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Purdue Center for Professional Selling

Faculty & Staff


Assistant Professor

Matthews Hall 312A

(765) 494-9245


Chris Kowal

Assistant Professor

Chris Kowal is an assistant professor in Consumer Science and the Director of the Center for Professional Selling at Purdue University. Dr. Kowal teaches the selling and sales management capstone course and courses in customer service and nonverbal persuasion. Dr. Kowal's research focus is in nonverbal communication, specifically the persuasion of emotion, exploring the process of charisma, and emotional competence. Additional focus areas include sales, social perception, and facial expression and body language analysis. Dr. Kowal's research has been highlighted on international, national, and local media outlets including CNN, ABC News, NBC News, and CBS News. Prior to entering the academic world, Dr. Kowal worked as a political and marketing consultant and a top producing real estate agent in the Detroit market.

Chris Kowal earned his B.A. in communication and political science from Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, M.A. from the University of Connecticut, and Ph.D. degree from the University of Connecticut in Communication and Marketing, with a focus on the communication of emotions within persuasion.


Associate Professor

Krannert 788

(765) 494-4325


Scott Downey

Associate Director
Affiliate Faculty
Associate Professor

Scott Downey is an associate professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics, where he teaches courses in sales and marketing. He is coordinator of the sales and marketing degree program. He joined Purdue University on a full time basis in 2000 after spending 15 years in the financial services industry. He is the lead author of "ProSelling: A Professional Approach to Selling in Agriculture and Other Industries."

Scott is also an associate director of the Center for Food and Agricultural Business. He teaches in many of the center's programs. He is a frequent speaker and consultant for agribusiness industry sales teams on professional development topics like precision selling, sales management and competitive sales strategies. The discovery process he created has been adopted by Fortune 300 companies and has been presented all over the world.

Scott received his bachelor's degree at Purdue University in 1985 and his MBA from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, Calif., in 1991. He completed his doctorate at Purdue in 2007 in consumer behavior, looking at the relationship sales preferences of ruralpolitan buyers.

He has served as an adviser to the Purdue chapter of the American Advertising Federation and helped students found the Purdue Ag Sales and Marketing Club. He is active in the National FFA sales competition and has been active on local boards at United Way and other organizations.

Scott is a fellow of Purdue's Teaching Academy, which strives to bring together the best teaching faculty from across campus. He is the recipient of the 2012 Richard Kohls Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award in the College of Agriculture at Purdue. He won a national teaching award in 2011 from the Agriculture and Applied Economics Association, the service organization for academics in agricultural economics.

His wife, Laura, is a veterinarian and currently heads a business that provides patient drug adherence products to pharmacies.


Associate Director - PCPS

Matthews Hall 302

(765) 494-7860


Jane E. Anderson

Associate Director

Jane E. Anderson is associate director of the Purdue Center for Professional Selling at Purdue University. Jane's first job was as sales representative for IBM, so she understands firsthand the opportunities and challenges of a professional sales career - and applies that knowledge and experience for the benefit of Purdue students.

Jane shares her passion for selling and sales management as a professional career with students, and provides opportunities for students campus-wide to showcase their skills and experience. Jane partners and manages relationships with company leaders, whose industry support helps fund practical experiences for students, making them even more career-ready.

In addition to Jane's focus on students, she facilitates faculty research projects, customizes corporate development programs for companies, and helps implement the center's strategic growth plan by securing financial support from industry, Purdue alums, and other enthusiastic donors.

Since 1997 when Jane joined Purdue University, she has nurtured strategic relationships with numerous industry groups, trade associations, and individual firms and has helped build bridges between the world of academia and the world of business. Focusing on customer needs and values, Jane's projects have provided solutions to organizations in the U.S. as well as in Eastern Europe, Central and South America, and Asia.

Prior to her career at Purdue, Jane consulted privately to agribusiness firms in the U.S. and abroad, and worked with firms and U.S. government agencies that helped drive expansion of profitable international markets for U.S. commodities and products.

Jane and her husband, David, are graduates of Purdue University and have three grown children, who are also Purdue grads.


Assistant Professor

Matthews Hall 314

(765) 494-9600


Lala Acharya

Affiliate Faculty
Assistant Professor

Lalatendu Acharya (MBA, 1993; PhD, 2011, Communication, Purdue University) is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Consumer Sciences, Purdue University. Prof. Acharya has worked extensively with corporate, government and development sectors. His research interests lie in the domain of designing and evaluating communication campaigns, behavior change campaigns and consumer participation. Prof. Acharya's research is culture-centered and focuses on foregrounding consumer's voices, meanings, experiences in designing and implementing communication campaigns for behavior change. It locates the consumers in their cultural and structural context and explores the various intersections, structural in-access, violence, the politics of discourse from the communication managers, and the erasure of the consumer's agency. Prof. Acharya worked for Organon pharmaceuticals, View TV, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Asian Institute of Technology and UNICEF before this academic appointment.


