Dr. Roya Ayman
Associate Professor and the Director of the Industrial/Organizational Psychology program at IIT, Dr. Roya Ayman is this month's featured faculty member.
Dr. Ayman originally did her undergraduate studies in sociology and psychology. She became especially interested in psychology at college where she studied the decision-making processes of immigrants who moved between rural and urban areas. Deciding to pursue social psychology, she traveled from her native country, Iran, to the United States to study at the University of Utah.
Dr. Ayman's father, an I/O psychologist, had done work in Iran that interested her, and soon she became interested in leadership effectiveness, particularly cross-culturally. However, the political climate overseas was unstable, and so she chose to study Mexican culture because of its similarities with Iranian culture. Teaching for a year and doing dissertation research at Regio Montana Universidad in Mexico, Dr. Ayman worked with managers in various Mexican industries.
Back at the University of Utah, she took classes in Public Administration and by graduation was quite interested in a job in the professional/applied setting. However, her plans took a turn when she saw a notice in the APA Monitor about a position opening at IIT. "It was as if it was written for meŠI saw it as an applied environment, in a non-traditional psychology department."
Since then, Dr. Ayman has been at IIT. Throughout, she has had one foot in the business world and one in academia. Her research has been primarily practically-oriented. Leadership effectiveness is her main area of interest. As the proportion of women leaders has increased in the past few decades, Dr. Ayman has become interested in gender diversity research within the field of leadership. Also, she has examined the work-family interface as it applies to workers of both sexes. This field of study concerns conflicts that an individual faces as they balance themselves between work and family.
In addition to pursuing research, Dr. Ayman has enjoyed teaching at IIT. She has been very impressed with the quality of students, both undergraduate and graduate, psychology and non-psychology majors. Being the Director of the I/O Program, she also spends much effort maintaining the high reputation of the program, as well as recruiting and maintaining the best of faculty and students. Because of this, she is very pleased about the current state of the I/O Program. She remarks, "This year is great because for the first time since I have been here, all the faculty is settled and doing research. Things are more stable and productive than they have been in recent memory."
Dr. Ayman's activities last year were a continuation of her training work with Arthur Andersen, conducting group dynamics and leadership development sessions. Also, she served on two working groups of the Governor's Commission on Status of Women in Illinois. She is on the education and training committee and the program committee of SIOP. Additionally, Dr. Ayman engages in ad hoc reviewing for Personnel Psychology and the Journal of Vocational Behavior.