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Business Department Faculty and Staff

Richard Cahill - Adjunct Professor

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Education: B.A. Linfield College; M.B.A. University of Chicago

Richard (Dick) Cahill joined the Linfield Faculty in 2014, where he teaches BNFN 441: Financial Institutions. Cahill was the Vice President, Deputy Head of the Credit Risk Department, Risk Management Function within the Bank Supervision Group of The Federal Reserve Bank of New York.  Prior to joining the New York Fed in April 2008, he spent 16 years at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Supervision & Regulation Department serving in a number of leadership roles including the Vice President/Division Leader over the Risk Specialists Division, Large Bank Supervision and Regional/Community Banking Supervision groups.  Before joining the Chicago Federal Reserve, he was a Vice President with Barclays Bank, PLC for seven years in credit risk and business development roles. 

Dick is an active member of Linfield’s Business Advisory Council and a Michelbook Country Club Board Member


Virlena Crosley - Assistant Professor of Business

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Education: B.S. Linfield College; MPA, Lewis and Clark College; DBA, George Fox University

Virlena Crosley joined the faculty of Linfield College in 2011, where she teaches courses in strategic management and human resource management. Her experience includes five years of teaching college management, leadership, and other business courses in the U.S. and China, and two years as an adjunct instructor with Linfield. Her academic interests include Workforce Development, Human Resources Management Accounting, in particular managerial and tax accounting,and employment laws. Previously, Virlena held management positions with the State of Oregon, the last of which was Director for the Employment Department. During her six years as director, she was responsible for 47 field offices across Oregon and over 1500 employees. Virlena has also worked under contract with businesses and organizations such as Accenture and the National Association of Workforce Agencies on projects such as the establishment of one-stop job and career centers in the Caribbean.


Denise Farag - Assistant Professor of Business

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Education: B.S. Linfield College; J.D. Willamette University College of Law

Denise Farag began teaching on the Linfield campus in 2008. She currently teaches Business Law I, Business Law II, International Business Law, and Sport Management courses. Her academic interests include tax law, laws impacting small businesses and non-profit/exempt organizations, and sports law. Denise serves as the faculty coordinator for the newly developed Sport Management minor. Previously, Denise was a practicing business law, tax, and estate planning attorney. She also helped found and continues to provide legal and accounting oversight to American Banking Equipment Company, which wholesales used banking related equipment throughout the U.S. and Canada. Denise is an active volunteer in the local community, and serves on numerous boards and committees.


David Korb - Assistant Professor of Business

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Education: B.B.A., M.B.A. College of Santa Fe; Licensed C.P.A.

David Korb moved from Santa Fe, New Mexico to teach accounting at Linfield College in 2013. For the past eight years, he has been teaching accounting and tax, the last three years as a full-time professor. He recently taught several series of “Accounting for Non-Accountants” continuing education courses as well as CPA exam prep courses for accounting graduates. David earned his Bachelor’s degree and MBA as an adult learner at the College of Santa Fe and he is a licensed CPA. David brings a dozen years of extensive accounting and tax experience for a wide variety of businesses and individuals, including small businesses such as HVAC, retailers, manufacturers and not-for-profits. He believes learning about accounting and tax can be interesting and often fun. David lives in McMinnville and spends most of his spare time trying to teach accounting, with almost no success, to his wife and cats.


Mark Michelini - Visiting Assistant Professor

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  • B.S. Accounting, Eastern Illinois University
  • M.B.A., Eastern Illinois University
  • CSBO, Northern Illinois University
  • C.P.A.

Mark Michelini joined Linfield in 2016, after a lengthy career as the CFO at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, Illinois. While at Stevenson, Mr. Michelini served as chairman of ISDLAF, an investment pool of 500 school districts with over $6 billion on deposit; as chairman of CLIC, an insurance pool of over 170 school districts, representing over 50,000 students and $20 billion dollars in insured values; and as Treasurer for NIHIP, a healthcare pool of 30 school districts that offers healthcare, life, and disability programs. He holds the Chief School Business Official endorsement granted by Northern Illinois University.


Mr. Michelini also has served on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and Northern Illinois University. His hobbies and interests include reading, golfing, biking, and volleyball, and he enjoys the writings of Malcolm Gladwell, Walter Isaacson, Jon Krakauer, and Erik Larson. Fun fact: Mark attended East Aurora High School, the same high school as Don Kieso, one of the leading authors of many accounting textbooks.


