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(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)November 19, 2009

(MAHWAH, NJ) – The PhD Project, an award-winning program of the KPMG Foundation aimed at increasing diversity in America’s business management ranks, has announced that  Dr. Shalei Simms, Assistant Professor of Management at Ramapo College’s Anisfield School of Business, is the program’s 1000th minority business school professor.

Dr. Simms recently defended her dissertation titled, “Why who you are at the time matters: An examination of the relationship between social identity salience and risky decision making.”  Dr. Simms received her Ph.D. in Management from Rutgers University.

“Without the support I received from the PhD Project, it would not have been possible to earn my doctorate,” said Dr. Simms. “The best I can do to show my gratitude is to continue to support their mission and be of service to others. It is critically important that all of our students see role models in their classrooms.”

When The PhD Project was created by the KPMG Foundation in 1994, there were only 294 doctorally qualified African-American, Hispanic American or Native American  business professors in all U.S. business schools out of a population of more than 26,000 business school professors.  With Dr. Simms, there are now 1,000. And minority enrollment in business doctoral programs continues to climb, with more than 400 doctoral students from The PhD Project currently pursuing business Ph.D. degrees in universities across the nation.

The PhD Project was created to address the severe under-representation of African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans and Native Americans in management positions.. By diversifying the faculty, The PhD Project : 1) encourages more minorities to pursue business degrees, and 2) better prepares all business students for today’s multicultural work environment.

“The PhD Project is one example of an organization that is changing the national landscape significantly,” said Dr. Peter Mercer, President of Ramapo College. “It is really important that we maintain this momentum because the future of this country depends on young women and men of all races, ethnicities and backgrounds looking at higher education as a potential career.”

“We are proud of Dr. Simms’ personal accomplishment in completing the challenging journey to becoming a professor,” said Bernard J. Milano, President of the KPMG Foundation, member of the Ramapo Foundation Board of Governors and creator and lead sponsor of the program. “Moreover, her achievement symbolizes the collective success of over seven hundred new minority professors, whom we have recruited, encouraged and supported over the past 15 years. With this milestone and the generous support of our sponsors, we are changing the face of business education forever.”

Some of America’s top companies and academic organizations support The PhD Project.  They are: KPMG Foundation, Graduate Management Admission Council, Citi Foundation, AACSB International,  AICPA, State Street Foundation/State Street Corporation, Robert K. Elliott, JPMorgan Chase Foundation,, DiversityInc, The Merck Company Foundation, Dow Chemical Company, Dixon Hughes PLLC, John Deere Foundation, Rockwell Collins, ACT-1 Group, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Microsoft Corporation, California State University System, CIGNA, American Marketing Association, Western Union Foundation, The Federal Reserve Bank of New York.. Also, over 200 universities provide financial support for The Project.

For more information visit:
For media inquiries at the KPMG Foundation, contact Lisa King at Mediaimpact: (646) 234-5070 or e-mail  For media inquiries at Ramapo College, contact Anna Farneski, (201) 684-6844 or e-mail


Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The College is ranked #1 among New Jersey public institutions by College Choice, has been named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and is recognized as a top college by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger’s, Princeton Review and Money magazine, among others. Ramapo College is also distinguished as a Career Development College of Distinction by, boasts the best campus housing in New Jersey on, and is designated a “Military Friendly College” in Victoria Media’s Guide to Military Friendly Schools.

Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Business Administration, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Technology, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a post-master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice.


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