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Kirkwood Businesswoman Invited to Attend PhD Project Conference

Antona Brent Smith, a Kirkwood resident and president and chief creative officer of a Kirkwood-based communications and marketing group, attended the award-winning program that supports diversity in corporate America.

Antona Brent Smith, a Kirkwood businesswoman and Kirkwood School District parent, was invited to attend the PhD Project Conference Nov. 14-16 at the Hyatt Regency O'Hare.

The PhD Project is an an award-winning program to create diversity in management. The PhD Project was created in 1994 to address the severe under-representation of African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans and Native Americans in management by diversifying the front of the classroom-the business school faculty. A diverse faculty encourages more minorities to pursue business degrees, thereby increasing the pool of minority applicants for positions in today’s multicultural corporate environment.

Qualified candidates are invited to this two and a half-day annual conference where they hear from deans, professors and current minority doctoral students about the benefits of pursuing a business Ph.D. Candidates are exposed to more than 100 doctoral-granting universities that are represented during a university exhibit fair at the conference. Many of these candidates are recruited before they even enter a program.

Antona Brent Smith is the President and Chief Creative Officer of Tayé Foster Bradshaw Marketing & Communications Group® based in Kirkwood.

She earned her Masters of Business Administration from the University of Iowa with an emphasis in marketing and independent studies in minority businesses and non-profit management.  She has taught undergraduate and graduate students at Lindenwood University-Belleville and Avila University (Kansas City).  A native of St. Louis and graduate of Columbia College (Columbia), Antona Brent Smith is the wife of Dr. Dwyane Smith, Chief Academic Officer/VP Academic Affairs of Harris-Stowe State University.  They have five children and reside in Kirkwood.

When The PhD Project was created, there were only 294 doctorally qualified African-American, Hispanic American or Native American minority business professors in all U.S. business schools.  Today there are 1,158 minority business professors, an increase of more than 250%. Further, 374 minorities are currently enrolled in doctoral programs, and will take a place at the front of the classroom over the next few years.

Some of America’s top companies, foundations, associations and academic organizations support The PhD Project. They are: KPMG Foundation, Graduate Management Admission Council, Citi Foundation, AACSB International, 275 universities, AICPA Foundation, DiversityInc, JPMorgan Chase Foundation, The Merck Company Foundation, Microsoft Corporation, Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP, Rockwell Collins, American Marketing Association, John Deere FoundationAT&T, CIGNA, ADP, American Express, The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, California State University SystemEdison International, Lincoln Financial Group, Greater New York Hospital Association and Aerotek/TEKsystems (operating companies of Allegis Group).

To learn more about the PhD Project, visit: http://www.phdproject.org.

Information provided by Antona Brent Smith

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