Thursday, October 13, 2011

New York, NY - The Direct Marketing Educational Foundation (DMEF) today announced that Kaifu Zhang of INSEAD is the winner of its 2011 Shankar-Spiegel Dissertation Proposal Award. This prestigious award, now in its fourth year, recognizes doctoral candidates from accredited programs, with the best dissertations in the area of direct/interactive marketing. The award was presented earlier this month during the DMEF Direct/Interactive Marketing Research Summit.


"Everything we do at DMEF is geared toward the next generation of leaders in this field and this award honoring outstanding research conducted by doctoral students is no exception," said Terri L. Bartlett, DMEF President. "Mr. Zhang is an example of how today's innovative thinkers are gravitating to what we believe is the most dynamic field of the future, and how their research is significantly impacting the marketing challenges and opportunities facing businesses today and tomorrow.”

Zhang’s $3,000 winning dissertation proposal, titled “Managing User-Generated Content” was chaired by Miklos Sarvary, Professor of Marketing, Director, The Learning Innovation Centre and Deputy Dean for Executive Development at INSEAD.

“Through the establishment of the Shankar-Spiegel Dissertation Proposal Award, we are helping to support academic research that will be translated into knowledge with immediate application for marketers,” said Marie Adolphe, DMEF Vice President of Program Development.

“Kaifu is an exceptional Ph.D. candidate," said Sarvary. “He is one of the strongest students INSEAD has ever had in terms of quantitative training. What makes Kaifu unique, however, is that his mathematical skills are coupled with incredible creativity. He is genuinely interested in understanding the world around him. Social media is clearly a major phenomenon for modern economies, so it was natural for us to work on this topic as his dissertation. I am pleased that the Direct Marketing Educational Foundation has chosen to honor Kaifu with this prestigious award.”

About The Shankar-Spiegel Dissertation Award

The Shankar-Spiegel Dissertation Award competition, established in 2007, recognizes the best dissertation proposal in direct/interactive marketing. The annual competition is named in honor of DMEF Outstanding Educator Award recipient Venkatesh “Venky” Shankar, Ph.D., who is the Coleman Chair Professor in Marketing at Texas A&M University, and Direct Marketing Association (DMA) Hall of Fame Award recipient Edward J. “Ted” Spiegel, president and founder of Spiegel Marketing Associates. Doctoral students in marketing, computer science, economics, management science, organizational psychology, statistics, advertising and communications, strategy, management and organization, and information systems, and other relevant disciplines whose developments help advance the understanding of direct/interactive marketing, are encouraged to apply.

About Direct Marketing Educational Foundation (DMEF)

Headquartered in New York City, the Direct Marketing Educational Foundation (DMEF) works to attract, educate, and place top college students in the business of direct/interactive marketing and, thereby, expanding and enriching the talent pool of trained, market-ready direct marketers. Established in 1966 by members of the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) who wanted to give something back to the community, DMEF is today a separate, 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation that is supported solely by tax-deductible contributions from individuals, companies, and regional clubs and associations. Funds raised go toward a broad range of world-class educational programs. Since its founding, thousands of students have taken advantage of DMEF’s educational programs, entering the field with the competitive edge of being “workplace-ready.” Many have gone on to become today’s direct marketing leaders, an indication of the Foundation’s success. In addition, more than 1,800 professors have participated in DMEF programs. Thanks in significant part to the Foundation’s four decades of work, today approximately 255 colleges and universities offer courses in direct/interactive marketing, 31 of which now offer specific direct marketing degrees and certificate programs. For additional information about the DMEF, its mission, and its programs, visit

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Sue R.E. Geramian