Since 1919

The Prairie News

Since 1919

The Prairie News

Since 1919

The Prairie News

Ask the Professor: Dr. Joanna Kimbell, clinical assistant professor of business law and management

Dylan Green

Dr. Joanna P. Kimbell is a clinical assistant professor of business law and management at the Paul and Virginia Engler College of Business. She teaches courses in conflict resolution and negotiation, business law and economics.

Dr. Kimbell was working as an analyst at General Motors when she decided to pursue a master’s degree in business administration (M.B.A.). Her work mentor encouraged her to earn a law degree at the same time.

“She said, ‘I know your personality. I know your strengths as your mentor. I want you to think about this,’” Dr. Kimbell said. “So, I took her seriously and I started researching. And in the end, I thought what the heck? I’ll try. So, I applied to what they call dual degree programs. Normally, law school is three years and then normally, an M.B.A. is two years. A dual degree program can shorten it. I got both degrees in four years, and I am glad now that I did it. I’m glad I listened to my mentor.”

Dr. Kimbell called those four years in the dual degree program very intense.

“And they told me I actually could have shortened it and got both degrees in three years if I’d taken classes through the summer, but I was supporting myself,” Dr. Kimbell said. “I had some scholarships, but the rest of it had to come from me. So, I was working part-time during school and I had to work full-time during the summers to pay for things.”

Dr. Kimbell worked as an attorney and an auditor before joining West Texas A&M University in 2015.

Dr. Joanna Kimbell is a professor, actor and author. (Jo Early)

“The College of Business here is accredited by one of the top accrediting bodies,” Dr. Kimbell said. “It’s the same body that accredited where I got my economics degree and where I got my master’s. So, coming here, I knew this would be working with the best of the best. And I also felt like the environment already felt like home because it was so close to the environment where I got my own education.”

Dr. Kimbell said she appreciates the freedom the College of Business allows professors in their research; she can pursue any research interest related to business law.

“More recently, I’ve been focusing on how the old laws do and don’t work in the new world of the Internet,” Dr. Kimbell said. “Again, this gets to free speech and censorship, the Communications Decency Act, Section 230. It actually comes up in the news every now and then where people are saying, why are these platforms like, you know, Facebook, X, all the other social media? Why can they make money off of disinformation or off of bullying people? And it goes back to this one. Federal law that was actually written before any of those social media platforms were invented. That, to me, is interesting because we’ve got to be ready to talk about new business and the new world.”

Outside of the classroom, Dr. Kimbell has acted in several productions at Amarillo Little Theatre (ALT). Her first role at ALT was as Miss Wells in the 2008 production of “Dracula.” She recently played Euphronia Jekyll in “Chemical Imbalance: A Jekyll and Hyde Play” in October. Dr. Kimbell said that her castmates demonstrated how to balance the dual roles of professor and actor.

“You’ve got one show, and one of your fellow actors is a schoolteacher,” Dr. Kimbell said. “And when she’s not up on stage, rehearsing or performing, she’s back in the dressing room grading homework. So, the next audition, I had a research publication deadline. During the audition, I went up and did my lines. I sang my song, did choreography. In between, I was sitting in the seats with a little penlight highlighting articles I needed to cite in my own paper. You just you do what you have to do, little things.”

Dr. Kimbell also publishes anthologies and works of fiction under different pen names. As Maryanne Wells, Dr. Kimbell released a collection of fairytales from New Mexico. She is planning to rerelease her fiction series, The Undead Bar Association, beginning in February of next year under a new pen name: Jayn Campbell.

“The inspiration for that series was a conversation in the student break room during law school,” Dr. Kimbell said. “Somebody said, ‘I wonder if anybody ever thought about writing a will for a vampire.’ And it took off from there. So, the first book in that series that will be released in 2024 will be called Law School After Dark. And some of the stuff in there was actually inspired by weird things that happened when I worked in the law school library.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributors
Jo Early
Jo Early, Editor-in-Chief
Hello, my name is Jo Early and I am a senior digital communication & media major from Amarillo. I transferred from Amarillo College in Spring 2023 and began working as editor-in-chief in Fall 2023. I want to inform the West Texas A&M Community and spotlight student resources. In the future, I hope to work for NPR.
Dylan Green
Dylan Green, Graphic Designer
Hi, my name is Dylan Green! I’m a senior Graphic Design major, and have worked with The Prairie News since Spring 2023. My career goal is to do design work for the music industry or other arts-related fields. I enjoy collecting vinyl records, listening to music, and making art in my free time.

Comments (0)

All The PRAIRIE Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *