Photograph by Danny WIlcox Frazier

A Big 10 b-school leader

January 24, 2022

Profile

By Nicole Hansen

Former psychology major Amy Kristof-Brown, ’92, always thought she would be a hospital administrator. Her world changed when her senior thesis was handed off to a business professor for oversight.

“I was applying for graduate schools in psychology when he suggested I apply to business schools as well,” she said. “My honors thesis was on impression management, which fit perfectly in a business context.”

She got her doctorate in organizational behavior from the University of Maryland, became an assistant professor of management at the University of Iowa’s Tippie School of Business in 1997, and never left. She became Tippie’s dean in 2020, first in an interim role and then fully in the position.

“I’ve been very, very happy here,” she said. “I always thought that I would move back to the East Coast, but I never found a job that I liked as much as I liked it here.”

As an expert in person-environment fit, she consulted another expert on the decision to stay: Mickey Quiñones, dean of UR’s Robins School of Business.

“I had just been at a conference with Mickey prior to COVID, so I had just talked to him two weeks before I took the job,” she said. “He was very, very helpful. It was nice to see a friendly face and talk to him about what was coming.”

She thinks back on her time at Richmond every day, particularly her psychology mentor Diane Preston. Kristof-Brown uses what she learned from Preston in her role as dean and is grateful to have her undergraduate degree in psychology.

“I study how people find environments where they can thrive,” Kristof-Brown said. “Just because you can do it doesn’t mean that you have to. You can do stuff that you love, but if your job isn’t something that you enjoy, then find something else.”