Roya Ayman

"Against all odds" are the words Roya Ayman uses to describe her journey to academic achievement at IIT College of Psychology, where she serves as professor and director of the Industrial/Organizational Psychology Training Program. In 1979, Ayman was a doctoral student at the University of Utah when her home country of Iran underwent a revolution; this was a turning point in her life. "I thought I had lost all possibilities to achieve my dreams," says Ayman. She took the counsel of her graduate advisor and applied for an academic position at IIT. Since joining the institution in 1983, her career has taken her to places she never thought imaginable, literally and figuratively. A successful consultant in the United States and abroad, Ayman has coedited a widely used book on leadership (Leadership Theory and Research: Perspectives and Directions, 1993), served on editorial boards, conducted global workshops for executives, and assisted nearly 75 students in obtaining their master’s or doctoral degrees. Ayman varies her teaching style to allow students to explore knowledge at different levels of learning and provides them with opportunities to contribute to projects on which she collaborates with colleagues from around the world. Her areas of research focus on gender, diversity, and leadership, the work–family interface, workforce diversity and the organizational climate. Ayman credits her students with helping her know that she is doing exactly what she wants to do. "When I was hired at IIT, I was not sure if I wanted to be a professor," says Ayman. "Being at IIT and working with my students has brought me great joy and enthusiasm. For that, I am indebted to them."


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