The Mel Larson Endowed Chair in Marketing was created to honor in perpetuity the memory and exemplary career of marketing pioneer, Mel Larson. The endowment allows the Lee Business School department of marketing to recruit, retain, and recognize faculty for their work in teaching, research, and service at UNLV. The inaugural Mel Larson Chair is Dr. Anjala Krishen, Department Chair and Professor of Marketing.

About Mel Larson

A public relations and marketing pioneer, racing aficionado, and pilot, Mel Larson was well respected for both his affable nature and his extraordinary marketing expertise, most notably demonstrated as executive vice president of Circus Circus properties for many years. A former race car driver on the NASCAR circuit and track owner himself, he was a co-founder of Las Vegas Motor Speedway and a pioneer of Las Vegas’s rise as an iconic international destination. Mel also developed the heliport for Mercy Air, was inducted into the Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Fame and has a star on the Las Vegas Walk of Stars, at Circus Circus, naturally. 

Mel’s wife, Marilyn, wished to honor his memory in perpetuity while providing the Mel Larson Chair in Marketing the ability to innovate in the classroom in the discipline of marketing, promote the Lee Business School by presenting cutting-edge research at national and international conferences, and inspire and encourage student’s in marketing.

Marilyn and Mel met while Mel was serving in the U.S. Air Force, which sent him to Luke Air Force Base. Since she retired from Arizona Public Service Company in Phoenix, Marilyn has served on the UMC Auxiliary Board and on the Animal Foundation Board of Directors, and its Emeritus Board.

Mel Larson

Mel Larson, namesake of Lee Business School's Mel Larson Endowed Chair

About Anjala Krishen

Dr. Anjala Krishen serves as Professor and Department Chair of Marketing and International Business for the Lee Business School. Previously, she served as the Director of the MBA program for the college and successfully navigated the MBA program's transition online and into a hybrid format during the pandemic. Anjala holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Rice University and three graduate degrees, including an M.S. in Marketing, MBA, and Ph.D. in Marketing from Virginia Tech. She held full-time corporate positions for 13-years before pursuing a doctorate.

To date, Anjala has 77 published journal papers. Her research spans three sub-disciplines of consumer behavior: (1) advertising and retailing, (2) interactive, e-marketing and information processing, and (3) marketing pedagogy. Fifty-seven of these publications have come post-tenure; 28 are A- level or above, four are in high-quality hospitality journals, two are in high-quality policy journals, and six are in pedagogical journals. Serving as a strong research mentor, she has published more than 20 journal papers co-authored with current or former UNLV graduate students and more than fifteen journal papers with junior faculty.

Anjala has received both research and teaching awards, including the UNLV Foundation Distinguished Teaching award (2015), the Barrick Scholar Award (2016), the Harold and Muriel Berkman Research Grant Award (2016), the UNLV Alumni Association Outstanding Faculty Recipient (2019), and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Award (2022). In early 2016, she gave a TEDx talk at UNR entitled, “Opposition: The light outside of the dark box,” which discusses the important role that opposition plays in our lives. Later in 2016, she gave a UNLV Creates speech based on her pedagogical research entitled, “Consuming to Creating, Watching to Doing, Seeing to Being.” In 2019, she co-edited the book, Marketing & Humanity: Discourses in the Real World, in which she co-authored five chapters. As of 2022, she has completed over 70 marathons, seven ultramarathons, seven 100(+) milers, and holds a black belt in Taekwondo.

faculty of lee business school

From left to right: Kim Nehls, Interim Assistant Dean for External Relations; Anjala Krishen, Department Chair and Professor of Marketing; Marilyn Larson, John Osborn, former Assistant Dean for External Relations, and Gerry Sanders, Dean of Lee Business School.