MEET OUR TEAM
Our team works closely to design opportunities to drive innovative change and foster dialogue, learning, understanding, training and advancement at the intersection of inclusion and business.
Aronté Bennett, PhD
Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at VSB
Associate Professor, Marketing & Business Law
Dr. Aronté Bennett is an Associate Professor of Marketing in Villanova University’s School of Business (VSB). She offers courses on market research and consumer behavior, both at the undergraduate and graduate level. Her research focuses on marketplace access and vulnerable, with recent work on the ways that marketing systems can be leveraged to improve the wellbeing of immigrants, low-income consumers and underrepresented minorities. She also examines the ways in which consumers perceive politicians and products. Findings from her research have been published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology, the Journal of Public Policy and Marketing and the International Marketing Review. Her paper, “Shopping While Nonwhite: Racial Discrimination in the Marketplace,” authored with Ronald P. Hill and Kara Daddario, received the Journal of Consumer Affairs 2016 Best Paper Award. She is a member of Faculty Congress and the Praxis Award Committee, is a VISIBLE faculty affiliate and a University Race and Justice faculty associate. Prior to her current role, Dr. Bennett served as the Associate Chair of VSB’s Marketing and Business Law Department
Aronté is a proud graduate of Florida A&M University, earning both her BS and MBA there, and her Ph.D. from New York University. Actively involved in local charities, she recently served as the President of The Junior League of Philadelphia, Inc, a nonprofit organization with more than 300 active members, dedicated to the development of women and community improvement. Dr. Bennett is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Fund for the Water Works, an organization dedicated to instilling an appreciation for the connections between daily life and the natural environment on the site of Fairmount Water Works, the nation’s first urban water supply system.
Holly Slay Ferraro, PhD
Faculty Director for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Teaching and Research
Holly Slay Ferraro is an Associate Professor of Management and the Faculty Director for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Teaching and Research at the Villanova University School of Business. She earned her Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior from the University of Maryland, College Park. Before joining the faculty at Villanova, she served on the faculty at Seattle University for 14 years.
Her research examines how people grapple with dimensions of self (e.g., age, race, gender) in making career decisions. She is also interested in how organizational and institutional practices contribute to professional identity construction and career judgments. She aims to add to our knowledge of how growth, learning, and superior performance occur in the face of forces that cause people to question their beliefs about who they are or should be. She has published articles in Human Relations, Human Resource Management, Group and Organization Management, and the Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies. Her research on midlife/midcareer transitions won a Cutting Edge Award from the Academy of Human Resource Development. Before pursuing her doctorate, she held technical and managerial positions in industry for over 12 years.
Zakiya Newton, EdD
Assistant Director, Diversity Equity and Inclusion
With over 10 years of experience in higher education, Zakiya joins us from Lincoln University where she worked as Coordinator of the William K. Dadson Entrepreneurship Center. She holds master’s degrees in Recreation Administration from Southern Illinois University and in Higher Education Leadership from Widener University and is currently completing her doctoral degree at Widener with a research focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), specifically, identifying barriers for inclusion among a traditionally homogenous population.
Alicia Strandberg, PhD
Director and Founding Committee Member, Villanova Women in Tech
Alicia Strandberg, PhD is an assistant professor NT at Villanova University and a founding committee member of Villanova University’s Women in Tech. She is a proud alumna of Villanova, MS in Applied Statistics, and thrilled to be working at her alma mater. Dr. Strandberg teaches undergraduate and graduate-level analytics courses in the School of Business and for the Executive MBA and Online MSBA programs. She also organizes events outside of the classroom to encourage women and men to imagine technology-based careers and learn new tech skills. Before returning to her alma mater, Dr. Strandberg was a senior analyst responsible for creating systems to calculate pension benefits for clients and was an assistant professor at Temple University.
VSB Climate Improvement Feedback Portal
VSB ODEI is committed to creating a more inclusive, and equitable community. Please submit your suggestions below to help us improve our efforts.
Report a Climate Concern to Villanova University
If you are concerned about any issues related to diversity, equity and inclusion, please do not hesitate to contact us.
“Each of us had something to learn from others and something to teach in return.”
- St. Augustine
“Embracing all with mutual respect leads to rich discussions, broader perspectives that in turn bring all together in any environment to achieve together.”
Michele Etzel ’87 VSB
Chair, Dean’s Advisory Council;
CEO, National Enterprise Solutions;
CFO, National Graphics Inc.