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Organizing Committee

Rahsan Akbulut

Academic Director, MBA.PM Program & Associate Professor of Clinical Finance and Business Economics

Rahsan Akbulut research interests include macroeconomics, labor economics, and household and family economics. Her research was published in Macroeconomic Dynamics. Prior to re-joining USC, she was a visiting Assistant Professor at Pomona College for 3 years. She taught Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, and Applied Regression analysis. Before her academic career began, Professor Akbulut worked as a financial controller at Daimler AG. in Istanbul, Turkey.

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Tereza Alexandre

Assistant Dean for Research Initiatives, Office of the Vice Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs

Tereza Alexandre is Assistant Dean for Research Initiatives at the USC Marshall School of Business. She has a background in Computer Science and has earned a Ph.D. in Marketing from the University of Illinois. She has worked in academia at UCLA, Cornell, and the University of Illinois. Tereza traveled extensively as a marketing strategist consultant, with experience in large organizations and in academia. Her international experience led her to develop a strong sense for the cross-cultural elements that foster and limit business development. She worked with governmental organizations, public companies, and for-profit and not-for-profit entities, in industries such as print media, energy, banking, government, high tech, fashion, entertainment, healthcare, and education. Today Tereza uses this set of experiences to measure and disseminate the impact of Marshall’s research.

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Diane Badame

Program and Academic Director, MS Marketing Program & Professor of Clinical Marketing

Diane Badame specializes in the fields of marketing management, customer satisfaction and new product development. She currently serves as the Academic and Program Director of the Master of Science in Marketing Program. Professor Badame received Marshall's Golden Apple Teaching Award in 2010 and 2018. Before joining Marshall, she held senior management positions with major consumer packaged goods and financial services companies. Professor Badame also consults with business organizations in the areas of marketing strategy, new product developments and customer satisfaction.

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Sara Bamossy

Sara Bamossy

CMO, Associate Dean of Marketing & Communications

Sara Bamossy is the Chief Marketing Officer and Associate Dean, Marketing and Communications at USC Marshall School of Business. She’s a career strategist and creative leader, having run an ad agency as both a CSO and CEO. Previously, Sara spent 10 years at Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide, working as a strategist across four continents. She has 17+ years experience driving growth for the world’s largest brands such as Toyota, P&G, PepsiCo, Roche, Microsoft, Netflix, Burger King, Konami, and Westfield. Her work has earned numerous industry honors including Cannes Lions, Effies, Chiat awards and she’s been named one of The Internationalist's Innovators of the Year. Recently she spoke at the Cannes’s Festival of Creativity about how creative design can unlock the power of modern data. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from UCLA and the distinguished EPWL program at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.

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Priya Bhikha

Priya Bhikha

MBA Candidate, Class of 2021 & President, Graduate Women in Business

Priya Bhikha is a second-year USC MBA candidate and the President of the Graduate Women in Business association. In addition, she is a Marshall Leadership Fellow as well as a Forté Foundation Fellow. Prior to business school, she received her undergraduate degree from the Gallatin School at NYU and began her career in real estate investment, managing a portfolio in excess of $15M. During her time at business school, she has completed an internship with Capital Group as a Summer Associate focusing on strategic business initiatives. After graduation in May 2021, she looks forward to returning full-time to Capital Group as an internal consultant for the financial services company. Priya is an intersectional feminist, investing enthusiast, and lover of biophilic design.

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Catherine Bindewald

Chief Information Officer, Academic Information Services

Cathy is the Chief Information Officer for the Marshall School of Business. She came to USC from Ohio State University, where she served as the Chief Information Officer for the College of Veterinary Medicine, and the Director of IT Strategic Planning and Communications. She was also chair of the OSU President and Provost’s Council on Women. Before joining Ohio State, Cathy worked as an IT consultant for AMS, implementing major technology systems for state agencies in Ohio and South Carolina. She began her career in the State of South Carolina working in the area of children's policy, serving all three branches of state government. Cathy earned a BA in History and a Master of Public Administration from the University of South Carolina.

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Miriam Burgos

Miriam Burgos

Academic Director, Online MBA Program & Associate Professor of Clinical Marketing

Miriam Burgos specializes in multi-cultural marketing and sales management. Prior to joining USC, Professor Burgos worked in the consumer packaged goods industry with Procter & Gamble and Colgate Palmolive where she developed expertise in how a multi-national corporation successfully takes a product to market in a global economy from initial concept to branding, and ultimately to consumers' homes and workplaces. She was a project manager in Procter & Gamble's multicultural business development organization and also has experience in marketing strategy, cause-marketing, and small-business marketing plan development.

