SMLR Appoints 33 Research Fellows to Study a Key Gateway to Wealth for the Middle Class: Employee Share Ownership
Friday, Jan 12, 2024

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – The Rutgers Institute for the Study of Employee Ownership and Profit Sharing today announced the appointment of 33 research fellows to join its global network of scholars and subject matter experts. They will explore business models that enable workers to build wealth on top of wages, creating new opportunities to strengthen the middle class and close racial and gender wealth gaps. 

“If we want to build an economy that provides financial opportunity and security for more people, we need to understand how to include more employees in ownership,” said Adria Scharf, Associate Director of the Rutgers Institute for the Study of Employee Ownership and Profit Sharing. “These fellows are advancing understanding of employee share ownership, profit sharing, and similar tools for sharing wealth and profits, in important ways. We are delighted to recognize and support their work."

The Institute is the world’s leading academic research hub dedicated to employee share ownership, equity compensation, profit sharing, and worker cooperatives. The fellowships are funded by major foundations, employee-owned companies, and individuals interested in growing a critical body of knowledge and a robust field. Selected on a competitive basis, the 2023-24 class is one of the largest and most diverse in the 16-year history of the program: 

  • Adrianto, University of Minnesota, Employee Ownership Foundation Louis O. Kelso Fellow
  • Courtney Berner, University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives, Executive Fellow
  • Vipul Bokil, University of Pittsburgh, Institute Fellow
  • David Bright, Democratic Ownership Matters & The Church of England, Executive Fellow
  • Dylan Cooper, California State University Channel Islands, Robert W. Edwards Fellow
  • Sean Geobey, University of Waterloo (Canada), The Social Capital Partners Fellow
  • Daniel Goldstein, Retired CEO of Folience Inc., Executive Fellow
  • Tej Gonza, University of Ljubljana & Institute for Economic Democracy (Slovenia), Nachson and Arieh Mimran Fellow
  • Joo Hun Han, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (South Korea), Rutgers Research Fellow
  • Julian Hill, Georgia State University, W.K. Kellogg Foundation Fellow
  • John Hoffmire, University of Oxford (UK), Faculty Fellow and Mentor
  • Melissa Hoover, Rutgers University, Institute Fellow
  • Eric Hoyt, Stockton University, Institute Fellow
  • Oyindamola A. Ijewere, Project Equity, W. K. Kellogg Foundation Fellow
  • Esteban Kelly, United States Federation of Worker Cooperatives, Executive Fellow
  • Biko Koenig, Franklin & Marshall College, Institute Fellow
  • Fidan Kurtulus, University of Massachusetts Amherst & Rutgers University, J. Robert Beyster Fellow
  • Jegoo Lee, University of Rhode Island, Institute Fellow
  • Christopher Mackin, Rutgers University & Harvard Law School, Ray Carey Fellow, Abby Rockefeller Fellow
  • Brendan Martin, Seed Commons, Executive Fellow
  • Svetlana Masjutina, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, W.K. Kellogg Foundation Fellow
  • Joost Minnaar, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (Netherlands), Bill Nobles Fellow
  • Jack Moriarity, Rutgers University & Lafayette Square Foundation, Executive Fellow
  • Andrew Pendleton, University of New South Wales (Australia), Nachson and Arieh Mimran Fellow
  • Ida Rademacher, The Aspen Institute, Executive Fellow
  • Sarah Reibstein, Barnard College & New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), Nachson and Arieh Mimran Fellow
  • Delilah Rothenberg, The Predistribution Initiative, Executive Fellow
  • Emre Sahin, University of Nevada, Reno, Rutgers Research Fellow
  • Adria Scharf, Rutgers University, Joseph Cabral Distinguished Scholar and Fellow, The Elias Foundation Fellow
  • Zoe Schlag, Common Trust, Executive Fellow
  • Katherine Sobering, University of North Texas, Faculty Fellow and Mentor
  • Marcelo Vieta, University of Toronto (Canada), The Social Capital Partners Fellow
  • Jason Wiener, Main Street Phoenix Project & Colorado Governor’s Employee Ownership Commission, Executive Fellow

Click here to learn more about the fellows and their research topics.

“Rutgers has built a powerful brain trust of experts across a broad spectrum of backgrounds, all focused on rigorous study of what happens when employees own a fair share of their workplaces,” said Melissa Hoover, Senior Fellow in the Rutgers Institute for the Study of Employee Ownership and Profit Sharing. “This rich laboratory fosters not just excellent scholarship but innovative collaborations that create better companies and better jobs.”    

The Institute made the announcement ahead of its annual conference on employee ownership research (January 12-14), one of the world’s largest convenings of experts on capital shares in the workplace. In addition to revealing the class of fellows, the Institute announced the winners of its biennial Joyce Rothschild Book Prize, recognizing significant contributions to the advancement of economic democracy:

  • Shared Winner: “Cooperatives at Work” by George CheneyMatt NoyesEmi DoJoseba AzkarragaMarcelo Vieta, and Charlie Michel
  • Shared Winner: “Own This!: How Platform Cooperatives Help Workers Build a Democratic Internet” by R. Trebor Scholz
  • Honorable Mention: “Co-operative Struggles: Work Conflicts in Argentina’s New Worker Co-operatives” by Denise Kasparian
  • Honorable Mention: “Cooperation: A Political, Economic, and Social Theory” by Bernard E. Harcourt
  • Honorable Mention: “Create Amazing: Turning Your Employees into Owners for Explosive Growth” by Greg Graves
  • Honorable Mention: “Humanity @ Work & Life: Global Diffusion of the Mondragon Cooperative Ecosystem Experience” by Christina A. Clamp and Michael A. Peck

The Institute presented its highest honor, the Institute Award, to Cindy Turcot in recognition of her decades-long commitment to building employee-owned companies. Turcot is the Past Chair of the Board of Directors of The ESOP Association and the Employee Ownership Foundation, and she served as president and CEO of the employee-owned Gardener’s Supply Company.

Press Contact
Steve Flamisch
Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations
848.252.9011 (cell)

About the School
The Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations (SMLR) is the world’s leading source of expertise on managing and representing workers, designing effective organizations, and building strong employment relationships. 

About the Institute
SMLR’s Institute for the Study of Employee Ownership and Profit Sharing conducts empirical research, analyzes policy, and sponsors the leading global fellowship program and academic conferences in the field. The Institute also manages a program to help college professors teach about these subjects (The Curriculum Library for Employee Ownership) and a technical assistance center (The NJ/NY Center for Employee Ownership). The Institute recently launched a Coursera program with short, engaging videos introducing employee ownership and a free, online program, sponsored by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, to help retiring business owners sell to their employees.

About the Fellowships
The Beyster family established the research fellowship program and the J. Robert Beyster endowed professorship in 2008. With generous support from the Beyster Foundation for Enterprise Development, the Employee Ownership Foundation, and other donors, it has grown to become one of the largest fellowship programs at Rutgers University with more than 200 research fellows and faculty mentors worldwide.