Business Faculty and Staff
Virlena Crosley - Assistant Professor of Business
TJ Day Hall 207
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.
Christopher Dahlvig - Assistant Professor of Business
TJ Day Hall 202
B.A. Accounting, Whitworth University; M.B.A. Northwest Christian University; C.P.A.
Chris Dahlvig joined the faculty of Linfield College in 2018 where he teaches courses in accounting. Chris spent 20 years working in the not-for-profit sector in various accounting roles in a wide range of industries including higher education, outdoor ministry, healthcare, e-waste recycling, and philanthropy. As Controller for Inland Northwest Community Foundation, Chris accounted for over $100M in assets which generated nearly $7M in grants annually for the region. Many of his career highlights include process improvements that led to significant time savings including the development of a payables process that reduced staff time by over 98%.
Chris loves the Green Bay Packers and 80’s techno-pop. His interests include running 5k’s with his wife and reading books while drinking good coffee.
Denise Farag - Associate Professor of Business
TJ Day Hall 213
B.S. Linfield College; J.D. Willamette University College of Law
Denise Farag began teaching on the Linfield campus in 2008. She teaches Business Law I, Business Law II, International Business Law, Sports 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 interdisciplinary Sport Management program. 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.
Mark Michelini - Assistant Professor of Business
TJ Day 212
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 - Glen and Helen Jackson Professor of Business
TJ Day Hall 209
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.
James Paine - Visiting Assistant Professor of Business
TJ Day Hall 210
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.Â
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.Â 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.
Kyle J. Putnam - Assistant Professor of Business
TJ Day 214
B.A. George Fox University; M.S., Ph.D. University of New Orleans
Kyle Putnam joined Linfield College in 2017. He teaches courses in investments, financial management, and financial theory. His research interests include commodity futures, asset pricing, and financial institutions. Prior to joining Linfield, Kyle was an assistant professor of finance at the Marilyn Davies College of Business at the University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) where he taught undergraduate courses in investments, business finance, and personal finance, as well as graduate courses in corporate finance, investments, financial forecasting, behavioral finance, and financial management. While serving at UHD, he aided in the implementation and development of the inaugural freshman mentorship program as a faculty advisor. Additionally, he served as a faculty co-advisor for UHD's Financial Management Association chapter. Kyle obtained his B.S. in Finance and Economics from George Fox University, summa cum laude. He completed his M.S. and Ph.D. in Financial Economics at the University of New Orleans, where he received multiple awards for his excellence as an undergraduate teaching assistant and graduate school tutor.
Madeleine Romero - Visiting Associate Professor of Business
TJ Day Hall 208
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.
Gayatree Sarma - Visiting Assistant Professor of Business
TJ Day 211
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, trivia, and tennis. She is involved in a nonprofit organization that works closely with underprivileged children.
Rainer Seitz - Assistant Professor of Business
TJ Day 203
B.A., M.S. Marquette University; Ph.D. Portland State University
Rainer joined the faculty of Linfield College in 2017 where he teaches Organizational Behavior and other management-related courses. Prior to arriving at Linfield, he spent 25+ years working as an internal and external consultant to organizations on issues related to hiring and performance management. He has worked internally to develop automated hiring systems for organizations such as Starbucks, Kroger, and Costco. Consulting clients have included Kraft/Nabisco (now Mondelez), Leupold & Stevens, and Portland Fire & Rescue. Rainer has also taught undergraduate and graduate management courses at several institutions throughout the Pacific Northwest over the past two decades.
Rainer holds a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Psychology from Marquette University, and a Ph.D. degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from Portland State University.
In his free time, Rainer enjoys pursuing his passion for classic American cars. Garage time spent turning wrenches serves as his therapy. Outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling, beach volleyball, and appreciating nature are also particular interests.
Sharon Wagner - Harold C. Elkinton Professor, Business Department Chair
TJ Day Hall 206
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.
Natalie M Welch - Assistant Professor of Business
TJ Day Hall 204
B.S. University of Tennessee; M.B.A., M.S.B.M. University of Central Florida; Ph.D. University of Tennessee
Natalie has garnered a wide variety of experience in her career. She has worked with the TIDES Institute on Racial and Gender Report Cards, in event management at Disney/ESPN Wide World of Sports, marketing with Nike's Native American initiative, N7 and production and media at Wieden+Kennedy. While obtaining her doctorate, she taught a Sport Management Professional Development class and Sport Marketing and she will teach The Management of Sport and Sport Marketing during the 2018-2019 school year. In addition to Sport Management, she is passionate about working with Native Americans in sport, documentary and podcast production, running, and volunteering in her community.Professor Welch's Web Page