Assistant Professor of Business & Financial Services
John E. Simon School of Business
Erika Rasure, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of business and financial services at Maryville University. Her 13 years of experience in business and financial services includes roles in consulting, financial education, and as a startup founder.
For the past 10 years she’s been the senior consultant and president at St. Louis Financial Therapy, which offers business-to-business financial education, planning, and consulting services to executive-level management and startup stakeholders.
In 2015, she founded Doctor Erika’s Man Care, a startup company that offers beard-grooming products for men.
She is regularly invited to speak at conferences in the St. Louis region and specializes in transformative learning experiences in the many contexts where she teaches.
Erika Rasure: Ahead of the Curve
Erika Rasure displays an American flag in her living room that reminds her every day of why she has devoted herself to a career in financial therapy. It is her late father’s burial flag, given to her by the U.S. Air Force, with whom her father served. When Rasure was only 13 years old, her father died from multiple sclerosis.
“Every time I look at his burial flag, I think, ‘Wow. Had it not been for his military service, he would have had no death benefit at all,’” Rasure says. “This concept has really stuck with me.”
Indeed, her early grasp of this concept, as a grieving and precocious young teenager, was what sent Rasure on the path toward the career in which she is thriving today. Soon after her father died, Rasure resolved that she would become a lawyer when she grew up. She planned to specialize in estate planning so she could bring compassion and sound advice to other grieving families sorting their financial affairs during one of the darker periods of their lives.
Rasure earned her undergraduate degree in law, philosophy, and rhetoric, with a minor in political science, but during her senior year, she began having mounting doubts about becoming a lawyer.
Once she started a master’s program in consumer economics at the University of Missouri, Rasure encountered another obstacle. It turned out she actually found the day-to-day aspects of estate planning quite monotonous and dull. Luckily, the program also helped her discover what she liked much more: talking with people face to face about their money habits and backgrounds and counseling them to develop healthier behaviors when necessary.
“I love being social. I love talking to people. I love uncovering the uncoverable,” Rasure says. “I’m good at getting people to think and be self-reflective. That’s how I made that switch to reconcile the technical side of personal financial planning with the more holistic side of the human condition.”
Having finally zeroed in on the precise field in which she would apply the passion she had nursed since childhood, Rasure pursued a PhD in personal financial planning from Kansas State University. She gravitated toward financial therapy, a more psychologically focused version of financial planning that draws from other disciplines, including behavioral economics, personal finance, psychology, and marriage and family therapy.
While at K-State, Rasure discovered that financial therapy was a burgeoning field that had only recently become more widely known. As a PhD student, she had the opportunity to participate in one of the earliest studies of the field and to co-author a paper helping to define financial therapy. Rasure has been working as a financial therapist for a decade now, meeting regularly with business owners and other individuals.
In 2015, Rasure started as an assistant professor of business and financial services at Maryville University. She says that working for a university that prides itself on being disruptive in the classroom has been a wonderful fit for her background and teaching style. Rasure recognizes that the broader and more modern use of technology informs financial behavior and decision-making with personalized, data-driven experiences derived from apps.
“There is limited research on how new technology and diversity perspective inform personal financial planning. These are under-addressed and significant real-world problems for financial planners and therapists — with considerable implications for the financial services and software development industries in addressing how to create meaningful tech products that are reflective of the financial nuances commonly observed in underrepresented groups,” Rasure explains. “Exploring the intersection of technology with financial therapy presents an opportunity for students to explore how the creation and integration of tech tools, such as personal financial planning apps, highlights the challenges native to the complex cognitive, behavioral, emotional, and relational aspects of personal finance.”
Rasure’s personal finance course includes a final project that requires students to select, download, and use a personal financial planning app. They then create a video that reflects their experience, which they share with their classmates for peer review. The project challenges students to reflect on three important questions as they use the technology:
- How do these apps positively and creatively influence outcomes for seekers of financial help?
- How can the lens of diversity be used in conjunction with financial technology to close the gaps evident in research?
- How can we better inform the creation of financial technology apps for diverse consumers of financial tools and information?
“Some of the things I’m interested in — especially financial therapy — aren’t very conventional! I want people to be brave enough to write their own money story and be proud to read it aloud,” Rasure says. “I’m a risk-taker, and Maryville encourages that. It’s great, because I work at a university that is itself ahead of the curve, which is exactly where I want to be.”
Archuleta, K. L., Burr, E. A., Dale, A. K., Canale, A., Danford, D., Rasure, E., Nelson, J., Williams, K., Schindler, K., Coffman, B., Horwitz, E. (2012). What is financial therapy? Discovering the mechanisms and aspects of an emerging field. Journal of Financial Therapy, 3(2). www.jftonline.org
Archuleta, K. L., Dale, A. K., Danford, D., Rasure, E., Williams, K., Burr, E., Schindler, K., Coffman, B. (2011). An Initial Membership Profile of the Financial Therapy Association. Journal of Financial Therapy, 2(2). www.jftonline.org
Cupples, S., Rasure, E., Grable, J. (2013). Educational achievement as a mediator between gender and financial risk tolerance: An exploratory study. Ewha Journal of Social Sciences Journal, 29(1).
Archuleta, K. Rasure, E. Burr, E. Boyle, J., American Council on Consumer Interests, “Do couples need to be on the same page? Exploring shared financial goals as a mediator for financial anxiety, financial satisfaction, and relationship satisfaction,” Portland, OR. (April 11, 2013).
Fernatt, F., Stolberg, S., Blue, J., Cupples, S., Rasure, E., Grable, J., American Council on Consumer Interests, “Are Recipients of Payday and Car Title Loans More Risk Tolerant than Others?,” Memphis, TN. (April 2012).
Horwitz, E., Stolberg, S., Rasure, E., Grable, J., Webb, American Council on Consumer Interests, “Social comparisons, financial Stressors, and family life cycle stage as factors impacting family financial stress.,” Memphis, TN. (April 2012).
- MKT 491: Marketing Analytics
- MKT 365: Marketing and Digital Media
- BUS 150: Business Communications
- FIN 215: Personal Finance
- MGMT 487: Leadership
Areas of Expertise:
- Financial planning
- Personal finance
- Financial therapy
- Innovation in business
- Marketing analytics
- Individualized learning