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Erynn Beaton

Assistant Professor


Dr. Erynn Beaton studies the ways in which the nonprofit sector and its organizations reflect, combat and sometimes reproduce structural inequalities. Beaton’s research builds organizational theory by holding up nonprofits and the nonprofit sector for critical inspection. Her expertise is in qualitative methods, with a particular passion for ethnography. She draws on institutional, social movement and critical perspectives to understand the nonprofit sector’s role in economic, gender and other identity-based inequalities.

Through her teaching Beaton aims to empower her students to make the changes they wish to see in the world. She teaches the undergraduate Introduction to Nonprofit Organizations, a course intended to acquaint future nonprofit leaders with the diversity, nature and debates inherent to the sector. She also teaches the Master’s Nonprofit Capstone course, in which students partner with a local nonprofit client to build their internal capacity. Additionally, she serves in an appointed position on the Charitable Advisory Council to the Ohio Attorney General.

Beaton earned her doctorate at the University of Massachusetts Boston in the business school’s program on Organizations & Social Change. She also had the privilege of receiving a Master of Business Administration from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a bachelor’s in journalism from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Previously, Beaton worked in advertising and marketing at big Chicago corporations the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. and Starcom Worldwide. During that time, she assisted in leading the board of Reading in Motion, a nonprofit literacy program. These experiences, and a lifelong dedication to volunteering, motivate her teaching and research at the intersection of organizational theory and nonprofit management

Portable Innovation, Policy Wormholes, and Innovation Diffusion
Environmental Policy and Management
August 07, 2019
This article explores the effects of city managers' career paths on the diffusion of climate policy innovation among municipal governments in the United States.
The COVID-19 Pandemic and Student Achievement on Ohio’s Third-Grade English Language Arts Assessment
January 27, 2021
This report draws on data from the fall administration of Ohio’s annual Third-Grade English Language Arts assessment to examine how the COVID pandemic has affected student learning in the state.
Whatever it Takes: Sexual Harassment in the Context of Resource Dependence
Social Policy
March 09, 2021
Research suggests powerful resource dependencies are present in the public and nonprofit sectors.
Glenn College Releases Review of Columbus Response to 2020 Protests
Civic Engagement, Advocacy and Volunteerism
April 26, 2021
In July 2020, Columbus City leaders commissioned an independent, outside after-action review of the City’s response to protests that took place last summer. Former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio Carter Stewart and the John Glenn College of Public Affairs were named the lead investigative team.
Resilience Decision Making in Repeated Disasters
Public Finance and Budgeting
June 07, 2021
The research, published in Environment Systems and Decisions Journal, examines resilience decision making in the context of repeated catastrophic events.
Maximizing the Efficiency of Active Case Finding for SARS-CoV-2 Using Bandit Algorithms
June 14, 2021
Using bandit algorithms, the authors of a paper in Medical Decision Making present and test an approach for finding otherwise undetected cases of COVID-19 before they lead to a widespread outbreak.
Not All High-Growth Firms Are Alike: Capturing and Tagging Ohio’s Gazelles
June 29, 2021
In this study, published in Economic Development Quarterly, the authors present a statistically valid typology of high-growth firms, also known as gazelles, to determine if payroll and job growth patterns differ between groups or clusters.
How the COVID-19 Pandemic Affected Student Learning in Ohio
August 27, 2021
Analysis of Spring 2021 Ohio State Tests
Informational Determinants of Large-area Hurricane Evacuations
Environmental Policy and Management
August 30, 2021
This study, published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, presents an experimental design that overcomes the counterfactual problem present in all prior published experiments by relying on an actual storm with a known outcome.