At the Society for Consumer Psychology’s annual conference, three Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business PhD program alumni were awarded for their achievements in the field. The conference was held March 2-4, 2023 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Hristina Nikolova (PhD ’14) won the Early Career Award. Currently, she is the Coughlin Sesquicentennial Assistant Professor of Marketing at Boston College. Winning this award is a great honor for Nikolova. She said, “I am extremely happy that all of my hard work has been recognized and very thankful to my mentors, colleagues, family and friends who have not only made this award possible, but have also made the journey to achieving it full of ‘aha’ moments, fun, and joy.”
Nikolova credits her advisors at Katz with a profound influence on her career. She said, “They unselfishly devoted their time and energy to mentor me, but also gave me the freedom to pursue the ideas I was curious about and develop myself as an independent researcher. I could have not asked for a better start to my career than my time as a PhD student at Katz.”
Karen Winterich (PhD ’07) won the Distinguished Contribution Award. Currently, she is Gerald I. Susman Professor in Sustainability at Penn State University. Winterich was surprised to receive the award, as she had not known she was nominated. “I respect the prior winners and the impact of their research. To be included in this group is incredible – it means that others recognize the value of my research.”
When asked what advice she would give to potential PhD students, Winterich said, “If you’re naturally curious, observing phenomena, and wondering when they occur and what drives them, a PhD can let that curiosity become your full-time job.”
Gergana Nenkov (PhD ’06) won the Best Journal of Consumer Psychology Article Award. Currently, she is an associate professor of marketing at Boston College. Nenkov was excited that the work that she and her co-authors at Florida State University and Boston College was recognized. She noted, “The training and mentoring I received from the amazing professors at the PhD program was instrumental to my success. I learned how to work independently, and I built up my self-confidence, which really helped me succeed later on.”
All three women went straight from their undergraduate programs to the Katz PhD program. Nenkov thanked Pitt for giving her a chance. She said that the most important qualities for success in pursuing a PhD and an academic career are perseverance, a positive attitude, and a growth mindset. “To succeed you will need to put your ego aside and be flexible and open to feedback.”
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