Sophia Town

Sophia Town

Assistant Professor
Leading People and Organizations
Gabelli School of Business
Joined Fordham: 2020

General Information:
140 W. 62nd Street, Room 431,
New York, NY 10023
  • Sophia Town, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of organizational behavior at the Gabelli School of Business. As a qualitative researcher, Town explores how leaders can cultivate both knowledge and wisdom in service of individual, organizational, and societal flourishing. Her research program reflects three primary streams of research: (1) wisdom-based leadership, (2) systemic change for human flourishing, and (3) transformative business pedagogy.

    In the classroom, Professor Town’s curriculum is guided by the question: “How can we develop compassionate leaders in service of a flourishing world?” She has designed and taught a number of reflective and experiential courses for the undergraduate, M.B.A., and Executive M.B.A. levels, covering topics such as leadership development, emotional intelligence, mindfulness, conflict management, and negotiation. Each course aims to humanize business education by fostering the “knowing,” “doing,” and “being” of wisdom in the workplace.

    Regarding transformative pedagogy, Town leads Fordham’s Human Flourishing Project (FHFP), a mixed-methods, interdisciplinary research lab that explores behavioral, psychological, communicative, and spiritual development in business education. Related to this project, she serves as a Research Affiliate and Advisory Board Member for the Human Flourishing Program at Harvard University. She currently oversees Fordham’s collaborative participation in a multi-year, grant-funded research study with the Human Flourishing Program at Harvard University to study the role of ‘Love’ in business education.

    In addition to her professorial role, Town is a Fellow for the Center for Humanistic Management at Fordham University and a Research Consultant for the Center for Mindfulness, Compassion, and Resilience at Arizona State University. In 2018, she was named the Jeanne Lind Herberger Fellow for transformative research on work and life. She has received several teaching awards, including the 2018 Teaching Excellence Award (ASU) and the 2021 Dean’s Award for Teaching Innovation (Fordham University). In 2023, Town won the Dean’s Award for Faculty Service (Fordham University). Her work has been supported by grants from the John Templeton Foundation, the Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics, and the International Association of Jesuit Universities.

    To connect with Assistant Professor Sophia Town or her work, you can find her on LinkedIn and Google Scholar.

    • Ph.D.: Organizational Communication, Arizona State University 
    • M.A.: Human Communication (organizational concentration), Arizona State University
    • B.S.: (Summa Cum Laude) Communication, Arizona State University
    • Leadership
    • Human flourishing
    • Emotions in organizations
    • Mindfulness & contemplative practice
    • Organizational paradox
    • Transformative pedagogy
    • Qualitative research methods
    • Town, S., Reina, C., Brummans, B., Pirson, M. (2024). Humanistic organizing: The transformative force of mindful organizational communication. Academy of Management Review. 
    • Town, S., & Hollwitz, J. (2024). The paradoxes of interesting theory building. Journal of Management Inquiry. 
    • Hong, Y., Town, S., Wang, C. H. (2023). Stay hungry, stay foolish: A novel perspective on needs satisfaction and personal initiative. Journal of Vocational Behavior. 
    • Piedmont, R., Town, S., Hollwitz, J. (2023) Undergraduate Management Course that Promotes the Existential Growth for Business. Journal of Management, Spirituality, & Religion.
    • Plunkett, M., Webb, N., Town, S. (2023). ‘Humanistic’ and ‘opportunistic’ charisma: An exploratory study of how charismatic people make sense of their charisma. Humanistic Management Journal. 
    • Town, S., Weber, J. & Nagy, N. (2022). Changes in business students’ value orientations after the COVID-19 outbreak: An exploration. Business and Society Review. 
    • Zanin, A., Avalos, B., Town, S., Tracy, S., & Stanley, L. (2021). Discursive, Communal, and Individual Coping Strategies:  How U.S. Adults Co-constructed Coping During Preliminary COVID-19 Stressors. Health Communication. 
    • Stanley, L., Zanin, A., Avalos, B., Tracy, S., & Town, S. (2021). Collective emotion during collective trauma: A metaphor analysis of the COVID-19 global pandemic. Qualitative Health Research. 
    • Pirson, M., Piedmont, R., Town, S., Nagy, N., Haber, J., MacDonald, I. F., Janssen, C., Teague, J., Hollwitz, J., Gurtata, J. (2021). I was transformed, but I didn’t love the process: Testing students’ learning and feedback of the new ‘humanistic’ management course. Journal of Jesuit Business Education. 
    • Adame, E., Tracy, S., Town, S., Towles, M., Razzante, R., Tietsort, C., Kamrath, J. K., Clark, L., Tremblay, R., Pettigrew, J., Donovan, M. C. J., & Becker, K. (2021). Can We Create the ‘Being’ of Leadership?: A Mixed-Methods Study of Two Leadership Pedagogies at a Southwestern, U.S. University. Journal of Applied Communication Research
    • Town, S., Donovan, M. C. J., & Beach, E. (2020). A ‘gestalt’ framework of emotions and organizing: Integrating innate, constructed, and discursive ontologies. Management Learning. DOI:
    • Tracy, S. J., Avalos, B., Martinez, L., Stanley, B.L., Town, S., & Zanin, A. (2022). Compassion, burnout, and self-care during COVID-19: On the collective impact of self-soothing super highways. In L. Browning, J. Sørnes, & P. J. Svenkerud (Eds.), Organizational communication in the time of coronavirus: Ethnographies and the future of work. Palgrave.
    • Tracy, S., & Town, S. (2020). Problematizing the real/fake dichotomy. In Brown, A. (Ed.) Oxford Handbook of Identities in Organizations. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. 

    For more, please see Professor Town's Google Scholar page.