13:40 PM

College of Business Assistant Professor Receives Prestigious HR Dissertation Award


By Mark Kramer

University of Houston-Downtown Assistant Professor of Human Resource Management/Organizational Behavior Dr. Christine Nittrouer recently received the prestigious Ralph Alexander Dissertation Award from the Human Resources Division of the Academy of Management (AOM).

The award is a top-tier honor given by the AOM for the best doctoral dissertation in the human resources field, which included submissions from other professionals around the United States and internationally.

Nittrouer, who just completed her second semester of teaching at UHD’s Marilyn Davies College of Business, focused her dissertation on the promotion of hiring people with intellectual disabilities.

“This study explored the influence that allies (or employment specialists/people who work in vocational rehabilitation) can have on hiring managers when they consider individuals with intellectual disabilities (ID) for entry-level job positions” she said. “Additionally, this research illuminated the critical power that others can have in helping those with ID to contribute effectively to the workplace.”

To that end, Nittrouer has 16 published peer-reviewed papers and book chapters and has given over 40 presentations on the impact of diversity in the workplace, with a special focus on selection. Her work has been featured in The Atlantic, The New York Times, NPR, and the Houston Chronicle.

Nittrouer said the news of the award came as a surprise. “It was certainly an uplifting and high point of my week,” she said. “I didn’t realize how impactful it was until my PhD advisor (at Rice University) shared with me that I was the first person in my program to win this award.”

This is not the first time Nittrouer has been recognized for her research work. She was a finalist for the 2019 Social Issues Dissertation Prize by the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI), and she also received the 2019 Outtz Grant for Student Research in Diversity and the 2019 Graduate Student Scholarship by the Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) Foundation.

Nittrouer received her bachelor’s degree in Management from the University of Notre Dame, along with a master’s in Special Education from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. In addition, she earned a master’s and a doctorate in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Rice University.

“I enjoy writing because it is the cornerstone to research having impact,” she said. “If you can't communicate your message, people won't understand why it matters,” she said. “Effective writing in academia is an instrument of change. When I sit down at my desk every single day, I get to do what I dreamed about – and that is writing about what I care about for a living. I am an incredibly lucky person.”

About the University of Houston-Downtown

The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.

U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.