Allison Crick, University of South Florida, Named Grant Recipient

WASHINGTON, DC—June 15, 2021The Direct Selling Education Foundation (DSEF) is pleased to announce its 2021 Sales Doctoral Student Grant Program recipient. Allison Crick, a student at the University of South Florida (USF), was awarded a grant that will help Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)-accredited doctoral granting institutions build, recruit and retain the next generation of aspiring sales-focused faculty and scholars. Allison is working with Dr. Andy Artis, Dr. Doug Hughes and Dr. Nathan Hartmann at USF’s School of Marketing and Innovation.

“On behalf of all of us at DSEF, I’d like to congratulate Allison Crick,” said Kimberly Harris Bliton, DSEF Senior Director, Academic Initiatives. “Four years ago, DSEF Fellow Dr. Jaramillo and I were discussing how we might encourage more PhD students to pursue an academic career in sales to meet current and future needs. The DSEF Doctoral Sales Grant Program was born from that conversation. We’re pleased to offer the grant for a third year.”

Dr. Fernando Jaramillo, (Professor and Associate Dean for Students and Programs, University of Texas at Arlington) and Dr. Greg W. Marshall, (Charles Harwood Professor of Marketing and Strategy, Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College) administer the grant program, along with Bliton and DSEF Executive Director Gary Huggins.

“Now more than ever, funding for innovative new research on best practices for direct selling is of the utmost importance,” said Marshall. “The DSEF Sales Grant program recognizes and rewards the best of the best of next generation sales scholars whose work can positively impact direct selling practices well into the future.”

The grant recipients were selected from a pool of applicants who submitted proposals relevant to the direct selling channel, DSEF and Direct Selling Association (DSA) member companies. Over a four-year period, the recipients will receive $4,000 to develop and execute a research project focusing on a topic of relevance for DSEF and DSA member companies.

DSEF 2019 Doctoral Sales Grant recipients Carissa Harris, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and Jen Riley, Kansas State University, will continue to receive grant disbursements through 2022. DSEF 2020 recipients Molly Ahearne from the University of Georgia and Scott Hachey from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa will receive disbursements through 2023.


For more than 40 years, DSEF has partnered with members of the academic community to support research and education programs. These programs expand the knowledge and understanding of the fundamental principles of direct selling. The Foundation partners with nearly 250 professors in a variety of disciplines—including sales, marketing, management, economics, ethics and entrepreneurship—to develop direct selling-related academic research, case studies and teaching content. In 2020, U.S. retail sales from direct selling totaled more than $40 billion, with 7.7 million independent salespeople building full-time or part-time businesses in the United States.