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Yingying Fan

Dean’s Associate Professor in Business Administration & Associate Professor of Data Sciences and Operations

Professor Yingying Fan's research interests include statistics, data science, machine learning, economics, big data and business applications, and artificial intelligence and blockchain. Her papers have been published in journals including the Annals of Statistics, Journal of the American Statistical Association, Journal of Econometrics, and Journal of Financial Econometrics. She was Lecturer in the Department of Statistics at Harvard University from 2007-2008. She is the recipient of Fellow of American Statistical Association (2019), the Royal Statistical Society Guy Medal in Bronze (2017), the American Statistical Association Noether Young Scholar Award (2013), NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award (2012). She has served as an associate editor of Journal of the American Statistical Association (2014-present), Journal of Econometrics (2015-2018), Journal of Business & Economic Statistics (2018-present), The Econometrics Journal (2012-present), and Journal of Multivariate Analysis (2013-2016).

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Lauren Farello

Lauren Farello

MBA Candidate, Class of 2021 & VP of Partnerships, Graduate Women in Business

Lauren Farello is a second-year MBA Candidate at USC’s Marshall School of Business where she holds leadership roles in Marshall Net Impact, Graduate Women in Business, and is a Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab Fellow and a Marshall Leadership Fellow. In 2020, Lauren spent the summer and fall interning at Align Impact, LLC supporting philanthropic and impacting investing initiatives on behalf of high-net-worth individuals and family foundations. Prior to business school, Lauren spent four years facilitating international partnerships among nearly 300 stakeholders to generate a more robust network for impact investors, philanthropists, and entrepreneurs in emerging markets while at the Aspen Institute’s ANDE (Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs). Post-MBA, Lauren is looking to stay in the social impact sector to help drive more capital towards entrepreneurs and non-profits making a positive impact in the world.

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Valerie Folkes

Robert E. Brooker Chair of Marketing & Professor of Marketing

Valerie Folkes is Robert E. Brooker Chair of Marketing & Professor of Marketing at USC Marshall. She studies consumers’ responses to negative information and their judgments of service and product performance. At USC, Folkes has served as the Vice Dean of Programs and Vice Dean of Undergraduate Programs, as well as Chair of the Marketing Department. She is a recipient of USC’s Mellon Award for Mentoring students. She was elected President of the Association for Consumer Research in 2001, and is a Fellow of the Consumer Psychology Division of the American Psychological Association.

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Elissa Grossman

Director, Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, Orfalea Director’s Chair in Entrepreneurship & Associate Professor of Clinical Entrepreneurship

Elissa's research concerns social networks in new venturing – encompassing traditional network development for startup resource acquisition and crowd-funding. Her work has been published in journals including Journal of Management and Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice. Before joining USC, Elissa was on the faculty of Loyola Marymount University and Baruch College. Elissa has received national and university awards for excellence in both research and teaching. Early in her career, Professor Grossman worked in brand and marketing management for companies including Procter & Gamble, Sun Microsystems, and LiveCapital (a start-up acquired by Dun & Bradstreet).

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Janet Horan

Janet Horan

Chief Financial Officer and
Senior Associate Dean for Finance and Administration

Janet Horan is the Chief Financial Officer and Senior Associate Dean for Finance and Administration. Previously, Janet was at the Columbia University’s Business School in New York City, where she served as the Vice Dean for Finance and Administration. Janet holds a Bachelor of Business Administration, Human Resources from Baruch College/City University of New York and an executive MPA in Non-profit Management and Finance from Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA). She also attended the Administrative Management Institute at Cornell University and the Columbia Senior Executives Program at Columbia. Along with responsibility for all administrative operations and financial oversight of Columbia Business School’s $280 million budget, Janet was instrumental in the transformational $500 million capital project to build two new business school facilities in Manhattan, expected to open in 2022.

