Class of 2018: Foster School welcomes 11 new faculty members

Momentum is revealed in many ways. One salient manifestation of the Foster School’s growing international clout is its ability to recruit the best and brightest academics in every business discipline. This year’s infusion of 11 exceptional new scholar/educators brings the school’s tenure-track roster to 94, a high-point of several decades. And each of this exemplary eleven brings enormous expertise and accomplishment—and even greater promise—to Foster this fall. Here is a look at the faculty class of 2018.

Uttara Ananthakrishnan
Assistant Professor of Information Systems

PhD (information systems and management), Carnegie Mellon University, 2018
Bachelor of Engineering, Anna University (India), 2010

Abuse Analyst, Google, 2010-2013

Digital media platforms; consumer behavior; online trust and safety; user-generated content
Most fascinating research discovery: Online streaming of movies and TV series has a huge impact on how users consume digital content and on how new content is made.

Best Student Paper (runner-up), Conference on Information Systems and Technology, 2016
Best Student Paper (runner-up), Workshop on Information Systems and Economics, 2015
Suresh Konda Memorial PhD First Research Paper Award, Carnegie Mellon, 2015
Product Quality Operations Gold Award, Google, 2011, 2012,

If not a business professor, I would be: Studying trust and safety issues like fake news, brand safety and user safety on online platforms.
Something surprising about me: I am an avid trivia enthusiast—I set content for one of the Indian versions of Who Wants to be a Millionaire.
When I’m not at work, I enjoy: Playing board games
Favorite book: Anything by P.G. Wodehouse
Favorite movie: The Quiz Show, Hidden Figures
Favorite television series:  The West Wing, 30 Rock, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Favorite companies: Google and Amazon

Elizabeth Blankespoor
Associate Professor of Accounting

PhD (accounting), University of Michigan, 2012
MAcc, University of Utah, 2007
BA (accounting and information systems), Dordt College, 2003

Assistant/Associate Professor of Accounting, Stanford University, 2012-2018
Staff/Senior Auditor at Ernst & Young, 2004-2006
CPA (inactive), State of California, 2006

Financial reporting; corporate disclosure; information processing costs; technology
Most fascinating research discovery: Investors’ intuitive perception of the CEO is correlated with firm market value.

AAA FARS Best Paper Award, 2017
FARS Excellence in Reviewing Award, 2016
MBA Distinguished Teaching Award, Stanford, 2016
MSx Teaching Excellence Award, Stanford, 2015
Emeritus Award, Michigan, 2013

If not a business professor, I would be: Doing something with data, words and organization (library science, accounting, etc.).
Something surprising about me: My husband and I through-hiked 100 miles of the Colorado Trail in five days.
When I’m not at work, I enjoy: Reading, hiking/backpacking, hanging out with husband and kids
Favorite book: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Favorite television series: The West Wing or The Walking Dead

Kevin Boeh
Senior Lecturer of Finance

PhD (finance), Western University, 2008
MBA (finance), UCLA, 1996
BA (economics), Colorado College, 1990

Visiting Associate Professor of Finance, University of Florida, 2015-2018
Associate Professor of Finance, Pacific Lutheran University, 2008-2015
Founding Director, PLU MSF Program, 2011-2013
Co-Founder/Board Chair, Gatherade, Inc., 2017-present
Managing Director, The Upshot Group, 2001-present
VP – M&A, Robertson Stephens Investment Bankers, 1998-2003
Associate VP – Strategy, Partnership & Acquisitions, BCE Emergis (Bell Canada), 1998
Senior Associate – Strategy Consulting Group, A.T. Kearney, Inc., 1995-1998
Senior Consultant – Management Consulting Practice, Accenture, 1991-1994
Director, Tacoma Employee Retirement System, Investment Advisory Committee, 2009-present
Director, Helix Commerce International, Inc., 2001-2009
Director, CQUAY Technologies, Inc., 2001-2008
Director, Crystal Asset Management, LLC, 1999-2003

The intersection of corporate finance and corporate strategy with an international emphasis (specifically activities related to investment banking—IPOs and M&A—and venture capital)
Most fascinating research discovery: The powerful economic incentives of advisors—bankers, venture capitalists, lawyers—often leads to outcomes that are not aligned with the best interests of client firms. For example, client firms ascribe prestige to certain advisors which translates to market power that those advisors use to extract rents from clients in the form of delayed or underpriced capital markets offerings.

MBA Professor of the Year Award, University of Florida, 2018
Faculty Advisor to Student Organization of the Year (Student Investment Fund), PLU, 2012-2013
Dean’s Service Award, PLU, 2011-2012
Dean’s Teaching Award, PLU, 2010-2011
Dwight Zulauf Distinguished Alumni Chair, PLU, 2008-09

If not a business professor, I would be: Back in investment banking, a furniture maker, or rancher.
Something surprising about me: Most of my life I have played hockey and rugby, and done martial arts (and even some boxing). Despite all of that, I still have all my teeth.
When I’m not at work, I enjoy: Using my tractor and chainsaw.
Favorite book: The Art of War by Sun Tzu
Favorite movie: Patton or any Wes Anderson film
Favorite television series: Breaking Bad (math teacher), House of Cards (lawyer), Ozark (accountant). Common thread: a professional gone bad. We need a series with a finance professor gone bad.
Favorite companies:  Stickley, Fairbault Mills, Darn Tough, Estwing, Proto, Snap-on, Stihl, Airstream, Allen Edmonds. These companies generally make the highest quality products available and I can simply buy it once and not throw it in a landfill.

