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Aronté Bennett, PhD, Named Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at VSB

Villanova, Pa., October 1, 2021 – The Villanova School of Business (VSB) has named Aronté Bennett, PhD, associate professor, Marketing & Business Law, the new associate dean of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) for VSB beginning October 1, 2021.

“Dr. Bennett is passionate about our DEI initiatives and we are thrilled that she will assume this position,” said Joyce E. A. Russell, PhD, the Helen and William O’Toole Dean of the Villanova School of Business. “She brings more than 12 years’ experience at VSB to this role and I am confident that her work will positively impact our academic community and set us up for success for years to come.”
Aronté Bennett, PhD

“It is an honor to serve VSB as the new associate dean of DEI,” said Dr. Bennett. “As faculty director for DEI over the past year, I have been part of the DEI leadership team in VSB and have also worked closely with the University’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ODEI). This new role will give me the opportunity to guide VSB forward in our DEI strategic priorities.”

“Dr. Bennett’s work is well known to every member of the ODEI team, and we are excited to welcome her to this new role,” said Terry Nance, PhD, vice president of DEI and Chief Diversity Officer at Villanova University. “Her wisdom and inspiration will continue to lead VSB and Villanova through the challenging and exciting work ahead.”

The former associate dean of strategic initiatives and VSB head diversity officer, Terrill L. Drake, said, “We are grateful to Dr. Bennett for stepping into this role and for all of her outstanding service to our community. She is dedicated to these efforts and I look forward to seeing all the important work she accomplishes.”

Dr. Bennett joined Villanova in 2009 and has since taught undergraduate and graduate classes in marketing research, buyer behavior and social media marketing. She is an accomplished researcher, with interest in vulnerable consumers, marketplace exclusion, pro-social behavior, corporate social responsibility and brand perceptions. She also is a member of the editorial review board of the Journal of Public Policy and Marketing and the Journal of Consumer Affairs.

In 2017, she was named the associate chair of the Marketing & Business Law department and in 2020 added faculty director for DEI to her growing list of responsibilities. She serves as faculty associate for the Villanova University Race and Justice course, is a member of the University Faculty Senate, and has received numerous teaching and research grants and awards—including the Villanova University UNITAS research grant and VSB Teaching Innovation grant—and she is also a Villanova VISIBLE scholar.

In addition to her professional accomplishments, Dr. Bennett is actively involved in the community working to make the world a better place. She has held many leadership positions at the Junior League of Philadelphia, including board president, COO and vice president of its marketing council, and is a mentor for the Society of Consumer Psychology’s DEI committee’s conference community-building initiative. She has volunteered with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southeastern PA, served on the board of the Richard Allen Preparatory Charter School and is currently on the board for the Fund for the Water Works.

Dr. Bennett received her PhD in Marketing from New York University’s Stern School of Business and her MBA and undergraduate degrees from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University.

The Villanova School of Business (VSB) undergraduate program is top-ranked among business schools in the nation. Its online graduate business programs are ranked #5, and its online MBA program is ranked #17 by U.S. News and World Report. VSB has been at the forefront of business education since it was founded in 1922. Serving over 2,700 undergraduate and graduate students, VSB is home to five Centers of Excellence – the Daniel M. DiLella Center for Real Estate, the Elenore and Robert F. Moran Sr. Center for Global Leadership, the Center for Business Analytics, the Center for Marketing & Consumer Insights and the Center for Church Management – with each designed to foster innovative, cross-disciplinary research and applied opportunities for students. VSB is known for academic rigor; creativity and innovation; hands-on and service learning opportunities; a firm grounding in ethics; and an applied education that prepares students to become outstanding leaders and global citizens within the ever-changing, complex, and fast-paced world of business. For more, visit