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Ayşe İmrohoroğlu

Professor of Finance and Business Economics

Ayşe İmrohoroğlu is a Professor of Finance and Business Economics at the University of Southern California. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota and her B.A. from the Middle East Technical University in Turkey. Her research combines theory and data to shed light on questions concerning business cycles, social security, employment, and crime. Recently, her work has focused on understanding the differences in savings rates across countries. She served as an editor to the European Economic Review between 2012 and 2018; was department chair at the Finance and Business Economics Department at USC between 2004 and 2007; and an economic advisor to the Central bank of Turkey between 2013 and 2015.

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Teresa Kelley

Teresa Kelley

MBA Candidate, Class of 2021 & VP of Events, Graduate Women in Business

Teresa is a current USC Marshall MBA candidate (graduating May 2021) with expertise in the business of culture forged over a decade of director-level experience within the international art market. She studied art history and economics at Stanford University and continues to partner left & right-brain thinking in her approach to problem solving and storytelling. A change agent at heart, she delights in opening up new ways of seeing and thinking for others and communicating abstract ideas in impactful ways. Teresa is an ardent feminist, yogi, and champion for the arts, based in Los Angeles, CA.

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Suh-Pyng Ku

Vice Dean for Graduate Programs, Professor of Clinical Finance and Business Economics, and Director of Center for Investment Studies

Suh-Pyng Ku is Vice Dean for Graduate Programs, Director of the USC Marshall Center for Investment Studies, and Professor of Clinical Finance and Business Economics. Her teaching and research specialties include corporate finance, portfolio management and security valuation. She is the co-instructor for the MBA and the Undergraduate Student Investment Fund classes. Previously, Ku served as USC’s Vice Provost and Executive Director of Continuing Education and Summer Programs, USC’s Chief Technology Officer for Enhanced Learning, Associate Dean for Marshall’s MBA Programs and Marshall’s Chief Information Officer. She received the 2014 Golden Apple Teaching Award (Full-Time MBA) and was a 2014 Steven B. Sample Teaching and Mentoring Award nominee. She earned her Ph.D. in finance from USC.

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Shirley Maxey

Assistant Vice Dean for Academic Affairs, Associate Dean for the Master of Accounting and Business Taxation & Professor of Clinical Accounting and Management Communication

Shirley Maxey serves as Marshall's Assistant Vice Dean for Academic Affairs and as Associate Dean for Leventhal's Graduate Accounting Programs. She is the recipient of the Cal CPA Faculty Excellence Award, Marshall’s Master Teacher Award, the Dean’s Award for Community, and the Marshall Award for Innovation in Teaching. She is a member of the American Accounting Association and the Federation of Schools of Accountancy. Maxey represents Marshall and Leventhal as the Academic Coordinator of the AACSB Bridge Teaching Program for instructional practitioners, helping business executives transition into business classrooms.

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Patricia Mills

Vice Dean for Teaching and Innovation and Professor of Clinical Accounting

Patricia Mills specializes in partnership, real estate, and individual tax issues, she has contributed to the treatises Powell on Real Property and California Real Estate Law and Practice, and has published articles in the California Real Estate Journal, The Journal of Real Estate Taxation, and the Tax Lawyer. Prior to joining USC Marshall, she spent 20 years in private practice. She has served on the Research Institute of America's Customer Support Advisory Board. Professor Mills is a frequent speaker on tax topics, including at NYU's Federal Tax Institute and USC's Institute on Federal Taxation.

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Rachel Morrell

Associate Dean, External Relations and Chief Development Officer

Rachel Morrell is Associate Dean and Chief Development Officer of External Relations for the USC Marshall School of Business.  She is responsible for all fundraising and alumni, corporate and foundation relations activities at Marshall.  Rachel’s development career spans over 25 years at USC.  Her passion for the university has led to success in closing on multiple gifts including her role in securing the naming gift for the Marshall School’s undergraduate building, Fertitta Hall.  Rachel helped lead the School’s efforts in the recently ended campaign, which surpassed its $400 million goal. She received a B.A. from California Lutheran University, and an MPA from USC.

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Gohar Palanjian

Senior Associate Director of Alumni Initiatives, Office of the Vice Dean for Graduate Programs

Gohar Palanjian is the Senior Associate Director of Alumni Initiatives in the Office of Graduate Programs. In this role, Gohar supports all Marshall graduate programs to create new outreach and engagement opportunities for Marshall's graduate alumni. Gohar has worked for the USC Marshall School of Business for over 19 years in various capacities, including supporting Marshall's largest comprehensive fundraising campaign, managing the development of the School's strategic plan and working on its implementation. She has held marketing and management positions at Ticketmaster Media Group, A&E Television Networks and the History Channel. Gohar has earned a BS from Marshall’s Undergraduate Program, an MBA from the Stern School of Business at New York University and a certificate in public relations from the NYU School of Continuing Education.

