College of Business New Faces Picture

The College of Business is excited about the new faces we will be seeing on campus and in front of the classrooms.

The MSU College of Business is pleased to have hired four new faculty members. The following is an introduction to each of the quality individuals who will be joining the College of Business in an effort to enhance excellence in undergraduate business education at Montana State University.

Dr. Graham Austin

Dr. Graham Austin is a 2007 graduate of the University of Georgia with a doctorate in marketing. She has been hired to teach the principles of marketing, consumer behavior and advertising at the MSU College of Business. Austin received her master s in American studies from the University of Notre Dame. Her bachelor s in history is from Mercer University in Georgia, where she has been a visiting member of the faculty since 2005. At Mercer, Austin received a great deal of classroom experience, learning and refining techniques that she hopes will benefit her students at MSU.

Austin's primary research interest revolves around people s use of consumption (and non-consumption) as a means of interpersonal communication. As such, she is interested in different brand and product meanings for different people and she is pursuing a lively research agenda. Some of her working papers include a study of women who don t wear engagement rings, the ways in which little girls interpret fashion advertising, and consumer interpretations of the same brands in different contexts. The first chapter of her dissertation will appear as part of the forthcoming Sage Handbook of Advertising (Tellis and Ambler, eds.).

In her spare time, she is planning a June 2007 wedding to MSU alumnus Tommy Bass. She also enjoys reading books (comic and otherwise) and running around with her daughter Amelia, who ll start fifth grade next year in Bozeman.

Dr. Ginny Bratton

Dr. Virginia (Ginny) Bratton will be teaching in the management area at the College of Business. She received her doctorate in organizational behavior and human resource management from Florida State University where she also taught undergraduate organizational behavior, human resource management and strategic management.

Prior to accepting a position at MSU, Bratton served on the faculty at University of Melbourne in Melbourne, Australia where she taught in the master s in human resource management program, teaching courses in compensation, training and development, leadership, conflict and negotiation and general human resources.

Bratton's teaching style emphasizes developing a deep understanding of the theoretical issues underlying each course topic and, through class discussions and exercises, learning to apply this understanding to a wide range of practical situations. Her objective is to provide students with a broad array of management tools and the ability to use these tools appropriately in their organizations.

Bratton seeks to conduct research that is motivated by and has an impact in the world of business practice. Toward that end, she has engaged in projects in the local business community that include analyzing the perceived effectiveness of and implementation of performance appraisal systems, as well as leader development programs. Her recent research projects have examined the perceived level of politics within organizations, the effectiveness of performance appraisal processes and the role of emotion in the process of moral deliberation.

Originally from Montana, Bratton looks forward to returning to her home state and joining the College of Business at MSU.

Dr. Myleen Leary

Dr. Myleen Leary is joining the College of Business from California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo (Cal Poly), where she has been an assistant professor in the management area since January 2004. Prior to joining the faculty at Cal Poly, Leary received her doctorate in organizational theory and strategy from the University of Wisconsin Madison under the supervision of Mason Carpenter. Leary received her master s in international management degree, with honors, from Thunderbird, The American Graduate School of International Management and her bachelor s in economics and modern languages from Providence College.

Leary s research focuses on top management teams and boards of directors. She has published in the Strategic Management Journal and has articles under review at the Journal of Business Venturing and the Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly.

While at Cal Poly, Leary taught strategy to undergraduate and graduate students. These classes are structured to maximize student learning and participation through a mix of experiential exercises, cases, and lectures. At the University of Wisconsin, Leary used similar teaching methods in strategy, organizational behavior and organizational theory courses.

In addition to her academic experience, Leary has also worked in a variety of industry jobs. Before pursuing her graduate degrees, Leary worked for the Massachusetts Port Authority managing environmental and community planning project for Logan and Hanscom airports. Other positions she has held include translating for the Italian Men s Volleyball team at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, being part of the team that planned the Industry Summit sponsored by the World Economic Forum, Harvard University and MIT, and tutoring at a Boys and Girls Club in Wisconsin.

Perry W. Solheim

Perry W. Solheim, doctoral candidate from the University of Utah, will be joining the faculty of the MSU College of Business.

Prior to pursuing a career in academics, Solheim was the controller for the Growth Fund of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe in Durango, Colorado. He has worked in public accounting as an auditor, as well as in various accounting roles with private enterprises. Solheim is a CPA licensed in the state of Colorado.

Solheim's research interests include a broad range of accounting subjects. His dissertation deals with the motivations and consequences of a firm changing fiscal year-end. Current research, conducted with co-authors Taylor Randall and Michael Lemmon at the University of Utah, includes an examination of companies which have significant supply chain relationships with Wal-Mart. He is also keenly interested in the relationships between a company s environmental performance and reporting and its operational and market performance. Solheim has taught introductory accounting at the University of Utah and he will be teaching financial accounting and research methods courses at the MSU College of Business.

Outside of work, Solheim is an avid whitewater kayaker and rafter, mountain biker and skier. He is moving to Bozeman with his wife, Sarah A. Wilhelm, PhD, and two year old daughter, Lily.