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Welcome New Faculty

16 teacher/scholars join faculty of USC Marshall and Leventhal for fall 2019

August 29, 2019
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The USC Marshall School of Business and the USC Leventhal School of Accounting welcomed 16 new and promoted faculty members in the summer and fall of 2019. These include student favorites already at Marshall as well as many award-winning scholars in their first academic appointments.

“Most of the young scholars had their pick of institutions, and they chose Marshall,” said Nandini Rajagopalan, vice dean for faculty and academic affairs, Joseph A. DeBell Chair in Business Administration and professor of management and organization. “That speaks volumes about our reputation for encouraging collaborative and innovative research that has real impact.”   

Please welcome the following new members of the faculty:

“Most of the young scholars had their pick of institutions, and they chose Marshall. That speaks volumes about our reputation for encouraging collaborative and innovative research that has real impact.” — Nandini Rajagopalan, vice dean for faculty and academic affairs

Mohammed Alyakoob joins Marshall as a tenure-track assistant professor of data sciences and operations. Alyakoob earned his Ph.D. at Purdue’s Krannert School of Management studying management information systems in 2019. His job market paper focuses on the economic spillover effect of platforms such as Airbnb on local economies, and the presence of racial preferences and biases therein. His research has appeared in media outlets such as the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post and Chicago Tribune, and he has received the highest recognition at Krannert for excellence in teaching by a doctoral student.

Neha Bairoliya joins Marshall as a tenure-track assistant professor in the Department of Finance and Business Economics. She received her Ph.D. in economics from the University of Minnesota in 2015. After doing a three-year post-doc at Harvard, she joined the economics department at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville in fall 2018. Her research interests lie in understanding the macroeconomics of population aging, health and welfare inequality, and examining pension and healthcare systems for the elderly.

Anthony Borquez, a longtime instructor at Marshall and Viterbi, joins Marshall as a full-time assistant professor of clinical entrepreneurship. Borquez has served for more than 20 years in various instructor and curriculum development roles at both Marshall and Viterbi, and he helped create multiple interdisciplinary minors with the Gould School of Law, Viterbi, Fine Arts and Cinema. This past year, he created and taught a new graduate course in Video Game Entrepreneurship. He won a 2017-18 Golden Apple Award for his undergraduate Digital Playbook class. He holds an Ed.D., MA, MS and BA from the University of Southern California.

Courtney Brunious, formerly the associate director for the Sports Business Institute at Marshall, joins the faculty as a full-time lecturer in the Department of Management and Organization. He previously was an adjunct professor. He earned his BA in political science from the University of Michigan, JD from USC Gould and MBA from Marshall.

Feng Chen begins a new position as assistant professor of clinical data sciences and operations, after teaching in the core undergraduate curriculum as an adjunct starting in 2009 and later as a lecturer. Chen co-leads the Port Solutions Project at Marshall’s Center for Global Supply Chain Management and is also an adviser for the National Society of Leadership and Success. She earned her MBA and Ph.D. from USC Marshall.

Diego Daruich joins Marshall as a tenure-track assistant professor in the Department of Finance and Business Economics. Daruich received his Ph.D. in economics in 2018 from New York University and was until recently doing post-doctoral work at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. His research interests include macroeconomics, labor and development. In his dissertation, he explored the importance of early childhood policies for long-run income and welfare.

John Eklund joins Marshall as an assistant professor in the Department of Management and Organization. Eklund received his Ph.D. in management in May 2019 from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He also has an MBA from the University of Notre Dame and a D.Phil. in physical chemistry from the University of Oxford, UK. His research interests include organization design, technology and innovation management and strategy implementation. Eklund is a Strategy Research Foundation (STF) Dissertation Scholar, and has presented his job market paper at such conferences as the Strategic Management Society (SMS) Conference and the East Coast Doctoral Conference at NYU Stern School. He has been an active reviewer for Strategic Management Journal.

Hyo Kang joins Marshall as a tenure-track assistant professor in the Department of Management and Organization. Kang recently received his Ph.D. in business and public policy from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley. His research interests include competitive strategy, innovation, knowledge management and entrepreneurship. His dissertation was supported by a 2017 Kauffman Dissertation Fellowship, and he was a finalist in the INFORMS/Organization Science Dissertation Competition. Kang has presented his work at various conferences, including the International Schumpeter Society (ISS) Conference in Seoul, the Consortium on Competitiveness and Cooperation (CCC) and the Academy of Management.