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Marion Philadelphia

Chair of the Department of Business Communication & Professor of Clinical Business Communication

Marion Philadelphia has a background in public relations, journalism, marketing, and the themed entertainment industry. Originally from Germany, she has edited and translated works of non-fiction, contributed to Cal Tech's Einstein Papers Project, and is a published novelist. A business communication and educational leadership expert, she specializes in pedagogy, curriculum, instructional design, and faculty professional development. She is a recipient of the USC Mellon Award for Excellence in Faculty Mentoring and the Evan C. Thompson Faculty Mentoring and Leadership Award.

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Julia Plotts

Program and Academic Director, MS Finance Program and Professor of Clinical Finance and Business Economics

Julia Plotts specializes in financial analysis and valuation, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate finance. She has received numerous teaching awards including the Golden Apple Award for Teaching Excellence (11 times). Before joining USC, she worked in the investment-banking group of Banc of America Securities, where she was involved in the execution of M&A and capital raising via private/public offerings of equity and debt. She has consulted on shareholder value creation for a variety of firms.

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Dawn Porter

Program and Academic Director, MS Business Analytics & Professor of Clinical Data Sciences and Operations Management

Dawn Porter is Professor of Clinical Data Sciences and Operations Management at USC Marshall. She is a statistician who has published in major journals and is the co-author of three textbooks, Basic Econometrics (5th ed), Essentials of Econometrics (4th ed), and Essentials of Business Statistics (2nd ed). She served as Academic Director for the MBA.PM program and the EMBA program. Prior to joining USC, she served on the faculty at Georgetown University. She has consulted for VWM Analytics, the LA District Attorney’s Office, and KPMG Consulting. At USC Marshall, Porter has received three Golden Apple Awards and the Evan C. Thompson Faculty Teaching Award. She earned her Ph.D. at the Stern School of Business at New York University.

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Nandini Rajagopalan

Joseph A. DeBell Chair in Business Administration & Professor of Management and Organization

Nandini Rajagopalan is Vice Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs, Joseph A. DeBell Chair in Business Administration, and Professor of Management and Organization at USC Marshall. Her research examines platform-based markets, diversification and strategic alliances, CEO succession and corporate governance. She has published in the Academy of Management Review, Academy of Management Journal, Strategic Management Journal, Journal of International Business Studies, Journal of Management Studies, Journal of Management and Business Horizons, among others. She is past Associate Editor of the Academy of Management Journal. Rajagopalan is a Distinguished Faculty Fellow at USC’s Center for Excellence in Teaching and recipient of USC’s Provost Mentoring Award. View Current Bio

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Violina Rindova

Vice Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Captain Henry W. Simonsen Chair in Strategic Entrepreneurship, Director of Research for the Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneural Studies, and Professor of Management and Organization

Violina Rindova teaches and studies strategic innovation -- how firms create value, intangible assets, and new market opportunities through unconventional strategies across a variety of industry contexts. Her work has been published in the premier management journals and has been covered frequently in the business media, including the Economist, the New York Times, and the Washington Post. She is the recipient of multiple grants and awards, including the “Thought Leadership” award from the Entrepreneurship Division of the Academy of Management (2009), and the award for outstanding scholarly contribution from Strategic Organization (2012). She served as an Associate Editor of the Academy of Management Review and is currently part of the leadership team of the Behavioral Strategy Interest Group of the Strategic Management Society.

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Sofia Siegel

Sofia Siegel

MBA Candidate, Class of 2021 and VP of Diversity and Inclusion, Graduate Women in Business

Sofia Siegel is a Sustainability Professional, and second-year MBA candidate at the USC Marshall School of Business. She is the Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion for the Marshall Graduate Student Association, and the Graduate Women in Business association, and a Marshall Leadership Fellow, a Brittingham Society and Business Fellow, and Forté Foundation Fellow.