Michelle Nelson - Professor of Business

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Education: B.A. University of Bonn, Germany; M.B.A., Ph.D. Washington State University

Michelle Nelson joined the faculty of Linfield College in 2000. She teaches courses in marketing, marketing research, social entrepreneurship, and related topics. She also serves as internship supervisor for the Business Department. Michelle holds a Master's degree and Ph.D. in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing from Washington State University, and a bachelor's degree in Psychology from the University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany. Her research interests include advertising effects, entrepreneurial behavior and direct marketing by entrepreneurs.

Learn more about Professor Nelson


James Paine - Visiting Assistant Professor of Business

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B.S. Juniata College; M.B.A. International Business, University of South Carolina

Russ Paine joined the Linfield faculty in 2010, where he teaches International Management, Contemporary Business, Sales and Sales Management, Organizational Behavior and Management, as well as Strategic Management. 
Russ brings 30 years of technology manufacturing experience in all areas of operations and sales to his teaching career. He contributes a strong understanding of international business and management abilities across the value/supply chain. Mr. Paine has contributed to growth in both Fortune 500 as well as smaller organizations.  He has been a management member in six different organizations, which expanded operational systems and grew sales - Robert Bosch Corporation, Floating Point Systems, Precision Castparts Corporation, Maxtek Components Corporation (Tektronix), Wygant and Future Technology Devices International.


Madeleine Romero - Visiting Associate Professor of Business

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Education: B.A. University of California, Los Angeles; M.B.A. University of Southern California

Madeleine Romero has a B.A. in economics from the University of California at Los Angeles, magna cum laude, and an M.B.A. in finance and marketing from the University of Southern California. She began at Linfield in 2010 and teaches Financial Management, Financial Theory, and Topics in Finance. 

Prior to joining Linfield Madeleine was a faculty member at the College of Business at Oregon State University (OSU) and the University Honors College at OSU, where she taught courses in corporate finance, personal finance, and accounting. She additionally has held management positions in corporate acquisitions and development in the health care industry. Madeleine has received national recognition for exceptional teaching and is the recipient of numerous teaching awards while at OSU and California State University at Fullerton.

Learn more about Professor Romero


Alexander Russell - Adjunct Professor

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Education: B.A. American University, M.B.A Willamette University

Alex Russell, CFA, joined the Linfield faculty in 2014, where he teaches BNFN 443: International Finance. Alex is the Head of Research for Bates Group LLC, an independent advisory firm located in Portland, OR. Russell manages the production of research reports involving equity, fixed income, and structured product markets, as well as the general economy.  He frequently contributes his own research in the aforementioned areas, with a particular focus on global economic issues.  He has a decade of experience in the asset management, advisory and management consulting industries. Alex is a member of the CFA Society of Portland, and a regular contributor to various media publications.  


Gayatree Sarma - Visiting Assistant Professor

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Education: MBA, Marist College, Poughkeepsie, NY; MA in Philosophy, Guwahati University, India

Gayatree Siddhanta Sarma has recently moved to Portland, from Poughkeepsie, NY. Prior to her move, Gayatree taught International Business and Marketing courses at the Marist College School of Management for more than a decade. Gayatree has an MBA degree from Marist College and a Master’s degree in Philosophy from India. She worked/lived in India, Japan and Germany and has extensive international travel experience. Her forte is cross- cultural communication and the understanding of different cultural values and nuances and their effects on business practices. Her academic interest currently focuses on the emerging economies with a particular concentration on ethics and corporate social responsibility. She is also a freelance writer whose works have been published in various publications including the Newsweek magazine. Gayatree is a very effective public speaker and routinely presents both in academia and other platforms. She is a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma business honor society and currently serves as the co-chair of the International Business track for the North East Decision Science Institute’s 2016 conference.

Gayatree’s other interests include cooking gourmet and ethnic food,  baking and decorating cakes, current events and trivia and tennis. She is involved in a nonprofit organization that works closely with underprivileged children.


Sharon Wagner - Professor, Business Department Chair

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Education: B.A. Michigan State University; Ph.D. University of Tennessee

Sharon Wagner joined Linfield College in 2010, where she serves as Chair of the Business Department. She teaches courses in leadership, organizational behavior, and team dynamics. Her research is focused on corporate reputation, the reputation of the Oregon wine industry, performance measurement, and scholarship of teaching and learning. Sharon formerly held faculty, program director, and associate dean roles at the University of San Francisco, Golden Gate University, and Middle Tennessee State University, where she was honored for excellence in teaching and research. For over 25 years, Sharon has provided strategic business consulting to a variety of industries. From 2007-2010, she built and led the workforce analytics practice for Genentech, an international biotechnology corporation.

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McMinnville, Oregon  97128-6894
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