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About the Deans

Dean Sumichrast 

Dean Sumichrast got his undergraduate degree in Physics from Purdue. Once obtaining his degree from Purdue, he decided to attend Clemson to get his degree in Management Science. Afterwards, he went to Virginia Tech as an assistant professor, and to conduct research. In 1998, he was asked to be the Associate Dean of the MBA program in Pamplin. From there, he was contacted by LSU and was offered the position of Dean of Business. After 4 years at LSU, he was then offered to be the Dean of Business at University of Georgia where he served for 6 years. In 2013, an opportunity emerged for him to return to Virginia Tech and be the Dean of Pamplin. Without delay, he jumped at the opportunity and has loved serving as Dean of Pamplin ever since then.

As Dean of the Pamplin College of Business, he loves to interact with the students, alumni, and staff. He sees a rapid transformation of more opportunities of collaborations within the districts as he was involved in helping secure the selection of Amazon headquarters in Northern Virginia, and establish the Innovation Campus. He loves how he is able to work with all members of the Pamplin College of Business to improve and make hands on changes to the college.

His plans as of right now are to collaborate with others to find a new home for the Pamplin College of Business. The goal is to move the college from Pamplin Hall to the Global Business and Analytics Complex. He sees a bright future for the Pamplin College of Business as he aims to encourage students to embody all the values of Virginia Tech, most importantly, to embody Ut Prosim.

Dean Sumichrast views leadership as being a servant. He is driven to help others and make decisions that are going to benefit others and the organization. He envisions leaders to be great listeners, as they should aim to get input and advice from others. There are always people to help and give great ideas, and it takes a leader to choose to listen to those ideas.

A goal Dean Sumichrast has for himself and the Pamplin College of Business is to above all serve the students. He prioritizes the well-being of the students over the growth of the college. He feels that the ranking of the college compared to other universities is important, but not as important as each student receiving the tools they need for success in the business world.

Dr. Lara Khansa

Dr. Lara Khansa is the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs in the Pamplin College of Business and a Full Professor in the Business Information Technology Department.

She received a Ph.D. in information systems, M.S in Electrical & Computer Engineering, and M.B.A in Finance & Investment Banking from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a BS in Computer & Communication Engineering from the American University of Beirut. Before pursuing her PhD, she worked at GE Medical Systems as a software design engineer. Dr. Khansa's research is in human-computer interaction, healthcare analytics, online behavioral economics, and integrated information security and privacy. She has published in leading information systems and operations management journals such as Journal of Operations Management, Journal of Management Information Systems, Decision Sciences, Communications of the ACM, Decision Support Systems, European Journal of Operational Research, Computers & Operations Research, etc., and in leading medical journals such as Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery and Aesthetic Surgery. Dean Khansa has also recently been named the Sonny Merryman professor in 2020, primarily due to her exceptional research accomplishments.

Dr. Khansa joined Virginia Tech as a faculty member in 2008 and was promoted to her current associate dean position in 2017. In her role as associate dean for undergraduate programs, she manages undergraduate business curriculum development and enrollment management efforts in the Pamplin College of Business. She works with an outstanding team of faculty and staff to recruit a diverse undergraduate student population into Pamplin, enable Pamplin students' success and retention, and offer them job opportunities that best fit their skills and aspirations. She has taught several undergraduate courses, and is currently teaching two graduate courses in healthcare analytics and healthcare database management in Virginia Tech's Online Master of Information Technology program.