New Business School Faculty for 2018

Top row, from left: Alina Lerman, Alexander Amati, Heidi Bailey, Stephen Brown. Bottom row, from left: Wei Chen, Redona Methasani ’18 Ph.D., Jo (Kyoungjo) Oh.
Top row, from left: Alina Lerman, Alexander Amati, Heidi Bailey, Stephen Brown.
Bottom row, from left: Wei Chen, Redona Methasani ’18 Ph.D., Jo (Kyoungjo) Oh.

Four UConn alumni, high-ranking executives from Anthem and Electric Boat, and professors with ties to Harvard and Yale are among the 14 new faculty joining the UConn School of Business this fall.

“The School of Business brings faculty, staff and students together to transform lives, organizations and our communities,” said Dean John A. Elliott. “As faculty retire and our growth supports new hires, we continually enhance our faculty. We have had another excellent year of recruiting, with talented teachers and scholars joining us across our departments, ranging from new instructors to experienced, chaired professors.”

New faculty members include:


Stephen V. Brown joins the accounting department as an assistant professor, in Storrs. Brown earned an MBA from University of North Florida, and a Ph.D. in accounting from the University of Florida. He is a CPA in Florida. Brown has previously taught at Arizona State and the University of Florida. His professional interests include computational linguistics, financial accounting, and audit and data science in accounting. He has served as an accounting journal reviewer and as a team coach in case competitions.

Wei Chen joins the accounting department as an assistant professor, based in Storrs. Chen holds a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa and an MBA from Dartmouth College. His research interests include empirical financial accounting, with a focus on financial reporting, disclosure and methodological issues. He recently had a paper accepted by the Journal of Accounting Research.

Alina Lerman joins UConn as an assistant professor of accounting, based in Storrs. She will be teaching in the MBA and Ph.D. programs. Lerman previously was on the faculty of the Yale School of Management for eight years. She earned her bachelor’s degree in economics summa cum laude and her Ph.D. in accounting, both from New York University. Her research has been published in the top accounting journals. Her work experience includes three years as a research associate for LECG, a securities litigation and forensic accounting firm. Her research interests include financial accounting and capital markets, investor sophistication, corporate mandatory and voluntary disclosure, and accounting regulation.


Alexander Amati joins the finance department as an assistant professor-in-residence, in Storrs. Amati has taught finance to undergraduate and graduate students at Rutgers University, and at the University of Minnesota, where he earned a Ph.D. in applied economics in 2006. His research interests include machine learning in finance and business, financial risk management, and foreign direct investments. In addition to his academic achievements, Amati has worked as a consultant for the World Bank and various private firms. He is currently consulting with two technology start-ups in the industry.

Andrew Jing Liu joins the finance faculty as an assistant professor, based in Stamford. He earned his Doctor of Business Administration degree from Harvard Business School. He also has a master’s degree in financial mathematics from Stanford University, and an MBA from Duke University. In addition to his academic pursuits, Liu has worked as a senior portfolio manager at Columbia Management, and as director of valuation oversight at Fidelity Investments. His research interests include fair value, asset pricing, financial reporting and disclosure.

Shane M. Murphy joins UConn as an assistant professor of healthcare, based in Storrs. Murphy earned his Ph.D. in economics from Lancaster University in the United Kingdom. His postdoctoral work was completed at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis. Among his many achievements are a $93,000 grant to examine the cost-effectiveness of pediatric asthma interventions. His research interests include hospital performance, health systems, and cost-effectiveness.

Alumnus William A. Pace ’07 Ph.D. joins the finance faculty as an assistant professor-in-residence, based in Storrs. Pace has been a health economist at Anthem, Inc., conducting advanced analytics and data science modeling of health and economic outcomes. He earned a Ph.D. in health-care economics from UConn in 2007 and, previously, a master’s degree in economics. His research interests include health and economic outcomes related to insurance plan design, medical management programs and patient incentives; and behavioral economics of incentives on plan selection, health and wellness program participation, and lifestyle-related health risks. He has been an adjunct instructor at UConn, in both Storrs and Hartford, since 2013.

