. Rodi and Dr. Petrie-Wyman have advanced two research projects.

    • In partnership with Dr. Richard McConnell, faculty at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, their article “Where is the Justice? What We Don’t’ Know about Cyber Ethics,” is in-press for publication in the International Journal of Ethics Leadership examining the pipeline inequities and leadership gaps in cyber ethics governance. They also presented and published their research article “Why Should I Behave?” At the Association of Business Simulation and Experiential Learning Conference in 2021.
    • Rodi and Dr. Petrie-Wyman, and Dr. Quigley, in the University of Pittsburgh School of Education received the Pitt Cyber Accelerator Grant for developing a Cyber Ethics Education Accelerator to provide professional development training in cyber ethics and cyber justice to public educators in Pennsylvania with the intent of creating cross-disciplinary dialogs across industry and education.
    The Racial Justice & Business School Speaker Series, Academy of Management, Social Issues in Management Division

    In 2021, the Katz School of Business and the David  Berg Center for Ethics and Leadership sponsored the  Racial Justice & Business Schools Series, hosted by the Social Issues in Management Division at the Academy of Management.  The series sought to expand the conversation of race and identity in the business academy. Videos of the speaker series are available to watch:



    I am part of the BNY Mellon Fellowship where our project was to find actionable ways to move forward with diversity and inclusion training programs for Pitt Business.  We are working on what Pitt Business can do better in regard to training and how we can make it better in the future.

    Natalie Bright

    MBA '22

    Through the Certificate in Leadership and Ethics service learning project, we studied age diversity within the faculty and staff at Pitt Business. We had studied previous data, and held a focus group with current Pitt Business faculty and staff and their attitudes and perspectives about diversity and inclusion.

    Bethany Woodcock

    BSBA '24