Andrea Tangari featured in WSU Provost Office’s Faculty Impact e-newsletter

EDITOR’S NOTE: This first-person account by Andrea Tangari, associate professor of marketing in the Mike Ilitch School of Business, first appeared in Winter 2020 issue of the WSU Provost Office’s Faculty Impact e-newsletter

As a faculty member of Wayne State University, I believe in giving back to your community and that we should try to make a positive impact in our communities and society in whatever way we can.  I have been lucky in that I have been able to align much of my research, service, and teaching to focus on making an impact in society and our local community. 

From a service perspective, I recently helped found the Wayne State Net Impact Student Chapter and I operate as the faculty advisor for the student chapter. The Net Impact organization is focused on making a positive impact on the world with a particular focus on environmental sustainability.  Net Impact held their annual international conference in Detroit in 2019 that was focused on creating and encouraging a more just and sustainable world and the conference brings together business and social leaders. Through the generosity of the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Foundation our Net Impact student chapter got a grant to send 100 Wayne State students to the annual conference.  For many students this was their first time at a professional conference and it helped to expose them to thought leaders in the area of creating positive impact in communities and offered them career workshops and mentoring.  This opportunity exposed the students to potential careers and opportunities that can create a positive impact on their communities and my hope is that it helps to spur them to create positive impact as they move forward in their careers and lives.

In addition, the Net Impact Student Organization exposes students to professional activities such as conferences and networking opportunities, Net Impact students also participate in community activities such as volunteering at Oakland Avenue Urban Farm and Arts and Scraps of Detroit. Given the momentum of the Net Impact conference, we hope to ramp up the Net Impact Student Chapter to have a greater impact on students and the surrounding community.

Through my teaching I focus on creating an awareness around social responsibility and creating the next generation of socially responsible business and organization leaders and stewards. Through all of my courses I emphasize social responsibility, but I have developed two courses focusing specifically on business and sustainability, with the most recent course focusing on urban sustainability that has a major focus on local issues that the region is facing with the hope that it spurs our students to think about local issues and solutions.  The hope is that this exposure will create an awareness of the issues and spur an interest in them to make a difference regarding these pressing societal issues in their workplace and their lives.

My research has also focused on social responsibility issues. Specifically, my research has focused on the intersection of marketing and public policy/consumer welfare issues. My goal with my research is to do research that can make an impact on people.  Much of my research has focused on nutrition or sustainability labeling with investigating consumers’ understanding of labels and seeing how labels can be modified to help consumers make more informed and potentially better choices.  Recent research of mine has also tackled the issue of creating greater food access for all.  As a part of this research I worked with several local organizations to understand how they tackle the issue of creating greater food access for all.