"I love my career because it allows me to share knowledge with students while leveraging my research interests in marketing and innovation."
Yazhen (Sophie) Xiao joined the Haslam College of Business at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, as an assistant professor of marketing in August 2016.
Xiao earned her doctorate in marketing from the University of Illinois at Chicago and her Master of Business Administration from Vanderbilt University. Her primary research interests include new product development and consumer adoption of innovation. She also explores healthcare service that helps chronically ill consumers stay adherent to medication regimens.
Xiao says that Haslam students’ intelligence and dedication impress her. She advises them to have clear goals and manage their time strategically when entering the workforce.
“These skills will be critical for their future careers,” she says. “In the information technology era, it is important to stay up to date on how innovation influences product, process and company.”
Xiao’s research was published in the Journal of Service Research, Journal of Business Research, Journal of Business Ethics and International Marketing Review, winning the honorable mention award at the August 2015 special issue on transformative service by the Journal of Service Research.
Xiao is passionate about educating our future leaders.
“I love my career because it allows me to share knowledge with students while leveraging my research interests in marketing and innovation,” Xiao says. “My marketing analytics course includes a team project through which students investigate consumers’ perceptions of a new product on the market and come up with one marketing campaign plan to promote the product. It is exciting to read students’ analyses on consumer insights and ideas of marketing campaigns.”
Xiao has previous experience as a marketing research manager and international education consultant. She enjoys traveling, hiking and cooking, and began learning about college football games after moving to Knoxville.
“UT has great facilities and is special to me because of its people, distinguished scholars that I share common research interests with as well as excellent colleagues and students that I enjoy working with. I am proud to be a Tennessee Volunteer.”
In his research, Haileab Hilafu aims to make it easier to extract actionable knowledge from large datasets