Associate Professor

Marriott Hall 227C

(765) 494-6218


Joseph (Mick) La Lopa

Affiliate Faculty
Associate Professor

Dr. Joseph "Mick" La Lopa has been a member of the faculty in the Department of Hospitality and Management since 1996.Mick has a passion for teaching. He was the recipient of every major teaching award that can be bestowed to faculty members at the department, school, and university level in his first four years at Purdue. He was the 2003 recipient of the John Wiley & Sons Innovative Teacher of the Year awarded by the International Council of Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Educators. Mick has shared his passion for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) with other educators by publishing papers, making presentations, conducting workshops, and providing direct consultation to Purdue faculty through the Center for Instructional Excellence, the Teaching Academy,and the Teaching for Tomorrow Program. He is also on the board of consulting editors and writes the research corner forthe Journal of Culinary Science and Technology. He recently formed the Foodservice Educators Learning Community (FELC) to provide culinary arts and hospitality educators with a venue to enhance the quality of their teaching.

He is happily married to his high school sweetheart, Paula, and blessed with three gifted daughters and one son.



Matthews Hall 318

(765) 494-8310


Sandra Liu


Sandra S. Liu joined Purdue University as a faculty member in 2001 and is currently Professor in Department of Consumer Sciences, Director of the Center for Global Urban Sustainability — Ensuring Sustainable Health among Underserved of College of Health and Human Sciences at Purdue University, and Co-Chair of Covering Kids and Family's Lake County Coalition.

After attaining her Ph.D. in Policy Studies from University of London, Sandra continued her training in managing Executive MBA Planning at the Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University. She also holds a MBA from Pepperdine University, Masters of Science in both Preventive Medicine and Veterinary Pharmacology from the Ohio State University, and Bachelor's in Pharmacy from Taipei Medical College (Taiwan).

Prior to becoming an academician in 1990, Dr. Liu had worked extensively in the healthcare sector, including Ohio Department of Health, Bristol Myers (Taiwan) Ltd, and Allergan Inc. with responsibilities ranging from discovery, clinical research, program planning and monitoring, to international sales and marketing in across the United States and Asia Pacific.

Dr. Liu remains active in consulting and executive training for businesses globally, such as Ascension Health in the US, Bayer Healthcare Ltd., 3M Hong Kong Limited in Hong Kong, CURE-San Pedro Sula in Latin America, and Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Taiwan.


Continuing Lecturer

Matthews Hall 226

(765) 496-2066


Catherine Zhang

Continuing Lecturer

Catherine Zhang received her master's degree in retail management from the department of CSR, Purdue University, in 1999. She transferred to the R. H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland at College Park, in 2000 and earned her Ph.D. in Management Information Systems in 2005. After graduation, she joined the Gatton School of Business and Economics, University of Kentucky, as a lecturer in the marketing area. In the fall of 2012, she moved back to Purdue University and took a lecturer position in the department of CSR.

Currently, Catherine teaches courses in consumer behavior, retail management, strategic issues for sales and retailing, and relationship selling.


Undergraduate Academic Advisor

Matthews Hall 220

(765) 494-8317


Bobbe Molter

Academic Advisor

Bobbe Molter has been an academic advisor and freshmen seminar instructor in the Department of Consumer Sciences since January 2000. As CSR's lead advisor, she provides academic counseling for undergraduate students and prospective Purdue Boilermakers and coordinates the department's student services efforts. In 1999, Bobbe developed a First-Year Experience course with a peer mentor program for the department (CSR 100) and has been teaching this course, each fall, since 2000. In May 2012, Bobbe traveled to China as a delegate of the Global Partners Program for the purpose of providing orientation in Beijing and Shanghai for the international class of 2016. She has traveled to Dubai, Oman, and Ireland on behalf of the college in support of study abroad programs. She has served as a part-time instructor in the OLS department, teaching Conference Leadership for several semesters. Her professional affiliations include membership in PACADA and NACADA, the HHS Transition Leadership Team (Co-Chair, Infrastructure), the HHS Strategic Planning Committee (Co-Chair, Learning); and panel member for the Office of Institutional Equity's Advisory Committee.


Internship/Conference Coordinator

Matthews Hall 315

(765) 494-8306


Sally B. Harmon

Conference Coordinator

Sally Harmon has both a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science degree from Purdue University. Her current responsibilities include professional development, teaching, and academic advising.

She has developed various "out of the red brick classroom" experiences such as the New York City Study Tour, Summer Study Abroad, company-sponsored sales competitions and professional site visits/field trips. She believes that students develop professionally through their participation in these types of experiential educational opportunities.

