• Title:
    Associate Professor of Business
  • Department:
    Business and Security Studies

Karen O. Spohn, Ph.D.



Dr. Karen O. Spohn teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in economics and finance in the Division of Business and Security Studies at Rivier University. In 2013, she was named the Business Educator of the Year at the New Hampshire Excellence in Education Awards. In 2018, she was a Team Participant in the Institute on Project Based Learning (PBL) at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Dr. Spohn’s research on sustainability is incorporated in the courses she teaches. In Spring 2019, Dr. Spohn co-taught Integrated Biotechnology & Sustainable Solutions with Dr. Jocelyn Fraga Muller, Biology Department, Rivier University. This interdisciplinary course included planning, implementing, and evaluating an environmental service learning project in Costa Rica. Her Socially Responsible Investing course is one of twelve highlighted on the Stock-Trak portfolio simulation website. Dr. Spohn won Best of Region 1 Award at the Northeast Council of Business Schools and Programs ACBSP Region 1 Conference on “Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility in the Classroom” for her presentation, “Teaching ESG Investing with Portfolio Simulation.”

Prior to her service at Rivier University, Karen worked as an economist and regional economic forecaster at the corporate headquarters of The WEFA Group Inc in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania. Karen was previously employed by Ohio University as Program Manager of Research and Development for the University’s Institute for Local Government Administration and Rural Development (ILGARD). At ILGARD, she managed research projects addressing economic development issues in the Southeastern Ohio area. Project sponsors included the Ohio Governor’s Office of Appalachia, Ohio Board of Regents, National Business Incubator Association, and the Ford Foundation. At Ohio University, she also served as Assistant Director of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Assistance Center of Southeastern Ohio. While receiving her M.S. in Economics, Karen worked for the Corporate Planning Department of Delmarva Power & Light in Wilmington, Delaware and as a consultant for the Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce. Spohn has also taught at Marietta College, Ohio University, University of Delaware, and University of Massachusetts, Lowell.


  • Ph.D., University of Delaware
  • M.S., University of Delaware
  • B.S., University of Delaware

Academic Philosophy

“I am constantly experimenting with new ways of teaching. I try to make use of the latest technology and resources that are available. In a typical course, I present the information necessary to understand the models and data needed to analyze a problem. I then give students opportunities to apply these concepts to an area of their interest.”


  • Environmental Social Governance (ESG)
  • Sustainable Investing
  • Corporate Finance
  • Economic and Business Forecasting
  • Executive compensation

Courses Taught

  • BUS 220 Financial Accounting
  • BUS 224 Principles of Microeconomics
  • BUS 225 Principles of Macroeconomics
  • BUS 309 Managerial Accounting
  • BUS 319 Managerial Finance
  • BUS 337 Managerial Economics
  • BUS 356 Administrative Finance
  • BUS 391 Sustainable Value
  • BUS 418 International Economics and Finance
  • BUS 430 Sustainable Solutions
  • BUS 529 Economic Analysis
  • BUS 550 Global Finance for Managers
  • BUS 555 ESG Investing

Recent Publications and Proceedings

  1. “Integrated Reporting Trends and Predictions from an Equity Carve Out Model” at the International Academy of Business and Economics 2019 Conference in West Palm Beach, FL March 2019.
  2. “Myths & Moats of Competitive Advantage: Disparities between Practice and the Strategy Lexicon” with Kevin Wayne at the 43rd Annual Meeting of the Northeast Business & Economics Association on the campus of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York in November 2016.
  3. “Materiality Matrices and Transaction Costs” presented at the International Academy of Business & Economics 2015 Conference in Orlando, FL on March 23, 2015.
  4. “Environmental Social Governance and Firm Value,” Sabbatical Research presented at Rivier University on February 12, 2015.
  5. “Teaching the ESGs of Sustainable Investing with Portfolio Simulation” presented at the ACBSP Annual Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah June 21, 2013. Presentation won Best of Region 1 Award at the Northeast Council of Business Schools and Programs ACBSP Region 1 Conference on “Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility in the Classroom” on November 2, 2012.
  6. “Luxury Consumption in BRICS: Rationale behind ‘Irrational’ Consumption Patterns” presented with Gregory Kivenzor at the 2012 AMS World Marketing Congress/Cultural Perspectives in Marketing. September 3, 2012.
  7. Reading the U.S. Economy: A Classroom Activity in Economic Literacy” presented at the New Hampshire Academy of Finance Professional Development Workshop. March 16, 2012.
  8. “Environmental Social Governance” at the New Hampshire Business Education Association Conference. November 8, 2011.
  9. Environmental Social Governance and the New Finance Curriculum” at the New Hampshire Academy of Finance Professional Development Workshop March 25, 2011.
  10. Spohn, K. (2009). The value of keeping the faith in a bear market. Northeast Business & Economics Association Proceedings, USA, 200-204.