Jennifer Kuklenski

Assistant Professor of Business

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Earned and Honorary Degrees

PHD University of Southern Mississippi
MBA Saint Mary's University of Minnesota
MA University of Arizona
BA St. Cloud State University


I possess a multi-disciplinary academic and professional background, which allows me to bring a number of different perspectives into the classroom. I began my college studies as a political science/international relations major and during my graduate studies, I switched my focus to business and economics. Since my parents have owned and operated a small business for over thirty years, the shift was natural for me. The interdisciplinary nature of my teaching helps me shape more well-rounded students who not only possess the skills necessary to be successful in business, but also individuals who are more enlightened citizens, fit to be change makers in their communities. I am a Senior Fellow with Humanity in Action, an international education organization that connects students, professionals, and established leaders committed to promoting human rights, diversity, and active citizenship around the world.

I grew up just forty-two miles east of Ashland and after years of living "away," I was thrilled to find a professional home at Northland. Although my research often keeps me indoors, I spend much of my free time outdoors. In the summer I enjoy running, biking, paddle boarding, and golfing, and while summers in the north woods are second to none, I think it is our winters that make the greater Ashland area truly unique. By the time fall semester is upon us, I'm ready to start skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing.

Why Northland?

Aside from Northland's proximity to my hometown and family, Northland's mission speaks to me both professionally and personally. The emphasis on social responsibility in business makes our program and curriculum standout. Northland is helping change the business narrative to one that demonstrates how business can be a force for good, globally and in people's local communities.


I teach a number of courses in the Business Administration and Sustainable Community Development programs. My favorite courses are those that allow me to explore contemporary social issues with students, such as The Inclusive Workplace, Sustainability Marketing, and International Development.


I possess a rather broad research background, but my area of expertise is in corporate social responsibility. More specifically, my research focuses on sustainability, inclusion, and social impact. My recent book, Diversity and Organizational Development: Impacts and Opportunities, is available through Emerald Publishing.

I am also interested in the intersection of business and public policy and as the William B. Mark Professor of Social Science at Northland, I am currently exploring the economic impact of climate migration in the Great Lakes region.

Student Involvement

My teaching methods emphasize practice. Having a professional background in workforce development, I design assignments to ensure students are building the knowledge and skills 21st Century employers are looking for. I encourage students to engage with business owners and managers through interviews, guest speakers, and field trips. I also work with local and regional employers to get Northland students into internships and I require students to conduct case studies on local organizations, upon completion of which they are able to offer relevant recommendations to organizational leaders and managers. As an active member of the Academy of Economics and Finance, I am also able to get students involved in conference attendance, paper presentation, and paper competitions.