She also serves as the advisor to the Purdue Retail Organization and as a Faculty Fellow at Windsor Halls.

Visit Sally's LinkedIn page here.


Graduate Student


Steven Russell

Graduate Assistant

Steve Russell is a first year Master's student focusing on Consumer Behavior and its application to sales and marketing techniques. He comes to Purdue University from Boulder, Colorado. He has professional experience in a number of different sales opportunities and prior to those opportunities he received his Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from the University of Wyoming.

Steve is a graduate research assistant at the Purdue Center for Professional Selling. He works closely with Jane Anderson to manage the intern activities and to develop relationships with current/future clients that would value the resources of the Center. His experience at the Center has been extremely valuable to his acclimation at Purdue. He looks forward to the number of years he plans to spend at the Center helping it grow.

In his free time he enjoys playing volleyball and watching sports with friends. Don't forget that Steve has a business degree from the University of Wyoming so he isn't afraid to do business with a firm handshake and a smile.

John Bolden


Claire Breed


Jake Burris

As a student of Purdue University, Jake is pursuing a bachelor's degree in Selling and Sales Management with two minors in Entreprenuership and Corporate Innovation along with a Organization, Leadership, and Supervision Certificate.

Jake currently lives in Brownsburg, Indiana. He spends his free time with his family and as a member of the Purdue Varsity Glee Club at Purdue University. An organization built on excellence, the Purdue Varsity Glee Club serves as an ambassador for Purdue and as a group that focuses on molding young men into effective and responsible leaders.

Simon Elser


Joe Maddox

Joe Maddox is a junior in Industrial Engineering, graduating in 2015. He has served as the Vice President of Member Education of Delta Upsilon Fraternity, a team leader in Boiler Gold Rush and an active member of Pi Sigma Epsilon Sales Fraternity. He first became interested in sales in the fall of his sophomore year and has been pursuing a career in sales since.

Joe is just beginning at the Center for Professional Selling; he will be utilizing his technical background to better serve the Center's clients. His experiences gained at the Center will further develop his sales skills and provide him with an experience no other organization could. In his free time he enjoys waterskiing, golfing and being with his family.

Allison Main

Allison Main, from the mitten state, is a fifth year student in the College of Science and is graduating May 2015. Because she grew up surrounded by Michigan's Great Lakes, she has always had an interest in atmospheric sciences. She is currently pursuing a degree in Interdisciplinary Science with a focus in Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Science as well as obtaining minors in Communication and Entrepreneurship. She will also receive a Learning Beyond the Classroom certificate due to her college experiences of engaging activities.

As a Sales Intern for the Purdue Center for Professional Selling she has realized that her communication skills, entrepreneurial mindset, and science background will allow her to relate more to an industrial career in sales.

Princessa Rennewanz

Princessa Rennewanz is a senior in Selling and Sales Management with a minor in Organizational Leadership and Supervision, graduating in May 2015. She is currently an active member of Phi Beta Chi. She has served as the External Relations Director as well as coached her intramural co-ed soccer team to the semi-finals at Purdue University within her sorority. Princessa’s favorite hobby includes competing in a variety of sales competitions and having the ability to travel and represent Purdue University. In November 2014 she was selected to represent Purdue at the International Collegiate Sales Competition (ICSC) in Orlando, Florida. She and another student won Purdue the Rookie School of the Year.

As a Sales Intern for the Purdue Center for Professional Selling, Princessa has had the opportunity to grow and develop her skills in planning and coordinating events. She is actively seeking a professional career in sales.

Gabrielle Roggero


Hannah Sawyer


Brad Stayback

Brad Stayback is a senior in Selling and Sales Management, graduating in December 2015. He has served as the Vice President of External Relations of Delta Upsilon Fraternity, an active leader in Purdue University Dance Marathon and an active member of Pi Sigma Epsilon Sales Fraternity. He is in his second semester of collaborative work with the center and is actively seeking a professional career in sales.

Zach Williams



Administrative Intern


Jaclyn Boender

Jaclyn Boender is a junior at Purdue University graduating in May 2016. She is pursuing a degree in Retail Management with 3 minors in Entrepreneurship, Organizational Leadership and Supervision, and Communication. She is from Highland, IN.

Jaclyn currently serves as House Manager of Delta Delta Delta sorority, is a TA for an introductory Retail Management class, and is the Administrative Intern at the Purdue Center of Professional Selling. This is her first semester working with the Center, but her experience here has sparked her interest in sales. Through Center events, she has developed her selling skills and is now seeking a summer internship in the field of either retail or sales.

Past Interns of the Center

  • Seth Davis
  • Steven Kime
  • Jose Mejia
  • Kyle Ruthig
  • Kaelyn Shabaz
  • Courtney Silvey