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Sydney Chinchanachokchai

Sydney Chinchanachokchai

Assistant professor of marketing | University of Akron

Their order was always the same — a Bloody Mary for the student, Greyhound for the professor.

If it was a Friday afternoon during the school year in the early 2010s, mentee Sydney Chinchanachokchai and mentor Brittany Duff were holding their weekly research meeting — at the Esquire Lounge in downtown Champaign.

Looking back, Chinchanachokchai says, no one had a more profound impact on “my Ph.D. and personal life” than the UI professor who joined her on Fridays.

“Professor Duff was a new assistant professor when I took her research seminar class as a second-year Ph.D.  student,” says Chinchanachokchai, a two-degree UI grad who now teaches marketing herself, at the University of Akron.

“We worked together and she inspired me to pursue research in multitasking, which later on became the dissertation topic. To me, she is a mentor, a professor and a sister.”

“I also had an opportunity to take the consumer behavior class from Professor Cele Otnes when I was an MBA student and that class inspired me to pursue a Ph.D. in marketing. Until this day, I still remember the final project that we did for her class — theme restaurant.

“I had so much fun and Professor Otnes is an amazing teacher. She was also the chair of my dissertation committee."

As for a favorite C-U spot, put Chinchanachokchai down for the Quad in summer/fall — “especially when it’s filled with students walking from one building to another between classes. That scene is one of the most iconic scenes that represents colleges in the U.S.”