New Faculty Appointments, Administrative Changes Highlight Strategic Focus in 2017-2018

School of Business and Economics Announces New Faculty, Business Chair, and Full Professorships
October 25, 2017

Rohnert Park, California - The School of Business and Economics (SBE) at Sonoma State University (SSU) today announced the appointment of three new professional faculty members and three full professorships, in addition to the appointment of Dr. Douglas Jordan, Professor of Finance, to a three year tenure as Chair of the Department of Business Administration, in charge of curriculum management, course scheduling, faculty mentoring, and student advising. Former Department Chair and Managing Director, Dr. Karen Thompson, is now full-time Managing Director, responsible for corporate partnerships, alumni relations, community engagement, and institutional accreditation, as well as the SBE's inclusive excellence and entrepreneurship initiatives.  
Dr. Florence Bouvet, Professor of Economics, and Dr. Sandra Newton and Dr. Janejira Sutanonpaiboon, both Professors of Management, earned full professorships in Fall 2017, the highest rank and recognition in academia. New professional faculty members include Dr. Lynn Sletto, Corporate Counsel and Director of Human Resources for Rombauer Vineyards; Dr. Angel Casas Gragea, an expert in international relations and economics, who previously taught at Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC) and at universities in Mexico and Spain; and Jaime Peñaherrera, new faculty in marketing and former community engagement director for the City of Santa Rosa. 
"Part of our mission is to advance best business practices, both in the classroom and in our organization. We believe that these new faculty appointments and administrative changes will allow us to meet and exceed important benchmarks in higher education, and place an even greater emphasis on lifting up diverse groups as we grow our community," Dr. William S. Silver, Dean of the School of Business and Economics said.
Prior to her role at Rombauer Vineyards, Dr. Lynn Sletto was an Associate Attorney for Meibeyer Law Group in St. Helena, and is a former officer of the U.S. Coast Guard. In Fall 2017, she is teaching the master's level Wine Legal and Regulatory Issues.

In addition to teaching at SRJC, Dr. Angel Casas Gragea previously taught economics in the School of Business at Tecnologico de Monterrey, the Metropolitan Autonomous University, and the School of Social Responsibility at Anahuac University in Mexico. He also taught at the University of Huelva in Spain, and served as an economic development project director for the Spanish Aid Agency for International Development Cooperation, a Spanish Government organization. In Fall 2017, Professor Gragea is teaching the undergraduate Introduction to Macroeconomics course.

Prior to his role with the City of Santa Rosa, Jaime Penaherrera served as Director of Global Sales and Marketing for LightGuard Systems, a developer of pedestrian safety systems, and as Director of Marketing for Queen of the Valley Medical Center in Napa. In Fall 2017, he is teaching the undergraduate course in Retail Management.  

Other "What's New" Updates in Fall 2017:

New Wine Business Executive in Residence
Honore Comfort was appointed as Wine Business Executive in Residence, in support of strategic programs and engagement opportunities for wine business students, alumni, and industry leaders. She joins the Wine Business Institute following nine years as the chief executive at Sonoma County Vintners, an advocacy group for 250 of the region's wineries.

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Hybrid EMBA in Wine Business
The new hybrid version of the popular Sonoma Executive MBA in Wine Business includes online and classroom-based learning taking place over 16 months on three continents. The new program version begins in November 2018, with team and project-based learning focused on wine value chain strategies and management; international brand management; investments, mergers, and acquisitions; and an integrative change project.

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Star Staffing Pilot Program
SBE launched a strategic partnership and career services pilot program with Star Staffing, a leading regional employment agency. The strategic public-private partnership will provide enhanced career support to Business and Economics students, alumni, and employers, including the development of existing programs, such as annual career fairs, alumni mixers, and the professional mentor program.

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Way of Zing: A Guide to Aligning Work & Life 
Dean William S. Silver recently published Way of Zing as a framework to better integrate work and life, as professionals increasingly seek careers at organizations that share their values, and employers continue to require innovative ways to engage current and future employees.

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