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Best 40-Under-40 Professor Kathleen Vohs

Kathleen Vohs of the University of Minnesota's Carlson School is among the 40 best business school profs under 40

Kathleen Vohs of the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School is among the 40 best business school profs under 40

Kathleen Vohs

Land O’ Lakes Professor of Excellence in Marketing; Anneliese Maier Research Fellow

Age: 39

Institution: University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management

Since: 2005

Before current institution:  University of British Columbia

Hometown: North St. Paul, Minnesota

Marital status:  Single

Children: Nope


Dartmouth College                             Ph.D., Psychological and Brain Sciences, 2000

Gustavus Adolphus College                B.A., summa cum laude, 1996

Case Western Reserve University, Post-Doctoral Fellow, July 2000 – July 2002

University of Utah, Post-Doctoral Fellow, July 2002 – July 2003

Courses currently teaching: None! I am on sabbatical. But normally, I teach Consumer Behavior to the MBAs and a course on motivation to the PhD students.

Fun fact: During my PhD program, I used to run more miles in a year than I put on my car. In fact, during that time I ran 16 marathons in five years. I was a little obsessed.

Professor you most admire: Roy Baumeister at Florida State University

Most memorable moment as a professor: Getting a paper into Science.

“If I weren’t a B-school professor…” I would be a psychology professor!

Students say: 

Dr. Vohs’ Consumer Behavior class was one of the highlights of my MBA. It not only changed the way I view marketing, it also fundamentally changed the way I think about human behavior. Dr. Vohs has a passion for teaching that undoubtedly stems from a genuine love of learning, and it’s contagious. Her charisma and her sense of wonder inspire students to take class concepts and run with them to discover new applications and interpretations and to share their discoveries with others.

-Matt Long, Carlson MBA, Class of 2013

Dr. Vohs made a subject–consumer behavior–engaging, relevant, and fascinating for me, even though, prior to the class, I did not have a background in marketing. Dr. Vohs expertly chose readings, discussion topics, guest speakers, and assignments that allowed us to see consumer behavior themes in everyday life, so much so that I found myself talking about this class to my non-business school friends more than about any other class. Finally, Dr. Vohs has a passion for teaching students and for the subjects that she teaches, which translated into one of the most dynamic classroom environments that I had in business school. 

-Gretchen Agee, Carlson MBA, Class of 2013 

U.S. President Barack Obama rarely chooses what to wear or what’s on the White House menu. Rather, he leaves these selections to staffers, conserving his mental bandwidth for decisions with more far-reaching implications. Obama’s support for this logic? A study by Kathleen Vohs. When the president mentions your research as a driver behind his daily routine, you can safely assume your work has made an impact.

Beyond influencing America’s leadership, Vohs is making an impact on MBAs. Students recount dynamic lectures packed with lessons they can readily apply in their everyday lives. One class even rented out a space three months after their last meeting to hear Vohs’ final lecture after an unforeseen event caused her absence.

Vohs is also a prolific academic and has published more than 150 scholarly articles and co-edited eight books within her short 13-year career. She’s also won two early career awards, a MENSA award, and holds fellowships in four societies. In 2013, she was invited to write articles for Science and The New York Times, and she occasionally blogs for The Huffington Post and Scientific American

Kathleen Vohs is among “The World’s 40 Best B-School Profs Under the Age of 40