Marketing Professor Andrea L. Dixon Honored as Cornelia Marschall Smith Professor of the YearApril 22, 2020
WACO, Texas (April 22, 2020) – Andrea L. Dixon, Ph.D., associate professor of marketing and executive director of the Center for Professional Selling in the Hankamer School of Business, has been named Baylor University’s 2020 Cornelia Marschall Smith Professor of the Year.
The Cornelia Marschall Smith Professor of the Year Award recognizes a Baylor faculty member who makes a superlative contribution to the learning environment at Baylor through:
- Teaching, which is judged to be of the highest order of intellectual acumen and pedagogical effectiveness.
- Research and creative activity, which is recognized as outstanding by the national and/or international as well as local community of scholars.
- Service, which is regarded as exemplary in building the character of intellectual community at Baylor.
Holding The Frank and Floy Smith Holloway Endowed Professorship in Marketing, Dixon leads Baylor’s Professional Selling program, building a robust corporate partnership program that funds student development and a center endowment. As this year’s Smith Professor of the Year, Dixon received a $20,000 award, which has been donated into a Baylor endowed scholarship, and will present a lecture on a topic of her choosing during the next academic year.
Dixon expressed gratitude for the privilege of preparing missionaries for Jesus Christ, skillfully disguised as sales representatives. That motto, she said, drives her leadership decisions and the way she engages students as a coach and a mentor.
“When Baylor called me for this center leadership role, I did not realize the ways in which the Lord had gone before me in planning this path,” Dixon said. “He has surrounded me with talented students who are willing to work with excellence to honor the Lord. He also has partnered me with a very talented and godly group of faculty and staff partners. Having dedicated students, faculty and staff, combined with our competency-based iterative learning model, provides outstanding results from the marketplace. We have seen our corporate partnerships grow from $15,000 to more than $200,000 per year as a result of the value that corporations experience from the Baylor ProSales model.
Dixon said she is excited to add the $20,000 from the award to a Baylor endowed scholarship that she and her husband, Doug Dixon, are funding.
“We see the Lord’s hand at work at Baylor and are excited to join Him in His work here,” she said.
Because of changes to the University’s spring academic schedule due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Dixon was announced as the Cornelia Marschall Smith Professor of the Year recipient on the website of Baylor’s annual J. Harry and Anna Jeanes Academic Honors Week, which celebrates transformative undergraduate education at its best at Baylor.
“Dr. Dixon brought to Baylor an international reputation as both a scholar and a teacher, along with a deep commitment to her faith as her guiding principle and purpose,” said James Bennighof, Ph.D., vice provost for academic affairs and policy at Baylor. “At Baylor she has demonstrated a superb dedication to developing the Center for Professional Selling, including developing relationships with top-level industry partners that represent Baylor in the most positive way, while at the same time devoting the utmost attention to individual students as they grow and mature personally and professionally. And she has complemented all of this work within the Center with remarkably crucial and painstaking service to the University as a whole.”
About Dr. Andrea Dixon
Since 2009, Dixon has provided academic leadership for the Center for Professional Selling, building it into one of the top programs in the country, commemorating its 25th anniversary as the oldest sales center in the United States and editing the 30th anniversary issue of the Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management.
Dixon has published in the Journal of Marketing, Harvard Business Review, Organizational Science, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Leadership Quarterly, European Journal of Marketing, the Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management, Journal of Marketing Education and other journals. Her research in the Journal of Marketing was the 2002 award winner. She co-authored Strategic Sales Leadership and her work on customer selection appears in The Oxford Handbook of Sales Management and Sales Strategy. Dixon serves as the regional editor for the European Journal of Marketing and on the editorial review boards for the Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management, the Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice, the Journal of Business-to-Business Marketing and the Journal of Marketing Education.
From 1989 to 2009, she was on the faculty at the University of Cincinnati and the executive director of its MS-Marketing program. Prior to 1989, Dixon served as senior director of product development and marketing at GAMA International, where her primary focus was industry-wide research initiatives focused on the formation of high-performance sales organizations.
Having completed her Ph.D. at Indiana University-Bloomington, Dixon has received numerous teaching awards: MBA Teaching Award (UC), Irwin Publishing’s national teaching award, Distinguished Professorship (IU MBA students), University-wide award (IU) and the Ronald J. Dornoff Teaching Fellow (UC). Dixon was named the international Academy of Marketing Science’s Marketing Teacher Award winner in 2008. During 2014, she received the Excellence in Teaching Award from the American Marketing Association in the sales area, as well as the Hankamer School of Business Teaching Excellence award.
