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Eller College Home > Our Stories > Entrepreneurial Experience > Kauffman Foundation Dissertation Fellowship

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Entrepreneurial Experience : Doctoral Student Awarded Kauffman Foundation Dissertation Fellowship

Kelli Frias
Kelli Frias will earn her Ph.D. in marketing with the help of a $20,000 Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation Dissertation Fellowship.

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December 2009

By Liz Warren-Pederson

Kelli Frias, a fifth-year doctoral student in marketing, has been awarded a $20,000 Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation Dissertation Fellowship for her research, which is focused on understanding how firms derive value in the marketplace through the choice of product form.

Frias's dissertation is co-chaired by current marketing department head and incoming Muzzy Chair in Entrepreneurship Robert Lusch and associate professor of marketing Mrinal Ghosh.

After earning her undergraduate degrees in business administration and economics from the University of California Riverside, Frias applied her interest in law working on internal investigations. She then entered the Eller College to pursue doctoral studies in part to work with Lusch, but found that the program also allowed her to further develop her interest in law.

“I’ve been encouraged to take classes that I’m interested in,” she says. “Bob opened up lines of communication for me in the James E. Rogers College of Law, and so I’m also minoring in legal studies. My research evolved from that, because I’m interested in innovation and entrepreneurial ventures.”

Specifically, Frias has been exploring how technology, market, and firm-level resources influence the factors that entrepreneurs or firms consider in choosing a product's form. “Marketing is a great field through which to examine these concerns,” Frias explains. She points out that intellectual property (IP) is enforced differently in different industries; the legal environment for software is different from pharmaceuticals, for example.

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