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Professor Fay Cobb Payton inducted into The PhD Project’s Hall of Fame

Dr. Fay Cobb Payton congratulates achievements in the classroom.
Dr. Fay Cobb Payton congratulates achievements in the classroom.

Dr. Fay Cobb Payton, professor of information systems and technology and University Faculty Scholar in the North Carolina State University Poole College of Management, is one of three individuals inducted into The PhD Project Hall of Fame for 2017 and will be recognized during the program’s annual conference this November.

Also inducted into The PhD Project Hall of Fame this year are Dr. Geraldine Rosa, associate professor with tenure in the Department of Marketing at the Quinlan School of Business at Loyola University Chicago, and Dr. Thaddeus Spratlen, professor emeritus (since 2002) of marketing at the Foster School of Business, University of Washington.

The PhD Project is a national program that has increased faculty diversity at hundreds of college and university business schools. It is the only systemic nationwide program aimed at diversifying university faculty by attracting and enabling African, Hispanic and Native Americans to choose college teaching as a career, and to succeed in the rigorous process of obtaining a doctoral degree that qualifies them to be professors.

Its Hall of Fame was established in 2011 to recognize a select few who have inspired many through their unwavering commitment to The PhD Project’s mission and whose positive leadership has resulted in significant encouragement and impact within The Project’s network of minority business doctoral students and faculty.

A new class of inductees is selected annually, with supporters of The PhD Project and the public invited to submit nominations for each year’s class.

“We are pleased to present the 2017 inductees to The PhD Project Hall of Fame. Since our inception, these individuals have served The Project as presenters, mentors and advisors,” said Bernard J. Milano, president of The PhD Project and the KPMG Foundation, the founder, lead funder and administrator of The Project, in a news release announcing the inductees today. “They have put forth great effort to create diversity in academia and ultimately, the business world.”

Payton has been actively involved in The PhD Project since 1996, two years after it was created by the KPMG Foundation, Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC), Citi Foundation and AACSB International. At the time, she was completing her doctoral program in information and decision systems at Case Western Reserve University. While she herself was not in the PhD Project – its initial focus was on accounting students – she accepted an invitation from her dean, Scott Cowen (now Tulane University president emeritus) to represent Case Western during The PhD Project national conference that year.

Payton was a charter member of The PhD Project Information Systems Doctoral Students Association and stayed on as chair of its national planning committee for five years. She has continued her work with The PhD Project over the years, now serving in an advisory capacity to the KPMG Foundation.

A Passion for Helping Others Advance Professionally

In her work with The PhD Project, as well as in her teaching at NC State and in other roles in business and industry, Payton brings a personal passion for helping to prepare the next generation of information systems and technology professionals in the U.S. and abroad, tapping as well her prior industry experience in corporate IT and consulting for IBM, Ernst & Young, Cap Gemini and Time, Inc.

Students at Poole College, across campus and beyond have benefited from that dedication, as she makes time to meet with current and former students who call for advice and counsel – sometimes as early at 7 AM, if that’s the only time both have available. She is a member of the NC State University WISE (Women in Science & Engineering) Advisory Committee.

Payton has been featured in Diversity Careers in Engineering and Information Technology for her mentoring work with minority doctoral students, and has been recognized by local and national associations. She was named the 2016 North Carolina Technology Association Tech Educator of the Year and received the 2013 National Coalition of Women in Information Technology (NCWIT) Undergraduate Mentoring Award. As an American Council on Education Fellow in 2010, she worked on issues of academic review, interdisciplinary graduate research and education, and institutional economic and community impact

Research Interests

Her research interests include healthcare IT, informatics and disparities; data management and science; social media use among the millennial and under-represented groups; racial, gender and ethnic identities in online communities; broadening participation in IT, computing and STEM education and workforce participation; and the influence of racial, class and gender identities on health information seeking and content creation.

Payton has published over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles, conference publications and book chapters, and has presented her research at national and international conferences and symposia in the U.S. and in China, Nigeria, Netherlands, Canada, Greece, Ireland, UK, Ghana and other countries.

About The PhD Project

The PhD Project attacks the root cause of minority under-representation in corporate jobs: historically, very few minority college students study business as an entrée to a corporate career. Diversifying the faculty attracts more minorities to study business and better prepares all students to function in a diverse workforce.

The following leading corporations, foundations and associations are among those funding The PhD Project: 300-plus participating universities, the AICPA FoundationDiversityIncDixon Hughes Goodman LLPRockwell CollinsWal-Mart Stores, Inc., American Marketing AssociationJohn Deere Foundation,  CIGNAEdison International (on behalf of the California State University System), Lincoln Financial GroupAerotekTEKsystems(operating companies of Allegis Group)American Accounting AssociationThe Hershey CompanyAcademy of ManagementNASBAOCWEN and Thrivent Financial.