Sumon Datta
Senior Lecturer of Marketing and International Business

PhD (marketing), Yale University, 2009
MT, BT (chemical engineering), Indian Institute of Technology Madras

Assistant Professor of Management, Purdue University, 2009-2018

Predictive marketing; big data analytics; machine learning; adaptive computation; competitive marketing strategy; social networks; econometrics
Most fascinating research discovery: Well-designed zoning regulations can influence more diverse retail business services that benefit consumers and potentially the businesses themselves by potentially preventing intense local competition.

Outstanding Teacher, master’s and PhD programs, Purdue University, 2014-2018
John and Mary Willis Young Faculty Scholar Award, Purdue University, 2009
MSI Alden G. Clayton Doctoral Dissertation Proposal Award, 2008
Marketing Science Doctoral Consortium Fellow, 2007

If not a business professor, I would be: A travel vlogger
Something surprising about me: I was popular in my college for hip-hop dancing
When I’m not at work, I enjoy: Hiking, sketching, and amateur carpentry
Favorite book: The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
Favorite movie: The Shawshank Redemption
Favorite television series: Friends
Favorite company: My wife, Prianka (for companionship); Google (for firm)

Shan Huang
Assistant Professor of Information Systems

PhD (management), MIT, 2018
MSc (management information systems), University of British Columbia
BA (management information systems), Tsinghua University

Social interactions and influence through digital platforms; advertising and e-commerce in social networking sites; incentives of user-generated content and prosocial behaviors in social media; field experiment, social network analysis, econometrics, applied statistics, and applied machine learning
Most fascinating research discovery: Dissertation studies social advertising and uncovers the reasons why products go viral within online social networks.

WeChat Research Grant, MIT Center for Initiative on Digital Economy, 2016-2018
Peterson Jr. Fellowship, MIT Sloan School of Management, 2012-2018

If not a business professor, I would be: A TV host
When I’m not at work, I enjoy: Reading, travelling and swimming
Favorite book: Outliers
Favorite movie: The Hours

Leela Nageswaran
Assistant Professor of Operations Management

PhD (operations management), Carnegie Mellon University, 2018
MS (operations management), Carnegie Mellon University, 2014
BTech (electrical engineering), Indian Institute of Technology Madras, 2010

Intern, IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, 2013
Associate, Boston Consulting Group, 2010-2012

Service operations; retail operations; OM-marketing interface; healthcare operations
Most fascinating research discovery: Identifying the conditions under which a customer holding a place in multiple queues—such as a wealthy patient registered for an organ transplant in more than one region— can actually be fair to customers who are only able to wait in one queue at a time.

William W. Cooper Doctoral Dissertation Award, Carnegie Mellon University, 2018
IBM Service Science Best Student Paper Award (runner up), 2016
William Larimer Mellon Fellowship, Carnegie Mellon University, 2012-2016

If not a business professor, I would be: A chef or a travelling food critic
Something surprising about me: I am extremely competitive at any game
When I’m not at work, I enjoy: Hiking and testing out new recipes
Favorite book: Airport by Arthur Hailey
Favorite movie: The Pianist
Favorite television series: The Office
Favorite company: Google

Chris Parsons
Professor of Finance and Business Economics
Michael G. Foster Endowed Professor

PhD (finance), University of Texas at Austin, 2008
BS (chemical engineering), University of Texas at Austin, 1997

Professor of Finance, USC Marshall School of Business, 2017-2018
Associate Professor of Finance, UC San Diego, 2011-2017
Visiting Associate Professor of Finance, Harvard Business School, 2013-2014
Assistant Professor of Finance, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, 2008-2011
Assistant Professor of Finance, McGill University, 2007-2008

Corporate finance; behavioral finance; labor economics; real estate; urban economics; health economics
Research featured in the New York Times, USA Today, TIME, Businessweek, Slate, Fox News, Forbes, HuffPost, Washington Post
Ad hoc referee for multiple journals, including the Journal of Finance, Journal of Financial Economics, Review of Finance Studies and Management Science
Most fascinating research discovery: White collar crime varies a lot between cities. For example, companies headquartered in Miami and Dallas engage in financial fraud at about 3x the rate as companies headquartered in Seattle or Minneapolis.  Moreover, these patterns seem to line up with other (non-financial) misbehavior in the city, such as spousal infidelity and political corruption.