Wenhao Li joins USC Marshall as a tenure-track assistant professor of finance and business economics. Wenhao will receive his Ph.D. in finance from Stanford Graduate School of Business in 2019. His research interest is on financial intermediation and asset pricing. His job market paper, which is part of his dissertation, is titled “Public Liquidity, Bank Runs and Financial Crises.”

Ekaterina Neretina joins USC Marshall as an assistant professor of finance and business economics. Her research focuses on finance, competition and political economy. She studies the anti-competitive effects of lobbying and competition among financial intermediaries and in the legal profession. She earned her Ph.D. at Tilburg University.

Maria A. Rodas joins Marshall as a tenure-track assistant professor in the Department of Marketing. Rodas earned her Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management. Her research focuses on brand strategy and cross-cultural consumer behavior. Her dissertation examines consumers’ responses to brands that incorporate contradictory meanings, such as contradictory brand personality traits (e.g., rugged and sophisticated). Her dissertation won an ACR-Sheth Foundation Dissertation Grant. Rodas has already published three articles in the Journal of Consumer Psychology and won the American Marketing Association’s Matthew Joseph Emerging Scholar Award in 2018.

Francisco Román joins the USC Leventhal School of Accounting as a professor of clinical accounting. Román comes to Leventhal from George Mason University, where he was an associate professor of accounting. Previously, he held academic appointments at Texas Tech and Rice University. He received his Ph.D. in accounting from the University of Arizona. He holds two master’s degrees in accounting and economics. Prior to joining academia, Román worked at General Instruments (Motorola) and Becton Dickinson as a cost accountant and budget analyst at factories in Nogales, México, and Arizona.

Matthew Shaffer joins the USC Leventhal School of Accounting as a tenure-track assistant professor. He received his bachelor’s degree from Yale University, where he studied economics and intellectual history, and completed his doctorate in business administration at Harvard Business School. His primary research interests are corporate governance, valuation and M&A. He is a co-author of a forthcoming paper in the Journal of Financial Economics, which studies the role and efficacy of stock indexes as instruments of corporate governance. His dissertation studies the controversial question of the relevance of third-party valuations and “fairness opinions” that U.S. targets are required to receive before accepting a takeover offer.

Amy Sommer joins Marshall as associate professor of clinical management and organization. Sommer comes from Columbia University where she was on faculty in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Mailman School of Public Health. Previously she held academic appointments at HEC Paris School of Management and West Point Military Academy. She completed her Ph.D. at Ivey Business School at the University of Western Ontario and a post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard. Prior to joining academia, Sommer worked on union-management contract negotiations, in human resources, and in consulting.

Arianna Uhalde joins Marshall as assistant professor of clinical marketing. Uhalde earned her Ph.D. in marketing (with an emphasis in consumer behavior) from Marshall in 2017 and has been teaching as an adjunct at Marshall. She has taught several consumer behavior and advertising and promotion management classes, and recently developed a class called Happiness and Well-being in the Marketplace, which she will teach for the first time during fall 2019. Uhalde is also a researcher with USC’s Performance Science Institute, helping develop projects and programming related to the psychological determinants of peak performance.

Kalinda Ukanwa joins Marshall’s Department of Marketing as a tenure-track assistant professor. Ukanwa received her Ph.D. from the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland. Her research focuses on the dynamics of consumer social interactions and its implications for firm decision-making. Her doctoral thesis, “Reputation Dynamics in Marketing Contexts,” investigates how firms could use information about consumer reputations to make better decisions in digital marketplaces and platforms. Trained as an industrial engineer, Ukanwa holds BS, MS and MBA degrees from Stanford University and is an NSF Honorable Mention Scholar. Before pursuing her academic career, Ukanwa held analytic and executive roles at Walt Disney, Viacom, Citigroup and Kaplan Test Prep. She won the inaugural 2018 Eli Jones Promising Young Scholar Research Excellence Award, an award given by the Marketing Doctoral Student Association to the doctoral student with the most promising research agenda of that year.