Dr. Karin BraunsbergerNearly every spring since 2012, Dr. Karin Braunsberger has traveled to San Juan La Laguna, Guatemala, with students enrolled in her “Social Entrepreneurship in Emerging Markets” class. In the high-poverty region, USFSP students gain real-world experience helping local women’s weaving cooperatives develop marketing plans and identify business opportunities.

“This international learning process challenges them to use their business knowledge and skills in a foreign culture that is vastly different from the culture here in the U.S.,” said Dr. Braunsberger, a native of Frankfurt, Germany.  Students learn how to adjust the strategies and tactics they learn in class to work in an emerging market. They also learn how to operate in markets in which the needs or objectives of the client differ, and with whom they do not share a language.  “I think this course challenges students to think outside the box and become more creative as they have to find low-cost solutions to the problems the co-ops are experiencing.”

Much of Dr. Braunsberger’s academic research focuses on sustainability and consumer behavior, identity and activism.

“Understanding consumer behavior allows marketers to help consumers identify their needs and wants. Based on that knowledge, marketers offer them products that are tailored to them,” Dr. Braunsberger said, adding that marketers have an opportunity to discover how they can help change consumers’ habits that are potentially harmful to themselves or the environment. “The latter is important because our consumption-based society is not conducive to a healthy planet that can support not only us but future generations.”

Dr. Braunsberger’s most current research investigates the differences in beliefs, attitudes and opinions between meat-eating and vegan cultures.

“I am trying to understand the difference between these two consumer groups because prior research has shown that meat consumption is not sustainable, and we have to find a way to sell the idea of plant-based diets to those who embrace animal products if we want to move these consumers to a more sustainable lifestyle,” she said.

Dr. Braunsberger has taught in the College of Business at USFSP since 2001, previously serving on the faculty in the business schools at Arkansas Tech University and Al Akhawayn University in Morocco. Her research has been published in several notable journals, including International Marketing Review and Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations.

“Understanding consumer behavior allows marketers to help consumers identify their needs and wants.”

– Dr. Karin Braunsberger

Dr. Karin Braunsberger


  • Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration in Marketing from the University of Texas – Arlington
  • Master of Business Administration in Marketing with an emphasis in International Marketing from the University of Texas – Arlington
  • Master of Arts in Education in English from Johann Wolfgang Goethe Universitaet

One thing you would be surprised to learn about Dr. Braunsberger:
“I am co-founder of the 501(c)3 nonprofit organization Para Adelante, which provides scholarship funds to impoverished women in Guatemala. We currently finance the university education of two Mayan women, one of whom studies law and the other social work.”