Who We Are


Shawn BergmanDr. Shawn Bergman is the Director of Professional Education at Appalachian State University. He is a professor of industrial-organizational psychology and human resource management (IOHRM) and has spent his career applying evidence-based practices to address issues for a wide variety of private and public sector clients. Bergman has extensive experience working with the business community and is well-known for having founded or co-founded a number of initiatives on campus, including the Office of Research Consultation and the Center for Analytics Research and Education. He earned his PhD in Industrial Psychology-Organizational Psychology from the Haslam College of Business at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. 


Baer Doug Baer is the Assistant Director for Leadership Development and helps professionals discover who they are and how finding their passions can transform their lives. As a leadership professional and educator, leading by example is critically important to Doug. Integrity, positive team dynamics, and maintaining momentum towards achieving a shared vision are vital components of Doug's leadership style. With over fifteen years of experience in higher education, Doug works with student scholars to develop the skills to become citizen leaders. Doug is a certified Clifton Strengths coach, specializing in group and team dynamics. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Truman State University in Missouri and a Master in College Student Personnel Administration from the University of Central Missouri.
Dinesh DaveDr. Dinesh S. Davè is the department chair and a professor in the Department of Marketing & Supply Chain Management in the Walker College of Business at Appalachian State University. He served as the director of Supply Chain, the director of Center for Business Research, and held the Beroth Oil Four Brothers Professorship. Dr. Davè has designed and introduced Lean, Six-Sigma and Quality Management course at both undergraduate and graduate levels at Appalachian. He has been teaching this course for over a decade, and he is Lean Six Sigma certified. His teaching and research activities have been in the areas of Lean, Six-Sigma and Quality Management, Supply Chain/Operations Management, Quantitative Methods & Techniques, Analytical Models, Business Statistics, and Information Technology.  Dr. Davè has published numerous research articles in a variety of reputable journals. He is also active in providing leadership to professional organizations.
Mark LewisManagement professor Mark Lewis is an innovation expert and business strategist with a passion for business research that leads to actionable insights. His research is aimed at an executive audience and based on engagements with industry leaders in the logistics, diversified computer systems, and healthcare industries. This work has appeared in MIS Quarterly Executive, MIT Supply Chain Strategy, and other leading outlets, and his case study on innovation in a long-term outsourcing relationship has been used by over 10,000 students in 29 countries.
Chris McNeilFinance, Banking & Insurance professor Chris McNeil teaches corporate finance and has previously taught international finance and financial modeling in Excel. His research is focused on corporate finance and development of Excel pedagogical tools. Dr. McNeil worked for ten years in industry (BB&T and Duke Energy) before entering the Ph.D. program at the University of South Carolina. He joined the faculty of Appalachian State University in 2004.
Nelson Dr. Peter (PJ) Nelsen is a professor in the College of Education at Appalachian State University. He specializes in navigating interpersonal differences, especially around difficult conversations that involve value conflicts. His research centers on how the philosophy and strategies of nonviolent conflict resolution can bring people in deep conflict together. Prior to joining the faculty at Appalachian State, Dr. Nelsen worked as a group development and teamwork trainer/consultant for educational, therapeutic, and corporate organizations at the University of New Hampshire's Browne Center for Innovative Learning as well as Project Adventure, Inc. He holds a doctorate in the philosophy of education from the University of New Hampshire, and he is currently a certification candidate in conflict mediation with the Center for Nonviolent Communication.
David Shows Marketing professor David Shows teaches sales management, marketing principles, marketing strategy, and integrated marketing communications. His research is focused upon entrepreneurism and entrepreneurial marketing. Dr. Shows' industry experience includes being a systems analyst with Citizens Bank and being managing partner and founder of ZZip Internet, one of the first Internet providers. He has international teaching experience at Chonnam National University in Gwangju, South Korea.

