Cal State Fullerton’s College of Business and Economics has named Sunil Thomas as the associate dean, graduate programs and faculty development.
A Penn State University marketing graduate, Thomas has served as a professor of marketing at Cal State Fullerton’s business college since August 2005. He has also held leadership roles, including department chair and vice chair of the Department of Marketing, which under his direction expanded its outreach to students and strengthened its focus on teaching and research in light of today’s digital marketing age.
Thomas’ publications have included studies on brand placements, revitalization of declining brands, cross-cultural marketing, brand equity and slogan recall, which have appeared in such journals as Journal of Advertising Research, Business Horizons and Journal of Business Research.
“Dr. Thomas will be playing a key leadership role in developing our graduate programs and also focus on faculty development and related issues in our college,” says Dean Sri Sundaram.
Thomas recently took some time to discuss his new associate deanship, as well as marketing and its impact.
What is it about marketing that initially attracted you to the field?
A business cannot be successful without marketing.
A product or service might objectively be of very good quality, but ultimately what matters is consumers’ perceptions of it, and what drives these perceptions are the firm’s marketing efforts.
I believe marketing is critical in every aspect of our lives. For example, when we as individuals try to build our brands or apply for jobs, we need to learn marketing techniques to distinguish ourselves from others.
It is a very exciting field which gives us the opportunity to think strategically, and to use both the creative and analytical parts of our brain. These aspects of marketing were why I decided on a career in marketing.
What do you enjoy most about teaching students at Cal State Fullerton?
The strengths of the student body here at CSUF include the diverse backgrounds and life experiences of our students. Many of our students successfully balance the different aspects of their lives including work and school. I really enjoy teaching the students at CSUF because their backgrounds, enthusiasm for learning and entrepreneurial spirit create a great learning environment in the classroom.
There are many exciting options and career paths available within marketing, depending on your interests and skills. Our marketing students have gone on to have successful careers in a variety of fields such as product and brand management, social media marketing, sports marketing, marketing analytics, and advertising and sales.
What is one aspect of the associate dean position you look forward to taking on?
I am excited about interacting and working with the talented faculty, students, and staff at the College of Business and Economics. One of the main aspects of my role will be to help enhance our graduate programs, and I look forward to taking on this responsibility.
Under Thomas’ leadership, the business college looks forward to a new era in world-class graduate education and expanding its commitment to student and faculty development and applied research.
Congratulations, Sunil Thomas, on your new position!