Jennifer DeBoer

Jennifer DeBoer

Assistant Professor of Business Administration, Graduate Faculty for Outdoor Industry MBA
BOR 254


Ph.D., University of British Columbia, Sustainable Business Management, 2019
M.B.A, Humboldt State University, Sustainability, 2009
B.A., University of California Santa Cruz, Business Management Economics, 2006


How did you discover Western?

I wanted to be able to teach and conduct research at a small, liberal arts college. I truly believe a liberal arts education leads to a more diverse and dynamic workforce. Additionally, I wanted to return to the mountains. When I learned Western had an opening in Business Administration with an emphasis in Strategic Management, I knew it’d be a great fit!

What are some of the highlights of your career?

After completing an MBA, I had the opportunity to live and work in Yosemite National Park. Despite studying Business Sustainability in graduate school, working in Yosemite is where I became much more aware of and concerned about sustainable business management. Following Yosemite, I volunteered with Be the Change Academy – Kenya, a non-profit organization that aimed to advance entrepreneurial opportunities for young adults living in Kisumu, Kenya; this was an incredibly rewarding experience. Next, I pursued a Ph.D. in Strategic Management, with an emphasis in Sustainable Business Management. My doctoral research focused on opportunities, approaches and impediments to environmental sustainability in a natural resources sector.  My current research examines the role of place and ecological embeddedness in influencing organizations’ environmental strategies. I’ve enjoyed presenting research in the U.S., Canada, Germany and Brazil.  Last but certainly not least, teaching has been a true highlight of my career.  I enjoy teaching because students learn at least as much from each other as they do from me, and I certainly learn from them. I also enjoy the different mix of perspectives and backgrounds I experience in each class; every day is different, and that’s something I always look forward to.

What excites you most about your field?

What excites me most is the growing interest in sustainable business management.  Surveys indicate more than 90% of CEOs believe business sustainability is important to their organization’s success.  And, approximately 90% of business school students believe learning about business sustainability is important.  Students are increasingly interested in incorporating social and environmental sustainability into their academic and professional careers – and I find that very exciting!

What is your favorite thing about the Gunnison Valley?

So far, my favorite thing about the Gunnison Valley is the incredible diversity of outdoor activities here.  In the warmer months, my favorite activities involve hiking, camping and backpacking.  I look forward to rock climbing, stand-up paddleboarding, mountain biking and wildlife viewing in the valley.  In the colder months, I enjoy snowshoeing and snowboarding.  However, I’m really looking forward to learning to skijor with my Alaskan Malamute, Miska.