The PhD Project, an award-winning program to create a more diverse corporate America, announces that participant Dr. Christine Custis, successfully defended her dissertation titled, “What are the Factors Affecting a Firm’s Ability to Innovate?” and received her Ph.D. from Morgan State University. She has joined the faculty at Rochester Institute of Technology, Saunders College of Business.

Dr. Custis is one of only 46 female, African-American, information systems business school professors in the U.S., most of whom have become professors since the Project’s inception in 1994. The Project’s vision is to diversify corporate America by increasing the number of minority business professors, who attract more minority students to study business in college.

“Dr. Custis has succeeded in the very difficult endeavor of becoming a business school professor,” said Bernard J. Milano, president of The PhD Project and president of the KPMG Foundation, founder and lead funder of the program. “She has demonstrated dedication, hard work and intelligence in joining the rapidly growing ranks of minorities choosing to influence the next generation of business leaders as college professors.”

The PhD Project, a 501(c) (3) organization that the KPMG Foundation founded in 1994, recruits minority professionals from business into doctoral programs in all business disciplines. Since its inception, The PhD Project has been responsible for the increase in the number of minority business professors from 294 to 1,230.

Further, 336 minorities are currently enrolled in doctoral programs.

Dr. Custis began her journey by attending the 2007 November PhD Project Conference where highly qualified professionals who are considering leaving their careers to enter doctoral programs in business hear from deans, professors and current minority doctoral students about the benefits of pursuing a business Ph.D.

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