Babson Announces Four New Term Chairs
Babson professors Frederick Douglass Opie and Tina Opie are among four faculty members who have received new term chair appointments, the College announced recently.
Fred Opie was named the Baldwin Richardson Foods Term Chair, and Tina Opie was named the Johnson Family Term Chair.
“Fred and Tina are innovative educators, speakers, accomplished authors and entrepreneurs,” said Ken Matsuno, the Murata Vice President of Academic Affairs & Dean of the College. “They have excelled in their academic and professional careers and are valued voices at Babson and beyond.”
Both term chairs have been made possible by generous donations from Eric G. Johnson ’72, P’08 and his family.
Johnson is the chairman of Baldwin Richardson Foods Company, one of the largest African American-owned businesses in the food industry. He also currently serves as vice chair of Babson’s Board of Trustees, was inducted into the Academy of Distinguished Entrepreneurs® in 2019, and is a member of the Weissman Circle of Distinction. In 2020, The Johnson House, a special-interest living space on campus, was opened, honoring and extending his legacy as the founder of Babson’s Black Student Union.
The other appointments include Erik Noyes receiving The Michael London ’92 and Stephen H. Kramer ’92 Term Chair in Entrepreneurship and Kristen Getchell receiving The Karani Term Chair.
Meet Babson’s four new term chairs:
The Baldwin Richardson Foods Term Chair
Frederick Douglass Opie, professor in the History & Science Division, has been appointed the Baldwin Richardson Foods Term Chair, effective immediately.
Fred Opie, who joined Babson in 2010, has published books, articles, and contributed to anthologies. He has appeared on NPR, BBC Radio, The History Channel, PBS television, and in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Oprah Magazine. He is the producer and host of “The Fred Opie Show.” His research interests include food history, U.S. history, and diaspora history. Opie’s forthcoming book, Food Rebels: Why Freedom Requires Rebellion, analyzes the long-overlooked work of entrepreneurs, organizations, and activists advocating for economic independence, cooperatives, food sovereignty, and nutrition.
The Johnson Family Term Chair
Tina Opie, associate professor of management, has been appointed the Johnson Family Term Chair, effective immediately.
Tina Opie’s research helps leaders navigate increasingly fluid environments by equipping them to develop adaptive organizations with equitable systems and cultures that value individual differences. Her work has appeared in numerous academic journals and media outlets. Opie also is a regular commentator on Harvard Business Review’s “Women at Work” podcast and Greater Boston’s NPR affiliate television station WGBH.
Opie, who also joined Babson in 2010, and co-author Beth A. Livingston wrote the award-winning book Shared Sisterhood: How to Take Collective Action for Racial and Gender Equity at Work. She also is the founder of Opie Consulting Group LLC, where she helps create more diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplaces by aiding leaders and teams in the development of critical leadership skills.
The Michael London ’92 and Stephen H. Kramer ’92 Term Chair in Entrepreneurship
Erik Noyes, an associate professor of entrepreneurship, has been appointed The Michael London ’92 and Stephen H. Kramer ’92 Term Chair in Entrepreneurship, effective for the 2024–2025 academic year
Noyes’ research examines teaching and learning innovations in entrepreneurship education, especially the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) to drive entrepreneurship and innovation. Noyes, who joined Babson’s faculty in 2007, is a co-founder of The Generator, a multidivisional team of Babson faculty working to build AI capabilities across Babson’s faculty and students. He also is the founding faculty director of the Weissman Foundry, the College’s thriving interdisciplinary community focused on innovation, design, and pedagogical experimentation. He has won numerous awards and also recently was named to Poets & Quants’ 50 Best Undergraduate Business Professors of 2023.
The term chair was made possible by the generosity of Michael London ’92 and Stephen H. Kramer ’92, both of whom serve on the College Advisory Board. Together, they co-founded and co-led the college admissions and financing advisory company College Coach until its acquisition by Bright Horizons in 2006.
London currently is the founder and CEO of Uwill Inc., a company dedicated to providing innovative online platforms with mental health solutions and services tailored for colleges, counselors, and students. Kramer now serves as CEO at Bright Horizons Family Solutions Inc., a global leader in high quality early education and childcare, backup care, and workforce education. He has held leadership positions there since the company acquired College Coach in 2006.
The Karani Term Chair
Kristen Getchell, an associate professor of business communications in the Marketing Division, has been appointed The Karani Term Chair, effective for the 2024–2025 academic year.
Getchell’s research explores business phenomena through a communication lens and continues to gain recognition in the field of business communication. Getchell, who joined Babson’s faculty in 2017, has won numerous awards, including Babson’s Dean’s Award for Teaching Excellence in 2017 and 2021. She also was first author on the article “Artificial Intelligence in Business Communication: The Changing Landscape of Research and Teaching,” which, published before release of ChatGPT, won the 2023 Outstanding Article award from Business and Professional Communication Quarterly.
The term chair was made possible by the generosity of Bulent Karani ’99, an industry visionary and proponent of corporate entrepreneurship and regional change. Karani is the CEO of the Baltech Group, a dynamic and diversified company with a strong presence in various sectors, including renewable energy, construction, farming, and real estate. In 2000, he co-founded the online startup Weblebi, which developed into a thriving online platform before he successfully sold his share.
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