In addition to teaching, she shares her research through both keynote addresses and executive trainings. As a member of Duke University’s Global Learning Resource Network for Executive Education, Dixon has addressed executives in London, Hong Kong, Mumbai, Mexico City, Dubai, Hyderabad, Paris and throughout the United States. As a member of the academy, Dixon co-chaired several conferences: 2007 Winter AMA Educators, 2012 and 2017 Global Sales Science Institute (GSSI), and 2012 and 2016 3M Frontline Sales Conferences. She served on the boards of the AMA Academic Council, National Conference on Sales Management and the Global Sales Science Institute. She served as president of the AMA Sales SIG. At Baylor, she recently served as the vice chair of the University’s Presidential Search Committee and Faculty Regent on the Baylor Board of Regents. In 2019, Dixon assumed the presidency of the University Sales Center Alliance and also joined the board of World Impact.
In her students’ words
Bennighof provided testimonials that students shared in letters about Dixon and her teaching:
- “Dr. Dixon was the first professor who believed in me as a student. She saw my potential and pushed me in all facets of my growth. I am forever grateful for her being in my corner, and believing in me not just as a student, but as a person. She taught me how to be a witness for Jesus and to put Him at the center of everything I do in my career. She is truly one of the most influential figures in my life story.”
- “Dr. Dixon is someone I look up to as one of the most inspiring business women I have had the pleasure to work with thus far in my career. There is an innate God-given gift she has to challenge students to perform at a level far beyond the degree the students would deem possible. The time she invests in each of her students is exceptional and noteworthy. She takes our weaknesses and transforms them into our strengths - then develops our strengths and turns them into our superpowers.”
- “For all of Dr. Dixon’s intelligence and business knowledge, I would say that her most defining characteristic is her patience, which allows her to give guidance and leadership to hundreds of individuals with vastly different backgrounds and future dreams.”
- “I have no words to adequately describe how thankful I am for the role Dr. Dixon has played in my career and my life. It’s both a rarity and blessing to be able to say I was placed in my dream sales role immediately upon graduation, which is in no small part because of Dr. Dixon. She challenged my critical thinking, sharpened my communication skills, instilled confidence in my ability to provide value, inspired me as a woman in the sales world, and showed me the bigger picture of what my job truly is. Before all else, I am a missionary in a sales rep’s clothing. This awareness gives me purpose as I walk out the door every day.”
- “I am so grateful I had the privilege of learning from Dr. Dixon. Her passion, dedication, and love for this program and her students is unparalleled to any other faculty/staff member I have interacted with. She has changed my life in so many ways, and I know my classmates feel the same. This program has given me opportunities that grew my self-confidence tremendously and has given me the space to grow into the best version of myself.”
- “Dr. Dixon is not only the reason I decided to continue in my college education, but the sole reason that my experience was 100% worth it. I cannot thank her enough for everything.”
About Dr. Cornelia Marschall Smith
The Cornelia Marschall Smith Professor of the Year honor was inaugurated 16 years ago by the Office of the Provost and is named for Cornelia Marschall Smith, Ph.D., a 1918 Baylor biology graduate who earned a master’s degree from the University of Chicago in 1925 and her doctorate from Johns Hopkins University in 1928. She was a professor of biology at Baylor from 1940 to 1967, chair of the biology department from 1943 to 1967 and director of Strecker Museum from 1943 to 1967. She retired in 1967 but maintained an office in Armstrong Browning Library to assist charitable causes. In 1980, Baylor honored Smith with an endowed chair known as The Cornelia Marschall Smith Professorship in Biology. She was celebrated among her colleagues, students and alumni for fine teaching, generous mentoring and her many interdisciplinary interests. She was a lively and continuing contributor to the Baylor intellectual community until her death on Aug. 27, 1997, at age 101.
Past recipients of the award are D. Thomas Hanks (2004, English), Robert M. Baird (2005, Philosophy), Kevin Pinney (2006, Chemistry), Ann Rushing (2007, Biology), Wallace L. Daniel (2008, History), William D. Hillis (2009, Biology), Joyce Jones (2010, Music), Robert F. Darden (2011, Journalism), Roger E. Kirk (2012, Psychology and Neuroscience), William H. Bellinger Jr. (2013, Religion), Joseph A. McKinney (2014, Economics), David L. Jeffrey (2015, Great Texts); Johnny L. Henderson (2016, Mathematics), Alden Smith (2017, Classics), C. Stephen Evans (2018, Philosophy and Humanities) and Gaynor I. Yancey (2019, Social Work).
Nominations for the award come from all faculty, students and alumni, and the recipient of the award is chosen from among the nominees by a committee of four faculty members and Bennighof. This year’s committee included Vanessa A. Castleberry, Ph.D., senior lecturer of chemistry and biochemistry; H. Stephen Gardner, Ph.D., professor of economics and The Herman Brown Endowed Chair in Economics; Ann McGlashan, Ph.D., associate professor and division director of German and Russian languages; and Jay Yoo, Ph.D., associate professor of family and consumer sciences.
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