- The Sonny Merryman Professor
Dr. Lara Khansa is the Sonny Merryman Professor in Business and the Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Affairs in the Pamplin College of Business at Virginia Tech. She joined Virginia Tech as an Assistant Professor in 2008 and was promoted to Full Professor in 2019. She was named the Sonny Merryman Professor in Business in 2020.
In her role, Dr. Khansa shoulders a range of essential responsibilities. Her leadership encompasses spearheading AACSB accreditation efforts, ensuring adherence to university policies, and overseeing faculty committees. A critical aspect of her role is facilitating faculty development by implementing strategies that amplify teaching effectiveness, research excellence, and professional advancement. In addition, Dr. Khansa's role includes supporting doctoral programs, aligning them with college objectives, and managing enrollment. She also collaborates with Pamplin’s communication team to promote the college’s research accomplishments and programs to diverse audiences. Dr. Khansa’s role is centrally focused on upholding academic excellence and cultivating an environment conducive to faculty growth and success.
Dr. Lara Khansa’s research expertise is rooted in her deep interest and personal connection with the intersection of technology and human interaction, particularly within the humanities, behavioral sciences, and health sciences. Her unique ability to bridge these diverse fields is a result of her multidisciplinary education and industry experience. Her research demonstrates a commitment to exploring the interplay between data science, technology, and their potential to elevate human life and society. Dr. Khansa has contributed to the field of human-computer interaction, driven by her belief that specific technological contexts and artifacts shape user behavior. Additionally, she has conducted extensive research in healthcare analytics, leveraging technology to enhance the well-being of individuals. This interdisciplinary approach merges data science with healthcare, addressing complex socio-technical, socioeconomic, and policy-related challenges. Dr. Khansa has published over 50 refereed journal articles and conference proceedings in premier operations management, information systems, and medical research outlets, including leading journals such as the Journal of Operations Management and the Journal of Management Information Systems, and in leading medical journals such as Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery and Aesthetic Surgery.
Dr. Khansa's holistic approach to integrating research, teaching, and service is evident in her interactions with students, spanning from doctoral candidates to master’s and undergraduate students. Her teaching success is attributed to her skill in imparting both the practical aspects of technology and the broader insights into problem-solving. She was awarded three course development grants from VT’s Technology-Enhanced Learning and Online Strategies, leading to the creation of graduate-level courses in healthcare information technology and healthcare data management, crucial components of VT’s Online Master of Information Technology program. In the ever-evolving landscape of healthcare information technology, the demand for healthcare professionals well-versed in electronic healthcare record systems and related technologies is paramount. Dr. Khansa's dedication extends to teaching students the significance of data quality in patient care and safety and providing them with tangible skills to evaluate and enhance healthcare processes.
Before her current role, Dr. Khansa served as the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs for six years. In that capacity, she oversaw the undergraduate student enrollment process and ensured the quality of education and student services. She worked closely with various stakeholders, including students, parents, alumni, staff, faculty, and other administrators, to ensure that Pamplin's undergraduate program met the highest standards and provided exceptional student services and experience. Dr. Khansa led numerous student-centered events, including award ceremonies and undergraduate commencement ceremonies, that recognized students' accomplishments and fostered alumni engagement. Her commitment to creating a supportive and inclusive environment for undergraduate students was reflected in her efforts to improve the quality of student services and academic programs. Under her leadership, the undergraduate program thrived and provided students with the tools they needed to succeed both academically and professionally.
Dr. Khansa has taught numerous undergraduate courses in business statistics, global operations and information technology, and enterprise resource planning. She has also developed and taught courses in health care information technology and health care data management in the online Master of Information Technology program. In these courses, Khansa teaches her students about the importance of data quality to patient care and safety and provides them with hands-on skills to evaluate and improve the quality of health care processes. In 2015, Dr. Khansa was selected by President Tim Sands to serve on the steering committee for the Envisioning Virginia Tech-Beyond Boundaries initiative and to co-chair a study group on discovering new funding models, one of four thematic areas identified as central to the university's advancement as a global land-grant leader.
Dr. Khansa received a Ph.D. in information systems, M.S in Electrical & Computer Engineering, and M.B.A in Finance & Investment Banking from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a BS in Computer & Communication Engineering from the American University of Beirut. Prior to pursuing her doctoral degree, Dr. Khansa worked as a software design engineer at GE Medical Systems designing and implementing medical applications and connectivity tools at the company's global software platform facility in Wisconsin.