SAN DIEGO, CA -- October 27, 2014 -- Marketing EDGE, a nonprofit education organization formerly known as the Direct Marketing Educational Foundation, today announced that Arun Gopalakrishnan of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is the winner of its 2014 Shankar-Spiegel Dissertation Proposal Award.

This prestigious award recognizes doctoral candidates from accredited programs with the best dissertations in the area of marketing. The award was presented yesterday during the Marketing EDGE Direct/Interactive Marketing Research Summit.

“When Ted Spiegel and Professor Venky Shankar envisioned this award they stressed the importance of excellence to ensure ‘bleeding-edge’ research and education in our field,” said Terri L. Bartlett, president, Marketing EDGE. “We are honored to continue to support future academicians through this unique awards program.”

Gopalakrishnan’s winning proposal, titled “Latent Relationship Trajectory Models and Their Applications in Marketing” was advised by Wharton School Professors Pete Fader and Eric Bradlow. “Arun is an exceptionally trained scholar in statistics and economics who wants to solve real business problems with mathematical modeling solutions,” said Professor Bradlow.

Professor Fader notes that Arun’s work “builds a very useful bridge between the understanding of how customers evolve over time with some state-of-the-art modeling approaches that really bring this lifecycle ‘story’ to life. It is rare to see work that is simultaneously so practical for managers and so advanced for academics.”

"The Shankar-Spiegel Award's purpose is to inspire leading-edge research in direct/interactive marketing that has the potential to alter the field's future. Arun and his dissertation advisors deserve all the kudos for an outstanding forward-looking research proposal," said Award co-namesake, Venkatesh “Venky” Shankar.

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 Marketing EDGE Outstanding Educator Award recipient Venkatesh “Venky” Shankar, Ph.D., who is the Coleman Chair Professor in Marketing at Texas A&M; University; and the late Edward J. “Ted” Spiegel, an award recipient of the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) Hall of Fame and president and founder of Spiegel Marketing Associates. Doctoral candidates 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. For more information, visit:  www.marketingedge.org/marketing-programs/shankar-spiegel-best-dissertation-award.

About Marketing EDGE 
Headquartered in New York City, Marketing EDGE, formerly known as the Direct Marketing Educational Foundation) works to Educate, Develop, Grow, and Employ college students in the field of marketing, thereby expanding and enriching the talent pool of trained, market-ready marketers. Established in 1966 by members of the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) who wanted to give something back to the community, Marketing EDGE continues to be an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation that is supported solely by tax-deductible contributions from individuals, companies and foundations. Funds raised throughout the year support a broad range of world-class educational programs and scholarships. Since its founding, thousands of students and academics have taken advantage of the Marketing EDGE programs, enabling our student “graduates” to enter the field “workplace-ready.” Many have gone on to become today’s marketing leaders, an indication of the organization’s success. For additional information, visit: www.marketingEDGE.org.

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Media Contact for Marketing EDGE 
Chet Dalzell


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