Advisory Board

Ken WhiteKen White manages the student practicum and internship programs and provides career development support. Additionally, he works with MBA program assessment, and performs client and program development for the professional education program. White retired from a distinguished career with Mack Trucks and served as an adjunct professor teaching in Appalachian’s Hickory MBA Program prior to becoming professional development  coordinator. He earned his undergraduate degree in business administration from Greensboro College, his MBA from the Walker College of Business, and MA in Higher Education from the Reich College of Education Appalachian State University.
Jim StreetDr. Jim Street is the Senior Associate Director of Leadership Development, as well as the Director of the Minor in Leadership Studies and teaches leadership courses. He also coordinates the leadership coaching program, the LeaderShape Institute, and works with the Service and Leadership Floor. Dr. Street has been at Appalachian since 1991 and has at some point worked with various Campus Activities and Leadership Development programs: from advising fraternities and sororities to coordinating Emerging Leaders to advising Club Council. Jim’s intention was to work at ASU for 4-5 years, but Boone, NC and Appalachian are special places that keep him connected to the High Country. 
Kemp EllingtonDr. Kemp Ellington is an Associate Professor in the Management Department of the Walker College of Business at Appalachian State University. He teaches undergraduate courses in management, as well as graduate courses in the Industrial-Organizational Psychology and Human Resource Management (IOHRM) Master of Arts Program. Dr. Ellington has worked extensively with a variety of clients, with particular experience in helping organizations evaluate the impact and effectiveness of their performance management and training/development initiatives. He earned his PhD in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from North Carolina State University.
 HannahHannah Costello is a recent graduate from both the Industrial-Organizational Psychology and Human Resources master's program and the Walker College of Business MBA program at Appalachian State University. It was in these classrooms that she was able to grow her love of helping people into a strong interest in teaching people, specifically those that want to learn about conflict management and feedback. She has worked closely with Dr. Bergman and the Professional Education team in the creation and facilitation process of its first events. Costello received her undergraduate degree at New Mexico State University where she earned a BS in Marketing.


Donna LindaburyIn addition to serving as Assistant to the Associate Dean for Graduate Programs and Research, Ms. Donna Lindabury manages the assistantship and scholarship programs for the Master of Business Administration and the Master of Science in Applied Data Analytics, supports various research initiatives, and is the administrator of Appalachian's professional education program. Lindabury holds a degree in business management from Appalachian State University.
Sandy VannoyAs Associate Dean for Graduate Programs and Research, Dr. Sandra Vannoy oversees the Walker College's professional education program, graduate programs, the honors program, and several research initiatives. Vannoy began her career at Appalachian in the Department of Computer Information Systems in 1998 and has been overseeing graduate programs and research for the Walker College since 2014.  Prior to her career in academia, Vannoy owned a small software development company and held administrative positions in the healthcare and banking fields.  She earned her PhD in Information Systems from the Bryan School of Business and Economics at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Graduate Assistants

Maira ComagnoneMaira Compagnone is a graduate student in the Industrial-Organizational Human Resource Management (IOHRM) master's program, as well as the Walker College of Business MBA program, at Appalachian State University. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Massachusetts at Boston, where she earned a B.A. in Ethical, Social, and Political Philosophy.  Her interests lie in training and development, human resource analytics, and organizational change. She enjoys getting involved in various related activities at App State, including Professional Education, the HR Science Research Team, the App State local SHRM chapter, and volunteering in the community. She hopes to pursue a PhD after graduation.
Darby FordDarby Ford is a graduate student in the Industrial-Organizational Psychology and Human Resource Management (IOHRM) program at Appalachian State University. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where she earned a B.A. in Criminal Justice and B.S. in Psychological Sciences. Upon coming to Appalachian State University, Darby has developed an interest in selection, training and development, and work-life balance. She currently serves as the Training Coordinator for a student-led coffee shop in the College of Business. In the remainder of her time at Appalachian State University, Darby hopes to pursue a thesis regarding selection techniques in law enforcement.
Soundarya KanthimathinathanSoundarya Kanthimathinathan is a current student at Appalachian State University, completing a dual Master’s degree in Industrial-Organizational Psychology and Human Resource Management (IOHRM) and Business Administration (MBA). Throughout her graduate education, she has had the opportunity to be a project lead for Professional Education. Thus far in her career, she has gained experience working with 360 feedback surveys, job analyses, leadership development, virtual team communication, personality data, and an overview of HR functions. She hopes to pursue training and development, organizational psychology, and organizational behavior management post-graduation.
Erin MarionErin Marion is a graduate student in the Industrial-Organizational Psychology and Human Resources Management (IOHRM) program at Appalachian State with strong interests in leadership and employee development. She is the HR coordinator for a student-run, non-profit coffee shop housed within the Walker College of Business. Marion received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Virginia Tech with a minor in leadership studies.