Prior to business school, she received her undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies and English from Bowdoin College, and worked in sustainability on the non-profit side for four years before transitioning to a role as a sustainability consultant and project manager. During business school she has interned (summer 2020 -- present) with OpenRisk, a fintech startup focused on minimizing unstructured risk, and has been able to integrate her background in sustainability and D+I to this important conversation. Sofia is passionate about environmental justice, equitable access to capital, and her puppy Scully.

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Greys Sosic

Chair of the Department of Data Sciences and Operations & Professor of Data Sciences and Operations

Greys Sošić holds a PhD from the University of British Columbia, and a master's and a bachelor's degree from the University of Zagreb, Croatia. Her research interests include supply chain management, sustainability, competition and cooperation in supply chains, with emphasis on coalition stability. Her work has been published in Management Science, Operations Research, M&SOM, and POMS. Greys is an Associate Editor for Management Science, MSOM, IIE Transactions, and POMS. She has received Dean's Awards for Research Excellence, MSOM Meritorious Service Award, Management Science Distinguished and Meritorious Service Award. She has been teaching courses on supply chain management, sustainability, and sourcing.

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Julie Tilsner

Senior Editor, Office of Communications

Julie Tilsner is a writer, editor and reporter with more than 25 years of experience. She’s been a staffer with Business Week, the Los Angeles Times and AOL Money and Finance. She free-lanced for publications such as Parenting, American Baby and other venues when her kids were small, and joined the Marshall School in 2014 as Senior Editor. She’s since had the honor of writing about ground-breaking research, impressive alumni, and the full-time MBA program becoming the first of its kind to reach gender-parity. She has a master’s degree from Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism. She’s the proud mother of a recent USC graduate—her daughter graduated in 2020 with a degree in East Asian Languages and Cultures, and spent her junior year studying at Sophia University in Tokyo. Her son is a junior studying Interactive Game Design at the School of Cinematic Arts.

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Sarah Townsend

Interim Assistant Vice Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Kenneth King Stonier Professor of Business Administration and Associate Professor of Management and Organization

Sarah Townsend’s research reveals the dysfunctional behaviors and physiological costs that can result when individuals’ cultural beliefs collide with the dominant cultural beliefs of organizations. Focusing on diversity in higher education and the workplace, she studies these “cultural divides” by examining differences in meritocracy beliefs, social class, gender, and race. Her work demonstrates that although cultural divides are a source of inequality, they can also be leveraged as a solution to it. Dr. Townsend's research has been published in numerous scholarly outlets, including the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Psychological Science, and Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

https://www.marshall.usc.edu/personnel/sarah-townsend

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Cheryl Wakslak

McAlister Associate Professor of Management and Organization

Cheryl Wakslak’s research focuses on basic questions of cognition and interpersonal connection, establishing the way that people use different styles of thinking to help them connect with those closer to them and those farther away. In much of this work she explores the role of abstraction in facilitating connections across distance. She uses these insights to look at a range of organizationally relevant outcomes, including communication, learning, leadership, venture-capital investment, and decision-making. Her findings have been published in numerous scholarly outlets, including top journals in management, marketing, and psychology.

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Sha Yang

Vice Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs & Ernest Hahn Professor of Marketing

Sha Yang's research focuses on modeling consumer purchase behavior and market competition. Her recent research interests include search engine advertising and social network. She is a leader in developing models with sophisticated interactions among consumers and firms, and is a pioneer in introducing Bayesian methods into estimation of such interactions. Professor Yang has published more than 20 articles, and serves on the editorial board of Journal of Marketing Research, Marketing Science, and Quantitative Marketing and Economics. Professor Yang has collaborated with many companies including Visa, Miller Brewing Company, HP, Pepsi Co., CBS, TNS, McCann Ericson, epinions.com, Taobao.com and China Mobile.

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Anne Ziemniak

Assistant Dean and Director of the Full-Time MBA Program

Anne Ziemniak is Assistant Dean and Director of the Full-Time MBA Program, where she oversees student affairs functions for full-time MBA students, including academic services and student engagement. Her USC career spans 16 years and covers a wide range of higher education administrative functions including admissions, student leadership, student organization advising, academic advising, career development and employer relations, student conduct, and graduate student services. She previously served as director of Marshall Undergraduate Student Services and prior to that, as associate director of the USC Marshall Full-Time MBA Program. Anne earned her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and M.S. in Postsecondary Administration and Student Affairs from the USC Rossier School of Education, and her B.A. from UC Santa Barbara.

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