Johnson Management Committee

Dean Mark Nelson

Mark W. Nelson

Anne and Elmer Lindseth Dean, Professor of Accounting at the SC Johnson Graduate School of Management

Mark W. Nelson is the Anne and Elmer Lindseth Dean and Professor of Accounting at the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management in Cornell’s SC Johnson College of Business. He received his BBA degree from Iowa State University and his MA and PhD degrees from The Ohio State University.

Dean Nelson is responsible for Johnson’s three residential MBA programs, four Executive MBA programs, and two MPS programs.  In that role, he oversees the research and teaching of Johnson’s faculty and the activities of Johnson’s staff in both Ithaca and New York City, as well as partnerships with Queens University, Tsinghua University, Weill Cornell Medicine and Cornell Tech.  Dean Nelson also serves on the leadership team of the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business, and has responsibilities relevant to the overall activities of the College as well as to various research centers and institutes.

Dean Nelson’s teaching has focused on intermediate financial accounting and financial reporting, as well as judgment and decision making in accounting.  He has received ten teaching awards at Cornell and Ohio State, including the American Accounting Association’s inaugural Cook Prize for graduate teaching excellence.  He is a coauthor (with Spiceland and Thomas) of Intermediate Accounting.

Dean Nelson’s research examines psychological and economic factors that influence how people make decisions with financial information; interpret and apply accounting, auditing, and tax regulations; and trade in financial markets. His research has been published widely in accounting and psychology, and has been acknowledged with the AAA’s Notable Contribution to Accounting Literature Award, the AAA’s Wildman Medal, AJPT’s inaugural Best Paper Award, and the Johnson School’s Faculty Research Award.

Dean Nelson’s external service includes three terms as an editor of the Accounting Review and four years on the FASB’s Financial Accounting Standards Advisory Council.

Benjamin P. Davis

Benjamin Davis

Alumni Affairs and Development

Benjamin Davis is a Cornell alumnus who graduated from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences in 1988 with a degree in animal science, Davis earned an MPA from the University of New Hampshire while working for the UNH Cooperative Extension and the NH 4-H program. In 2000, after leading UNH’s 4-H fundraising program, Davis returned to Cornell as the executive director of the New York State 4-H Foundation. He joined Cornell’s Alumni Affairs and Development team in 2001, first as a gift officer for CALS, and later, in 2003, in the central AA&D special gifts program. In 2007, Davis joined the major gifts staff, and in 2012 became a major gifts officer for Johnson. In the five years Davis has been at Johnson the program has experienced unprecedented growth, with Davis managing relationships with many of the School’s most significant donors and partnering with faculty and staff to help fulfill his prospects’ philanthropic objectives.

Ithaca College headshots

Brian Bessire

Executive Director of Marketing

Brian Bessire (he/him/his) is responsible for overseeing the development and execution of omnichannel marketing and communications.

Brian joined the community in September 2019 as an associate director of marketing communications for the SC Johnson College of Business, detailed to the specialized master’s programs across the three schools including the MPS programs at Johnson, later taking on his role of executive director of marketing in November 2022. He previously led marketing, analytics, and UX for Ithaca College for 5 years, and prior to that, handled a variety of digital communications roles at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC, helping launch its first national ad campaign. He holds a BS in Communication from Cornell, where he happened to study under a number of former and current business faculty. He has three children in his blended family, and enjoys spending quality time with them, along with making music, traveling, reading, home improvement, and —surprise— spreadsheeting everything in sight.

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Glen Dowell

Senior Director of MBA Programs, Professor of Management at the SC Johnson Graduate School of Management

Glen Dowell is the Henrietta Johnson Louis Professor of Management and Senior Director of MBA and MPS Programs at the Johnson Graduate School of Management. He researches in the area of corporate sustainability, with a focus on firm environmental performance. Recent projects have investigated the effect of local demographic factors on changes in pollution levels, the role of corporate merger and acquisition in facilitating changes in facility environmental performance, and the relative influence of financial return and disruption on commercial adoption of energy savings initiatives.

Professor Dowell’s research has been published in Management Science, Organization Studies, Advances in Strategic Management, Strategic Management Journal, Organization Science, Journal of Management, Industrial and Corporate Change, Journal of Business Ethics, and Administrative Science Quarterly. He is Co-editor of Strategic Organization, is on the editorial boards of Strategic Management Journal, and Administrative Science Quarterly, and represents Cornell on the board of the Alliance for Research in Corporate Sustainability (ARCS). He also served as Division Chair for the Organizations and Natural Environment Division at the Academy of Management (2018).

Professor Dowell teaches Sustainable Global Enterprise and Critical and Strategic Thinking. He is a faculty affiliate for the Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise and is a faculty fellow at the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future.


Manoj Thomas

Senior Director of MBA Programs, Professor of Marketing at the SC Johnson Graduate School of Management

Dr. Manoj Thomas is Nakashimato Professor of Marketing and Senior Director of Executive MBA and MSBA programs. Thomas is a behavioral scientist who trains MBA students and executives to be customer-centric leaders and encourages them to build meaningful and purposeful connections with customers. His lectures on consumer insights are available online through eCornell’s certificate program on Consumer Behavior. Thomas has received the Apple Award and the Stephen Russell Family Teaching Award for excellence in teaching.

Thomas has published several research papers on the psychology of price evaluations. By characterizing irrational responses such as the left-digit effect, the price precision effect, and the mode of payment effect, Thomas has demonstrated the pervasive influence of heuristics and biases on price evaluations. He also studies how political identity and moral beliefs influence consumer behavior. His recent research with Shreyans Goenka explains why some consumers consider conspicuous consumption immoral while others happily engage in such consumption. He is the co-author of the book Why People (Don’t) Buy: GO and STOP Signals. He is an associate editor for the Journal of Marketing Research and the Journal of Consumer Research.

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Nicole Pellegrino

Executive Director of MBA Programs

Nicole Pellegrino is the Executive Director of MBA Programs, overseeing the offices of Admissions, Financial Aid, the Registrar, Student Services, and Student Activities and Special Events. Nicole has been at Johnson for 5 years, and a higher education administrator for 17 years. Nicole has a BA in Psychology from Wells College and a MA in Higher Education Administration from Boston College. In her rare free time she enjoys spending time with her son and their adorable puppy and traveling. So far, Nicole has visited 47 US states and has plans to visit the remaining 3 very soon.

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Liz Kosalek

Executive Director of Finance

Liz Kosalek, Executive Director of Finance, is responsible for overseeing the overall financials of the SC Johnson College of Business with a budget of $300+ million, including Johnson School, Nolan School, Dyson School, Statler Hotel and college central departments.

Liz is a New York State licensed CPA and earned her BS in Management and MS in Accounting from Syracuse University (Go Orange!) Liz began her career at Ernst & Young in NYC, then held various corporate finance positions at McCann Erickson WorldGroup and The New York Times. Just prior to joining Cornell in 2016 as The Statler Hotel Controller, Liz was the CFO of Greek Peak Mountain Resort.

Liz is originally from the Elmira/Horseheads area and made her way back home after time in New York City, San Francisco and central New York.  She currently lives with her airline pilot husband and fur-baby in Horseheads.  They enjoy summers relaxing at Keuka Lake and spending time with family and friends.