Faculty & Research

Nakeisha S. Ferguson

Assistant Professor : Marketing Department

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Nakeisha S. Ferguson joined the Opus College of Business faculty in 2009. She received her Ph.D. in advertising from University of Texas at Austin in 2008. Her educational qualifications include a B.S. in marketing and a M.A. in strategic communication, which she earned at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Ferguson has a passion for teaching and works diligently to develop her zeal for teaching into an enjoyable yet educational classroom experience she describes as “edutainment.”  Her primary research interest focuses on the intersection of popular culture and marketing communication with an emphasis on urban and multicultural markets. Her recent research examines topics such as consumer responses and ethical perceptions of multicultural marketing communications and brand placements in popular music. Additionally, she has presented her findings at numerous conferences across the world. Her research can be found in the Journal of Business Research, Journal of Public Policy, Journal of Research for Consumers, and Social Business.

Ferguson has received numerous awards for her commitment to multicultural student achievement, community involvement and academic research on the intersection of popular culture and branding. Some of the honors include:  American Marketing Association Foundation Valuing Diversity Award, Advertising Educational Foundation Visiting Scholar at BBDO NY, Multicultural Student Services Outstanding Faculty Commitment Award and the Witherspoon Research Award. 

Ferguson serves as the chair of the Marketing Communications Special Interest Group for the American Marketing Association. She is also member of the advisory board for the Marcus Graham Project – a program designed to identify, expose, mentor and train ethnically diverse men and women in all aspects of the media industry, including advertising, entertainment and marketing –  and the Billingsly School of Music and Arts.  Her professional activities in recent years have included projects with various small businesses and nonprofits around the country.


Academic Background

B.S., marketing, University of Missouri-Columbia
M.A., advertising, University of Missouri-Columbia

Ph.D., advertising, University of Texas at Austin

Research Specialties

  • Urban & multicultural marketing communications
  • Intersection of popular culture and branding 
  • Marketplace diversity
  • Covert marketing

Current Research

  • Branding within popular music
  • Multicultural marketing communications
  • Ethics & target marketing

Major Works

  • Demangeot, Catherine, Natalie R. Adkins, Rene D. Mueller, Geraldine R. Henderson, Nakeisha S. Ferguson, James M. Mandiberg, Abhijit Roy, Guillaume D. Johnson, Eva Kipnis, Chris Pullig, Amanda J. Broderick, and Miguel Zuñiga, "Towards intercultural competency in multicultural marketplaces," Journal of Public Policy and Marketing (2013): 1-31.
  • Kipnis, Eva, Amanda J. Broderick, Catherine Demangeot, Natalie R. Adkins, Nakeisha S. Ferguson, Geraldine R. Henderson, Guillaume Johnson, James M. Mandiberg, Rene D. Mueller, Chris Pullig, Abhijit Roy, Miguel A. Zuñiga,  "Branding beyond prejudice: Navigating multicultural marketplaces for consumer well-being," Journal of Business Research (2012)
  • Ferguson, Nakeisha, A. Broderick, C. Demangeot, N. Adkins,  G. Henderson, G. Johnson, E. Kipnis, C. Pullig, J. Mandiberg, R. Mueller, A. Roy and M. Zuniga, "Consumer Empowerment in Multicultural Marketplaces: Navigating Multicultural Identities to Reduce Consumer Vulnerability," Journal of Research for Consumers 19 (December, 2011).
  • Ferguson, Nakeisha, A. Broderick, C. Demangeot, E. Kipnis, C. Pullig, M. Zuniga, A. Roy, R. Mueller, J. Mandiberg, G. Johnson, G. Henderson and N. Adkins, "No Harm Done? Navigating Culture-based Branding in Multicultural Marketplaces: A Research Agenda," Social Business (December, 2011).

Significant Scholarly Honors

  • American Marketing Association Foundation Valuing Diversity Award,  2007
  • Morris Hite/Tracey Locke Presidential Scholarship, University of Texas at Austin, 2006-2007
  • Witherspoon Research Award, Annette Strauss Institute, Summer 2006
  • Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship, Honorable Mention, 2005