Leadership in focus: Associate professor takes the reins

David Peterson is Business Management’s interim academic unit head.

SUMMARY: Three-time nominee for the CoB’s top teaching award assumes department-leadership duties.

The College of Business leadership team is pleased to welcome David Peterson, associate professor of Business Management, who was named interim head of the department effective July 1.

Peterson received a doctorate in industrial/organizational psychology from the University of Oklahoma in 2013, after first earning a master’s degree in the program there. His initial academic appointment was to an assistant professorship in the business school at the University of Warwick in England.

His research testifies to his interest in creativity and leadership. “I’ve been doing creative things all of my life,” he said, naming dance and choreography and woodworking among his many enthusiasms. 

Peterson said he “loves trying to figure out how we develop ideas,” always looking for clues to “how we shape them,” by taking things which in their infancy may not seem to hold much promise and turning them into “appealing, powerful things.”

He has also devoted more than 11 years to independent management consulting, working with organizations of all kinds to develop training programs for improving leadership, engaging in creative problem-solving and promoting responsible professional conduct.

He says he employs rigorous scientific methods to evaluate these programs in order to provide clients with detailed, actionable knowledge that enables them to make high-impact changes. “That’s a big part of my approach,” he said. “How do we merge rigorous science and effective practice?”

Since arriving at JMU in 2016, Peterson has been nominated three times by students for the Otto C. Brenner Award, which recognizes excellence in teaching. It is mirrored by the close rapport he enjoys with faculty colleagues — which he says, makes the opportunity to lead them as academic unit head an especially appealing one.

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by David Doremus

Published: Monday, July 8, 2024

Last Updated: Wednesday, July 10, 2024

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