Anh Tran joins UConn as an assistant professor of finance, based in Stamford. Tran earned a Ph.D. in finance from the University of Rochester in 2018, and an M.S.B.A. in applied economics there three years earlier. He also earned a master’s degree in finance from the University of Utah, and a bachelor of engineering degree in automotive engineering from Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City University. His research interests include asset pricing, mutual funds, and corporate governance. Recently his working paper on mutual-fund governance was a semi-finalist for the best paper award at the 2018 Financial Management Association Annual Meeting.


Alumnus Juan Florin ’01 Ph.D. joins UConn as an assistant professor-in-residence in the management department, based in Storrs. His teaching experience spans 15 years and focuses on entrepreneurship, technology strategy, and global strategy. He has worked at the University of New Hampshire, EM Lyon in France, and EADA in Barcelona, among others. His experience also includes both international business, corporate entrepreneurship in consumer and household durable goods, and small business startups. He is a small business development consultant, an angel investor, a mentor, and director at a community nonprofit. His research interests include strategy process and funding of for-profit social ventures, ride-hailing and ride-sharing for rural communities, and non-profit sustainability strategies.

Alumna Redona Methasani ’18 Ph.D. joins the faculty as a visiting assistant professor of management, in Stamford. Her research interests include emotions, decision-making, deception, and ethics in negotiations and organizations. Prior to joining the faculty at UConn, she served as a management consultant to the Yale School of Management, and as a financial analyst at Lockheed Martin Corp. She earned a Ph.D. in management from UConn, an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University, and bachelor of science from Penn State.

Jordan J. McSweeney, joins the management department as a visiting assistant professor, based in Storrs. He earned a Ph.D. in management from Auburn University, as well as an MBA and bachelor’s degree from University of Rhode Island. His research explores how socio-cognitive factors (such as values, logics and communication) influence venture formation processes (including funding and legitimation), as well as how these mechanisms shape the decision making of strategic leaders (including board composition and strategies) and the performance implications of such decisions for entrepreneurs and organizations. Additionally, he is interested in how diversity issues influence these relationships for entrepreneurs and strategic leaders.

Jo (Kyoungjo) Oh joins the management faculty as an assistant professor, based in Storrs. He earned a Ph.D. in management from Michigan State University, and a master’s degree in industrial and labor relations (human resources and organizational behavior focus) from Cornell University. His research addresses mistreatment in the workplace, especially abusive supervision; affect; and workgroups. His research has been published in The Academy of Management Review. In addition to his academic credentials, Oh previously worked in human resources and strategic planning for the Hyundai Motor Group.


Heidi E. Bailey joins the faculty as a visiting instructor in marketing, in Storrs. Bailey has an MBA from Western New England College. She has worked as an adjunct instructor and mentor at UConn’s Stamford and Waterbury campuses since Fall 2017. She earned a bachelor’s in business administration at UMass Amherst and continues to mentor students there, including via the Women of Isenberg Conference. Most of her career has been at LEGO in various managerial roles, including as the global leader for the LEGO Club and brand manager for the LEGO Disney Princess line. Her professional strengths include global team leadership, brand management, digital marketing and consumer relationships.

Debanjan Mitra, joins the faculty as a full professor of marketing and the Voya Financial Chair, based in Storrs. Mitra had previously been on the faculty at the University of Florida. He brings a passion for marketing, particularly exploring ways to quickly identify innovations that are more likely to succeed. Mitra earned his Ph.D. in marketing from New York University. His professional interests also include quality, customer satisfaction, new product development, and brand management. His research has been published in the Journal of Marketing, the Journal of Marketing Research, Marketing Science and the Harvard Business Review, among others. He has been recognized with numerous awards from professional organizations, and his research has received media coverage from the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Businessweek, Forbes and CNN. Prior to his academic career, Mitra held various marketing positions at Coca Cola and Diageo.


Alumnus Craig A. Calvert ’08 Ph.D., ’13 MSBAPM joins UConn as an assistant professor-in-residence in the OPIM/Management and Engineering for Manufacturing (MEM) program, in Storrs. Calvert earned a Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from UConn in 2008 and a master’s degree in Business Analytics and Project Management in 2013. He joins us from Electric Boat in Groton, Conn., where his responsibilities included multiple programmatic activities, including government contract management and oversight of engineering disciplines. Previous roles include marketing, sales, business development, research, consulting, and general business management. For the last five years he has worked as an adjunct professor at UConn. His professional interest is in applying data-driven solutions to business and technical problems.