By Stella McConnel
UM School of Business Administration
Kristin Cullen-Lester, assistant professor of management at the University of Mississippi School of Business Administration, has been selected to receive the 2021 Distinguished Early Career Contributions Award-Practice from the Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychology.
Cullen-Lester will give an invited presentation at the 2021 annual conference, set for April 14-17 in New Orleans. She will present, with winners of several other awards, in a “Best Practice and Application” session.
“Throughout my career, I have worked to advance scientific thinking regarding leadership development practices through my research and by working with leaders to improve themselves and their organizations,” Cullen-Lester said. “I am excited and honored to receive this recognition.”
The winner of this award is selected based upon the breadth and depth of the nominee’s contributions to advancing the science and, particularly, the practice of the psychology of work. Award recipients demonstrate not only a record of publications and presentations but also have advanced the adoption of evidence-based practices and produced transformational change within organizations.
“When Dr. Cullen-Lester came to us in the fall of 2020, we knew that we were hiring a talented researcher and excellent teacher,” said Paul Johnson, associate professor and chair of the management department. “Her selection by SIOP as someone who is impacting how businesses operate early in her career only confirms that.
“Kristin is already working with companies and organizations locally and globally to help them be successful, while also influencing management practice through her research and teaching. She is a respected and valued member of the University of Mississippi, and we’re fortunate to have her here working with us.”
Cullen-Lester joined the School of Business Administration in 2020 after serving as an assistant professor of management in the Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston for two years and leading the Center for Creative Leadership’s research and development work incorporating networks into leadership development for six years.
She earned her Ph.D. in industrial and organizational psychology in 2011 from Auburn University. Her research focuses on improving leadership effectiveness by helping leaders develop their networks, improve complex collaboration and enact strategic, large-scale change.
“We are pleased that Dr. Cullen-Lester is receiving this recognition of her accomplishments,” said Ken Cyree, dean of the Ole Miss business school. “We are fortunate to have dedicated scholars such as Kristin who have been so impactful in publishing and industry.
“Dr. Cullen-Lester’s work is an important bridge between academic scholarship and industry practice, and we are excited for her future impact on our students and the business school. We are fortunate to have her join our faculty, and I appreciate her dedication to the profession.”
Cullen-Lester is advancing this work through a research grant supported by the National Science Foundation. She also serves on the editorial boards of The Leadership Quarterly, Journal of Organizational Behavior and Journal of Business and Psychology.
The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology is the premier professional association for the science and practice of industrial and organizational psychology. While an independent organization with its own governance, SIOP also represents Division 14 of the American Psychological Association and is an organizational affiliate of the Association for Psychological Science.