2022-2023 Featured Scholar
Liz Cartier, assistant professor of Management, is named FLC's 2022-23 Featured Scholar.
For years, Liz Cartier has been researching what goes into communities and the key aspects that build them up or break them down.
It turns out there is much at play regarding how and why communities function.
“Communities are created by people, and things can change based on our interactions and relationships,” said Cartier, assistant professor of Management in the School of Business Administration. “Who we are socially and culturally and the power structures we create impact the communities in which we exist.”
"Businesses are like small communities; for me, my research and instruction really go hand in hand."
— Liz Cartier, assistant professor of
To her, communities are more than just a unified body of individuals— they are complex fusions and interplays of unique humans.
Although she’s a member of multiple groups—skiers, academics, restauranteurs— Cartier’s initial curiosity about communities came from her time in the service industry. While working toward her Master’s in Business Administration, Cartier was employed at J.Bo’s Pizza & Rib Co. in Durango. Inspired by her experience as a server, she started researching the social systems in place at restaurants and how certain people hold power and others don’t.
“I remember thinking, is the customer holding the power, or am I holding the power? Or do we share power?” she said.
Cartier followed this line of questioning into her Management doctorate program, wanting to learn more about power in business and power in communities. Today, Cartier is expanding her research to uncover more about the interactions and relationships between people within the Durango community as it grows and changes.
Her recent research examines how the increase in people living in Durango may change the social structures and cultural dynamics that make the town particularly unique. This bit of research follows her time studying how the Durango community adapted and communicated during the 416 Fire in 2018, as well as her research from 2017 that focused on ski culture.
“Most of my research stems from personal experience,” she said. Cartier combines her interest in social structures with her expertise in organizational behaviors to instruct students on the human resources side of business administration.
“Businesses are like small communities; for me, my research and instruction really go hand in hand.”
Every day with her students offers more inspiration for her research to understand social phenomena and “who we are as humans and why we do what we do.”
For her contributions to advancing the fields of organizational behavior and human resources and her scholarly work completed while at Fort Lewis College, Cartier was named the 2022-23 Featured Scholar. The award recognizes her deep commitment to building knowledge, an endeavor Cartier pursues with passion and purpose.
“It’s one of the things I can give back to society.”