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Faculty

Our faculty has significantly impacted the world of business. Each faculty member expertly integrates knowledge with practical application and competitive insights. Their experience is drawn from superior academic backgrounds, coupled with real world business experience.

MBV Faculty Director

Kevin Fields

Building
HOH
Room / Office
230
Associate Professor of Clinical Finance and Business Economics

JD, Chapman University; BS, University of Southern California

Kevin Fields is the Academic Director of the Masters of Business for Veterans (MBV) program. He teaches business law and real estate law to Marshall’s undergraduate and graduate students. Professor Fields is a practicing attorney specializing in real estate and business litigation. He has tried real estate, employment and business cases in state and federal courts and administrative forums. He is also a licensed California broker. He has received several Golden Apple teaching awards as well as being named the Professor of the Year by Gamma Sigma Alpha (the National Academic Greek Honor society). He is an AV Preeminent rated attorney by Martindale-Hubbell. He is a co-author of several real estate law textbooks including Contemporary Real Estate Law 2nd Edition, and Essentials of Real Estate Law. Both textbooks are published by Wolters Kluwer Law & Business. He is currently completing a business law textbook scheduled for national release in 2020.

MBV Faculty

Scott Abrams

Building
HOH
Room / Office
219
Assistant Professor of Clinical Finance and Business Economics

MBA, University of Southern California; BA, UCLA

Scott Abrams specializes in corporate finance, portfolio management, financial analysis and valuation, and microeconomics. He teaches these subjects in both the graduate and undergraduate programs at USC Marshall. In addition, Professor Abrams is the co-instructor for the MBA and Undergraduate Student Investment Fund classes. He is the 2016 Golden Apple Teaching Award Winner for the Full-Time MBA Core Program. Professor Abrams received his MBA from USC Marshall and is an alumnus of the SIF Program (2004). Prior to joining the faculty at USC Marshall, he worked in corporate finance at Sony Pictures and Warner Bros. In addition, he is an alumnus of Deloitte and is a licensed CPA.

Stephen Byars

Building
ACC
Room / Office
405
Professor of Clinical Business Communication

PhD, University of Southern California; MA, University of San Diego; BA, Claremont McKenna College

Stephen Byars has received the Outstanding Assistant Lecturer Award from the Writing Program at USC as well as the Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award from the School of Religion at USC. He also nominated in May 2010 by the USC Parents Association for its Outstanding Teaching and Mentoring Award. Since joining USC full-time in 1997, Professor Byars has spent considerable time in the teaching and administration of different versions of Writing 340, including Advanced Writing for Business.

Baizhu Chen

Building
HOH
Room / Office
202
Professor of Clinical Finance and Business Economics

PhD, MA, University of Rochester; BS, Fudan University

Baizhu Chen studies macroeconomics and international economics, with an emphasis on China. His work has been published in the Journal of Peace Research, European Journal of Political Economy, China Economic Review, Applied Financial Economics, Social Choice and Welfare, and Journal of Macroeconomics. He is Senior Researcher at the Institute of Finance and Banking at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, chief economist of Sino-Century Capital, a VC firm in Shanghai, and former president of the Chinese Economists Society. He is academic director for Marshall's GEMBA program, and a recipient of the Golden Apple Award.

Michael Coombs

Building
HOH
Room / Office
426
Associate Professor of Clinical Management and Organization

PhD, University of Southern California; MPA, BA, BS, Brigham Young University

Michael Coombs specializes in strategic management, individual and organizational development, globalization, and negotiation. He is the recipient of the Outstanding Young Man of America and of the U.S. Navy Achievement Medal. He has consulted for a variety of organizations, including ARCO Transportation Company and The Aerospace Corporation.

Mark DeFond

Building
HOH
Room / Office
816
A. N. Mosich Chair in Accounting and Professor of Accounting

PhD, University of Washington; BA, San Francisco State University

Professor DeFond is the A. N. Mosich Chair of Accounting, Leventhal School of Accounting, University of Southern California. His research investigates issues in auditing, international financial reporting, and earnings management. He is a former Senior Editor of The Accounting Review and has served on the editorial boards of several leading academic journals, including the Journal of Accounting Research and the Journal of Accounting and Economics. He is a recipient of the AAA’s Notable Contribution to the Auditing Literature Award, and a four-time MBA Golden Apple teaching award winner. Professor DeFond has held visiting professorships in Hong Kong and Singapore, and is currently the Associate Dean of Faculty at the Leventhal School of Accounting. He received his PhD at the University of Washington and prior to that worked for several years as an auditor with Deloitte (formerly Touche Ross) and is a California CPA (inactive).

Nathanael Fast

Building
HOH
Room / Office
404
Associate Professor of Management and Organization

Ph.D., Stanford University

Nathanael Fast studies the psychological underpinnings of power and influence in organizations and society. His work examines the determinants and consequences of social hierarchy, the predictors of social network expansion, and how new and emerging technologies are shaping the future of work. He directs the Hierarchy, Networks, and Technology Lab (HiNT Lab) at USC and is Co-Director of the Psychology of Technology Institute. Fast is an editorial board member for Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, and Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. He received his PhD in Organizational Behavior from Stanford University and has received numerous awards for his teaching and research. Popular accounts of his work have been featured in media outlets such as The Economist, NPR, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and The New York Times

Kevin Fields

Building
HOH
Room / Office
230
Associate Professor of Clinical Finance and Business Economics

JD, Chapman University; BS, University of Southern California

Kevin Fields is the Academic Director of the Masters of Business for Veterans (MBV) program. He teaches business law and real estate law to Marshall’s undergraduate and graduate students. Professor Fields is a practicing attorney specializing in real estate and business litigation. He has tried real estate, employment and business cases in state and federal courts and administrative forums. He is also a licensed California broker. He has received several Golden Apple teaching awards as well as being named the Professor of the Year by Gamma Sigma Alpha (the National Academic Greek Honor society). He is an AV Preeminent rated attorney by Martindale-Hubbell. He is a co-author of several real estate law textbooks including Contemporary Real Estate Law 2nd Edition, and Essentials of Real Estate Law. Both textbooks are published by Wolters Kluwer Law & Business. He is currently completing a business law textbook scheduled for national release in 2020.