MBA Excellence in Teaching Award, UC San Diego, 2016
Michael Brennan RFS Best Paper Award, 2012
Fama-DFA Best Paper, second-prize, 2012

If not a business professor, I would be: A high school math teacher (I actually was for 5 years before grad school).
Something surprising about me: I drive the worst car of anyone you know.
When I’m not at work, I enjoy: surfing
Favorite book: How The Mind Works by Steven Pinker
Favorite movie: No Country for Old Men
Favorite television series: The Wire
Favorite company: Berkshire Hathaway

Sorah Seong
Assistant Professor of Management and Organization

PhD (management), INSEAD, 2018
MSc (theory and history of international relations), London School of Economics and Political Science, 2011
AB (sociology), Harvard College, 2009

Co-Founder and Production Director, L’Abricot!, 2017
Marketing Manager, Biotopia, 2011-2012
Protection Unit Intern, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, 2010
Administrative Intern, Prime Minister’s Office, 2009
Field Coordinator, African Leadership, 2004-2005

Crowds; market formation; entrepreneurial dynamics; categories and identities; creativity
Most fascinating research discovery: In the online era, the ways in which new market spaces emerge are uncoordinated and massively distributed compared to how big firms pioneered new businesses in the past. This fundamental transformation provides new opportunity for young, private ventures to identify rhythmic differences between what’s trending on social media versus news media and use the real-time learning to gain greater attention and legitimacy (via institutional funding).

Outstanding Author Contribution, Emerald Literati Awards, 2018
Rudolf & Valeria Maag Scholarship in Entrepreneurship, INSEAD, 2017-2018
Showcase Symposium, Technology and Innovation Management Division, Academy of Management Annual Meeting, 2017
Best Conference Paper Prize (finalist), Strategic Management Society Annual Conference, 2016
Strategy Research Foundation Dissertation Scholarship, Strategic Management Society, 2015-2016

If not a business professor, I would be: An entrepreneur or a creative director
Something surprising about me: I’ve had multiple precognitive dreams in my life
When I’m not at work, I enjoy: Making art, fitness, coffee chats, urban walks
Favorite book: 1984 by George Orwell
Favorite movie: Meet Joe Black
Favorite television series: Grey’s Anatomy
Favorite company: SpaceX

Yang Song
Assistant Professor of Finance and Business Economics

PhD (finance), Stanford University, 2018
MS (financial mathematics), Stanford University, 2013
BS (mathematics), Fudan University (Shanghai), 2011

Asset pricing, active asset management; financial intermediation; over-the-counter markets; financial econometrics
Most fascinating research discovery: U.S. households misinterpret the skills of mutual fund managers, and this leads to a significant mismatch between mutual fund scale and skill.

WFA-CFAR Best PhD Paper Award, 2017

If not a business professor, I would be: A chef
When I’m not at work, I enjoy: Hiking, playing squash, and staying with my family
Favorite book:  The Crowd: A study of the Popular Mind
Favorite movie: A Beautiful Mind
Favorite television series: Da Zhai Men
Favorite company:  Tencent

Francesca Valsesia
Assistant Professor of Marketing and International Business

PhD (marketing), USC Marshall School of Business, 2018
MS (political science, political economy), London School of Economics, 2010
MS (economics and management), Bocconi University, 2007
BS (economics and management), Bocconi University,2004

Senior research analyst, The Nielsen Company (Italy), 2011-13
Account Executive, Quantum Marketing Italia (Italy), 2008-09
Marketing Executive, The Hideaways Club (UK), 2007-08

Signaling and impression management, social influence and word of mouth, experiential consumption, strategic communication
Most fascinating research discovery:  Consumers prize authenticity but buy something else

Fellow, AMA Sheth Foundation Doctoral Consortium, 2017
Winner, Society for Consumer Psychology Dissertation Proposal Competition, 2017

If not a business professor, I would be: A broke artist or a doctor
Something surprising about me: I grew up in Africa and lived on four continents
When I’m not at work, I enjoy: Painting, doing yoga, traveling
Favorite book: One, No One and One Hundred Thousand (L. Pirandello)
Favorite movie: Pulp Fiction
Favorite television series: Game of Thrones
Favorite company: Eataly

Scott Wallace
Assistant Professor of Marketing and International Business

PhD (marketing), Duke University, 2018
BS (commerce), University of Virginia, 2011

Consumer behavior; goals and motivation; reference points; judgement and decision making
Most fascinating research discovery: Setting goals as ranges instead of specific targets can make them more appealing and more motivating at the same time, whether it’s a goal for yourself, your team or your customers.

AMA Sheth Foundation Doctoral Consortium Fellow, 2016
James B. Duke Distinguished Fellow, Duke University, 2012-2018
Echols Scholar, University of Virginia, 2007-2011

If not a business professor, I would be: An urban planner. I’m fascinated by the ways the physical environment shapes our behavior, and vice versa.
Something surprising about me: I used to be an inflatable moon-bounce operator.
When I’m not at work, I enjoy: Cooking, woodworking, and trail running.
Favorite book: Seveneves (Neal Stephenson)
Favorite movie: Tropic Thunder
Favorite television series: The Affair
Favorite company: Patagonia or Cards Against Humanity