Russell joined Virginia Tech as an assistant professor in 1983. She was promoted to associate professor in 1988 and to professor in 1993.
She began her research career in the scheduling and design of manufacturing operations. More recently, her research has examined issues in quality and supply chain management, with special emphasis on humanitarian and health care operations. Her research has also addressed privacy and security issues in enterprise software and industrial networks.
In 2016, Russell received the Gyrna Award from the American Society of Quality. The award recognizes the paper, published in the preceding year, which has made the largest single contribution to the extension of understanding and knowledge in the philosophy, principles, or methods of quality management.
Russell has served as president of the APICS Foundation and co-director of the Supply Chain Academic Talent Initiative. She is a past president of the Southwest Virginia Chapter of APICS, the professional association for supply chain management. She has held numerous offices in the Decision Science Institute and the Production and Operations Management Society.
Her honors include university and college Certificates of Teaching Excellence. She also received the MBA Association’s Outstanding Professor award and Pamplin’s Excellence in Diversity award.
She has published in the top journals in her field and currently serves as associate editor for two academic journals. In addition, she has co-authored two textbooks: "Operations and Supply Chain Management" and "Service Operations Management."
Russell earned a Ph.D. and a B.S. from Virginia Tech and an MBA from Old Dominion University. She holds two professional certifications from APICS: Certified Fellow in Production and Inventory Management and Certified Supply Chain Professional.
She succeeds Bernard W. (Chuck) Taylor, who has stepped down following more than three decades as department head.
Written by Courtney Cutright