Christopher Harrer

Building
JFF
Room / Office
506
Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship

BBA, Loyola Marymount University; MBA University of Southern California; MSBA University of Southern California

Christopher J. Harrer is a successful entrepreneur and educator with over 30 years experience in the finance, real estate, and service industries. He is an Adjunct Professor at the USC Marshall School of Business and has been teaching at the Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies since 2002 and has won the student-voted Golden Apple Teaching Award. An accomplished entrepreneur in the hospitality and information management industries, Harrer was the founder of United Document Storage LLC and Pacifico’s LLC prior to successfully selling both companies.

Thomas Knapp

Building
JFF
Room / Office
521
Associate Professor of Clinical Entrepreneurship, Academic Director of the Master of Science in Entrepreneurship and Innovation program

MBA, BS, University of Southern California

Knapp is the Academic Director of the Master's of Science in Entrepreneurship and Innovation and an Associate Professor of Clinical Entrepreneurship in the Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies. His teachings encompass all facets of entrepreneurial studies including Venture Management, Feasibility Analysis, Business Planning and Launching. Knapp developed the “E”-Challenge and a new course for students involved in a family firm: Entrepreneurial Family Business. A three-time Golden Apple Award winner for outstanding teaching as voted on by the student body. Knapp is founder of Club Sportswear and Honolua Surf Co, an Action Sports Industry leader, and partner in Blue Jay Bay Ventures a real-estate investment firm.

Kyle Mayer

Building
HOH
Room / Office
502
Professor of Management and Organization

PhD, MS, UC-Berkeley; BS, UC-Davis

Kyle Mayer studies how firms govern relationships with other firms, with particular attention to the contract and its role in establishing a framework for the relationship. His research has been published in Organizational Science, Academy of Management Journal, Management Science, and Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization. He served on the editorial board of Academy of Management Journal, Organization Science, Academy of Management Review, and Strategic Management Journal. He received a Golden Apple Award in 2003, Marshall's Educator of the Year Award in 2006, and a Mellon Mentoring Award from USC in 2006.

David Petraeus

Leadership, Finance, and Global Perspectives

Julia Plotts

Building
HOH
Room / Office
221
Associate Professor of Clinical Finance and Business Economics

MBA, University of Southern California; BA, Loyola Marymount University

Julia Plotts specializes in financial analysis and valuation, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate finance. She is the author of several valuation case studies and contributed to Valuation: The Art and Science of Corporate Investment Decisions. Professor Plotts has been teaching corporate finance and financial analysis and valuation in the EMBA, GEMBA, MBA.PM, IBEAR, and undergraduate programs since 2002. She has received the Golden Apple Award for Teaching Excellence nine times and the Evan C. Thompson Teaching & Learning Innovation Award for Teaching (2011) and Mentoring (2012) and the Dean’s Award for Community (2010). Prior to joining the faculty at USC, Plotts worked within the investment-banking group of Banc of America Securities LLC, where she was involved in the execution of mergers and acquisitions, leveraged buyout/recapitalization and capital raising via private/public offerings of equity and debt. She has consulted on shareholder value and corporate strategy for a variety of firms.

Smrity Randhawa

Building
ACC
Room / Office
210
Assistant Professor of Clinical Accounting

Ph.D., Stanford; B.S., University of Michigan

Smrity Randhawa is an Accounting scholar whose area of expertise spans financial accounting, managerial accounting, valuation, disclosure and corporate governance. Smrity holds a PhD in Business from the Graduate School of Business, Stanford University. In her research, she has studied the effect of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act on small public companies. At Marshall School of Business she has taught classes ranging from Introductory Accounting for undergraduate students to Financial Statement Analysis for graduate students. In addition to her faculty duties, she also provides consulting services related to: bankruptcy analysis; fair value accounting measurements and valuations; and provides opinions on the analysis of other experts.

Violina Rindova

Building
HOH
Room / Office
522
Captain Henry W. Simonsen Chair in Strategic Entrepreneurship, Director of Research for the Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, and Professor of Management and Organization

PhD, NYU

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.

Abbass Sharif

Building
BRI
Room / Office
306B
Associate Professor of Clinical Data Sciences and Operations

PhD, MS, Utah State University; MS, BS: Lebanese American University

Abbass Sharif’s specialty is in the field of statistical computing and data visualization. Professor Sharif has developed and published new multivariate visualization techniques for functional data and currently he is developing visualization techniques to study brain activity data collected via the near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) technology. Professor Sharif teaches statistics courses that range from introductory statistics to data analysis for decision-making through to advanced modern statistical learning techniques.

S. Mark Young

Building
ACC
Room / Office
123
George Bozanic and Holman G. Hurt Chair in Sports Entertainment Business & Professor of Accounting

PhD, University of Pittsburgh; MAcc, The Ohio State University; BA, Oberlin College

S. Mark Young studies management control system design and has conducted research in the automobile, airline, high tech, and entertainment industries. He has published in Journal of Accounting Research, The Accounting Review, and Academy of Management Review, and served as associate editor of The Accounting Review. His book with Dr. Drew Pinsky, The Mirror Effect, was a New York Times Best Seller. Professor Young received the Notable Contributions to the Accounting Literature Award and the Notable Contributions to the Management Accounting Literature Award. He is a distinguished fellow of the Center for Excellence in Teaching at USC.