2022 Best 40-Under-40 MBA Professors: Ernest Baskin, Saint Joseph’s University, Haub School of Business

Ernest Baskin

Saint Joseph’s University, Haub School of Business

“I learned more about marketing research in his eight-week class than I did during my entire undergrad marketing degree. His real-world examples from working with major tech companies helped structure our assignments and gave the class great insight. Our class project involved real research and generated useful data that really improved my marketing research abilities. The skills I learned in his class will be invaluable for my career. His knowledge and practical experience from working with various companies gives him a clear advantage as a professor. His examples from his own research background help clarify the complex aspects of marketing research and are better than any textbook curriculum could be.” – Mackenzie Anderson

Ernest Baskin, 36, is an Associate Professor of Food Marketing and Gerald Peck Fellow at Saint Joseph’s University’s Haub School of Business. Next year, he will transition to a new role, Associate Professor of Food, Pharma and Healthcare.

Haub’s food marketing MBA is one of the only such specialty MBAs in the world. “We teach highly specialized industry relevant versions of traditional marketing subjects to professionals within the industry,” Baskin tells Poets&Quants. “To some degree, given that these are rising leaders in the industry, their MBA expectations are higher since they expect that their learnings will also apply directly back to their own industry.”

The Philadelphia Business Journal named Baskin a Millennial To Watch in Higher Education. His research focuses on consumer judgment and decision-making with a particular interest in consumption decisions and consumer biases. His work has been published in top-tier journals such as the Journal of Consumer Research, the Journal of Marketing Research, Appetite, Journal of Retailing, European Journal of Marketing and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. He was a finalist for the Paul Green Award for best article in the Journal of Marketing Research

He is the winner of numerous awards, grants, and recognitions, including the Saint Joseph’s University Faculty Merit Award, National Natural Science Foundation of China Grant, SCORE Grant on Predicting the Reproducibility of Science,  Advertising Education Foundation Visiting Professor Fellow and others.          

He has written a number of business cases on topics such as DEI as well as the Amazon-Whole Foods Merger. These cases consistently rank in the top 5 downloaded cases on Sage Business Cases. He is serving as the Editor of a Food Marketing case series as well as Sage Business Foundations

He has appeared in such media outlets as the Chicago Tribune, NY Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, CNNMoney, Wall Street Journal, Food Network Magazine, USA Today, Atlantic and Nerdwallet. He is often a featured expert on both television and radio interviewed on shows such as NBC News, NPR and others.


At current institution since what year? 2015


  • Ph.D., Marketing, Yale School of Management                                                 May 2015
  • M.Phil., M.A. Marketing, Yale School of Management
  • B.S. in Economics (Summa Cum Laude), Wharton School, University of PA       May 2008
  • B.A. Honors in Cultural Anthropology (Summa Cum Laude), University of PA                    May 2008

List of MBA courses you currently teach: Overview of the Food Industry, Retailing, Marketing Research, Qualitative Research, Quantitative Research, Strategy and Tactics of Pricing, Consumer Behavior


I knew I wanted to be a business school professor when I took my first undergrad business class and learned about some of the cool things that my professors were researching about consumer behavior. As I worked in the market research industry, I felt the craving to dig deeper into how people make decisions and knew that business school was the right path for me. I also particularly enjoyed mentoring other researchers on best practices. 

What are you currently researching and what is the most significant discovery you’ve made from it? I do a lot of work in judgment and decisions predominantly in the retailing domain. My most recent published work looked at how product descriptors with unknown meanings affect consumer judgments. It turns out that products such as “awakened broccoli” for which consumers do not understand the descriptor’s semantic meaning may inadvertently make people think that the product will likely be more expensive and might be of lower quality due to the fact that they are no longer viewed as prototypical of their product category. Therefore, marketers are advised to be careful in the way that they pick product descriptors lest consumers make unexpected negative inferences from product descriptors.

If I weren’t a business school professor, I would likely be some sort of corporate trainer or speaker. I enjoy working with others and imparting new information and techniques that they can immediately use to turn around and make an impact. I enjoy seeing that spark of understanding when I talk to people about the hidden bias that they have in their thinking. 

What do you think makes you stand out as a professor? I bring in industry examples to ground what I teach in the students’ everyday lives. I also make sure that students can immediately apply the techniques and knowledge that they get in my classes to their everyday lives. 

One word that describes my first time teaching: “Impressed” by the high quality of my students and their willingness to learn. 

Here’s what I wish someone would’ve told me about being a business school professor: Teaching is a give and take. Part of being a great teacher is establishing a space where you encourage students to become their best selves. It is also important to allow students to share best practices with each other as opposed to being a direct conduit of information yourself. Students can often learn as much from themselves as they can from you. 

Professor I most admire and why: I admire my graduate advisors, Nathan Novemsky and Ravi Dhar, because they are role models of dedicated faculty who are both excellent teachers and excellent scholars. 


What do you enjoy most about teaching business students? I am continually impressed at the wealth of experience that they bring to the table and how eager they are to take the knowledge from my classroom and apply it to their own company.

What is most challenging? MBA students expect, rightly, that their courses add value to their lives. If they find something that you are telling them isn’t relevant, they will immediately tell you that.  

In one word, describe your favorite type of student: “Inquisitive” My favorite type of student examines information critically and is open to alternate interpretations but yet is still willing to push back when they don’t agree with something. 

In one word, describe your least favorite type of student: “Know-it-all” A student that thinks that everything they do is already completely right and is not open to new information. 

When it comes to grading, I think students would describe me as strict but fair. I push them hard because I want them to get a lot out of my classes. 


What are your hobbies? As a food marketing professor, I love to enjoy the amazing food that the city of Philadelphia has to offer. 

How will you spend your summer? I spend my summers catching up on research and redesigning my courses for the following year. My goal is that my courses should always stay relevant and up to date for my students. 

Favorite place(s) to vacation: I enjoy vacations full of cultural and historical activities and I have led study abroad trips over the summer to places like Italy and Spain. 

Favorite book(s): Predictably Irrational was one of the first psychology books that I read and it got me interested in my current career.  

What is currently your favorite movie and/or show and what is it about the film or program that you enjoy so much? One show that I really enjoyed over the pandemic was the UK show “Food Unwrapped.” As a food marketing professor, it is a really eye-opening show about the food supply chain that presents it in a nice, well-balanced manner. I have used various segments of it as nice discussion starters in my Overview of the Global Food Industry course. 

What is your favorite type of music or artist(s) and why? I am a big fan of Broadway showtunes and my playlist is usually a mix of songs from Broadway shows like Les Mis and In the Heights as well as tv shows and movies like Galavant and The Greatest Showman.


If I had my way, the business school of the future would have much more experiential learning. Oftentimes, students remember concepts the best when they get to apply those concepts either in their personal or professional lives. Given the applied nature of the program that I teach in, my courses are often structured such that students can readily make the applications within the course. 

In my opinion, companies and organizations today need to do a better job at looking outward and understanding the diverse needs of their consumers and what they are looking for in terms of everything from product attributes to commitments on sustainability.

I’m grateful for the ability to do what I love. I love working with an industry whose mission is to feed the world and being able to teach the future leaders of that industry how to do so in a better and more ethical way.  


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