It was great seeing many of you at the Tom Mendoza Presents panel discussion on Friday, September 1. We had a very enthusiastic and full house in the Jordan for the conversation on “Leadership, Culture and the Power of Diversity” with guests Tom Mendoza, Tennessee State University Head Coach Eddie George, Notre Dame Women’s Basketball Coach Niele Ivey and former Notre Dame All-American Derrick Mayes.
We also had an unannounced visit from our football head coach Marcus Freeman, who dropped in to greet Coach George and pose for a quick photoshoot. If you missed the event, I highly encourage you to watch the video.
One of our strategic goals is to elevate the quality and quantity of impactful research with relevance to business and society. Achieving this goal depends heavily on our ability to recruit talented faculty. I’m thus very pleased to introduce the newest members of our faculty community. This week, I’ll focus on our new tenured, tenure-track, visiting and research faculty. Next week, I’ll introduce our new teaching professors. In addition to their areas of research interests, each one also provided a quote about how he or she chose their particular area of study.
John Aland, Visiting Assistant Professor
AREAS OF INTEREST: Financial institutions, financial reporting, equity crowdfunding, voluntary disclosure.
RESEARCH: "My research looks at the behaviors of traditional and non-traditional financial institutions. As an auditor, I developed a deep understanding of the banking industry that has helped inform my research focused on the behavior of these institutions. As I looked more into these institutions, I also developed an interest in how firms fund their operations when traditional sources of financing aren't available, which led me to equity crowdfunding. It has been really interesting getting to make connections with people in the equity crowdfunding industry, and helping to contribute to our overall knowledge about the democratization of financing for startup firms."
Ilona Bastiaansen, Assistant Professor
AREAS OF INTEREST: Corporate disclosure (mandatory & voluntary), market efficiency, financial distress and bankruptcy.
RESEARCH: “When I was young, my life was profoundly impacted by the financial collapse of the family business. One of the contributing factors to the bankruptcy was the lack of financial acumen of the people involved in the business. This personal experience has been a driving force behind my dedication to instructing in the field of accounting and conducting research related to corporate bankruptcy.”
Lauren Vollon, Visiting Assistant Professor
AREAS OF INTEREST: Structuring of private M&A contracts and VC investors; disclosure regulation, equity ownership and liquidity.
RESEARCH: “In my research, I study how (unequal) access to financial information affects capital markets and contracting. Proper information flows between firms and external stakeholders are a necessary condition for any market to optimally function. Inequality among stakeholders in the access to information and in the ability to process information is an important impediment to information dissemination and thus ultimately to economic development. It is then also a great pleasure for me to teach financial accounting to a broad range of college students and help them become critical users of financial information."
Alberto Martin Utrera, Visiting Assistant Professor
AREAS OF INTEREST: Empirical asset pricing, financial econometrics and portfolio optimization.
RESEARCH: "I've been passionate about math and numbers since I was a kid. Over time, I became curious about how economic agents interact with each other, which eventually led me into the data-rich field of finance. Now, I focus on developing quantitative methods to improve our understanding of financial decisions."
Emanuele Rizzo, Visiting Assistant Professor
AREAS OF INTEREST: Empirical corporate finance, financial intermediation, corporate governance, regulation.
RESEARCH: "My research centers on gaining a deeper understanding of how financial institutions operate. Specifically, I focus on three key factors — team dynamics, governance quality and the interconnectedness of financial markets — and I study how they influence the decision-making processes and behavioral patterns of financial institutions."
Francis Bilson Darku, Assistant Professor
AREAS OF INTEREST: Sequential analytic methods, nonparametric statistics and econometrics, analytics for IT and operations.
RESEARCH: “Collecting data can be costly and time-consuming, but it is crucial for accurate analyses and conclusions. Knowing when to stop data collection and declare sufficiency has therefore been a key question that I try to answer in many different statistical contexts. Hence one of my research areas is to develop stopping rules for sampling data given a desired accuracy level for a particular statistical analysis.”
Alfonso Pedraza-Martinez, Greg and Patty Fox Collegiate Professor
AREAS OF INTEREST: Humanitarian operations and crisis management, sustainability, operations in emerging markets, global supply chains.
RESEARCH: “I study humanitarian operations and disaster management. Before joining academia, I worked for three years as a humanitarian logistician for the city of Bogota, Colombia. Then I realized I wanted to get a deep understanding of the challenges faced by humanitarian operations and disaster response systems and contribute to finding solutions.”
Casher Belinda, Assistant Professor
AREAS OF INTEREST: Emotions, interpersonal perception and communication, close relationships at work.
RESEARCH: “My research focuses on emotions, interpersonal perception and communication, and close relationships at work. My interests in these areas were heavily influenced by my time spent working as a sauté chef at an Italian restaurant.”
Michael Rosenblum, Assistant Professor
AREAS OF INTEREST: Perceptions of inequality and political discourse.
RESEARCH: “I study both how different forms of inequality (along the lines of gender, race and socioeconomic status) impact interpersonal judgments and how engagement in political discourse shapes both our impressions of others and the way in which we communicate our beliefs. I became fascinated by these topics through his deep interest in politics, as it is the domain of politics through which societal inequalities are created and through which they can be remedied.”
Kristen Ferguson, Assistant Professor
AREAS OF INTEREST: Creativity and innovation, consumer emotions and social influences.
RESEARCH: “My research focuses on understanding the influence of creativity and innovation on consumer behavior. I became interested in studying creativity because it is the key factor that drives change and progress. My research influences my approach to teaching, where my goal is to utilize innovative and interactive materials to encourage creative thinking and discourse.”
Andre Martin, Assistant Professor
AREAS OF INTEREST: Marketing strategy, privacy, firm communication, marketing finance interface.
RESEARCH: “I have always had a passion for problem-solving. After doing so in the tech industry for 15 years I wanted to solve problems that had a greater impact on people's lives and firm strategy. My research looks at the implications of privacy on consumer perception and leverages machine learning, text analysis, and AI to solve marketing/finance and consumer welfare issues.”
Breagin Riley, Assistant Research Professor
AREAS OF INTEREST: Social justice and consumer behavior, social contracts and market evolution.
RESEARCH: “My research is driven by the idea of ‘putting your money where your mouth is,’ or the extent to which people's consumption behavior supports or reflects their values. I'm lucky to study this in an era when there is abundant data on people's values and how they allocate scarce resources like money and time. My work generally focuses on detecting values-driven shifts in consumption which are predicted by theory, but have historically been difficult to observe.”
Please join me in welcoming our new faculty. My gratitude also to Ken Kelley, senior associate dean for faculty and research, and department chairs Brad Badertscher (ACCT), Shane Corwin (FIN), Rob Easley (ITAO), Ann Tenbrunsel (M&O) and Frank Germann (MARK) for all of their efforts to recruit top faculty.
In Notre Dame,