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MBA Program Director Receives Business Award

Kristen Roche named to Milwaukee Business Journal’s 40 Under 40

image: Kristen Roche, Ph.D.MILWAUKEE (January 8, 2015) – Kristen Roche, Ph.D., director of Mount Mary University’s MBA Program and assistant professor in Business Administration, has been named a “40 Under 40” award recipient from Milwaukee Business Journal. The award recognizes the accomplishments of professionals who are making a difference in the community. An economist specializing in labor and gender differences in earnings for the self-employed, Roche was selected from more than 260 nominees under the age of 40 who work in southeastern Wisconsin.

According to Mount Mary President Dr. Eileen Schwalbach, Roche has been instrumental in doubling enrollment in the MBA program, as well as spearheading the new Health Systems Leadership track, which was launched in 2014. Passionate about gender wage gaps, Roche researches and publishes on the subject to raise awareness in the classroom and the business community. Her research on pay differences for women entrepreneurs was recently featured in Fortune.

“I like working in an environment where I can be both professor and mentor,” Roche said. Assistant Professor John Zorbini acknowledged that Roche’s students look to her as a role model. “The knowledge and experience that she brings to the classroom as a female economist offer students a view they would not otherwise have,” he said.

Sarah Sanger, a former student of Dr. Roche’s, appreciated her professor’s leadership and passion. “Dr. Roche often emphasized the need for more women to advocate for the things they want professionally,” Sanger said. “She is one of those special professors that one will not forget.” 

Roche’s passion for social justice is regularly incorporated into her curriculum through hands-on community service experiences and course assignments for students. Leon Janssen, an executive consultant with GE Healthcare, and vice chairman of the University’s board of trustees, noted that Roche’s leadership extends in a very significant way into the larger community. “As Chairwoman-Elect of the Board of the Women’s Center in Waukesha, she is further working to improve that lives of women and families in our community while being an extraordinary role model for all who are aspiring to make an important difference in their community,” he stated.

Roche received her B.B.A. in Economics and Finance from UW-Whitewater and her M.S. in Applied Economics from Marquette University. She received her Ph.D. in Economics from UW-Milwaukee.

More information on Milwaukee Business Journal’s announcement of Roche’s award can be found at mtmary.edu.