The School of Business is welcoming 10 new faculty members this fall, including Yiming Qian, a full professor, who will chair the new Toscano Family Chair in Finance.
Qian earned her Ph.D. in Finance from the Stern School of Business at NYU. Before joining UConn, she was an associate finance professor at the University of Iowa, which, like UConn, is a top research university. She has also been a visiting scholar in Hong Kong, Australia, China and London.
Her research focuses on varying topics in corporate finance, including initial public offerings, mergers and acquisitions, behavioral finance, and emerging markets.
“It is a great honor to become the Toscano Chair in Finance,” Qian said. “UConn has a strong and energetic Finance Department. I look forward to taking up a leadership role in research and teaching, and contributing my very best efforts to the department’s continued growth.”
David Souder, interim dean of the School of Business, said he is pleased that the School has, again, drawn top talent to its ranks.
“It is exciting to welcome new colleagues from diverse backgrounds to join the School of Business team, and we look forward to the many contributions they will make to the UConn community,” he said. “Great faculty challenge our students in the classroom to reach their fullest potential, and use their research to challenge the boundaries of our knowledge about business practices and systems.”
The new faculty for 2019 include:
Tara L. Vakil joins the Accounting Department as an assistant professor, based in Storrs. She earned her Ph.D. from Texas A&M University. Her research interests include financial reporting and audit archival topics, including the effects of governance, standard-setting and regulation on disclosure and financial reporting quality. Prior to pursuing her doctoral studies, Vakil worked for more than 10 years in Deloitte’s audit and advisory services practice.
Nina Xu joins the Accounting Department as an assistant professor, based in Storrs. She earned her Ph.D. from Texas A&M University and is a CPA and CMA. Her research interests include information intermediaries, voluntary disclosure, debt contracting and audit. Her professional experience includes working as a controller at Cameron International in Houston.
Yiming Qian joins the Finance Department as a full professor, based in in Storrs, and the Toscano Family Chair in Finance. She earned her Ph.D. in Finance from the Stern School of Business at NYU. Before joining UConn, she has worked at the Tippie School of Business at the University of Iowa. She has also been a visiting scholar in Hong Kong, Australia, China and London.
Qian is widely published in leading finance journals including the Journal of Financial Economics, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, the Review of Financial Studies, and Management Science, among others. Her research focuses on varying topics in corporate finance, including initial public offerings, mergers and acquisitions, behavioral finance, and emerging markets.
She is the recipient of numerous professional awards, including the Faculty Research Award at University of Iowa in 2018. She is associate editor of the Quarterly Journal of Finance and the Asia-Pacific Journal of Financial Studies. She serves as a board member of Midwest Finance Association. Qian has also served on the program committee for many international finance conferences.
Alex Van de Minne joins the Finance Department as an assistant professor of real estate, based in Storrs. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Amsterdam, and has recently worked as a research scientist at the MIT Center for Real Estate, specializing in commercial property pricing. He was the director of the Real Estate Price Dynamics Platform at MIT, which is a laboratory specializing in commercial property asset pricing and is completely industry-funded. In the last year, he has had numerous articles accepted and/or published in top journals, and twice won highly competitive grants from the Real Estate Research Institute.
Stefan Hock joins the Marketing Department as an assistant professor, based in Storrs. He earned his Ph.D. from Virginia Tech and most recently worked at George Mason University. His professional interest is in consumer behavior, particularly as it relates to societal well-being, but he also conducts research in marketing strategy. His research has been published in top academic journals, such as Management Science and the Journal of Consumer Research. In 2018, he received the George Mason School of Business’ Outstanding Professor in Marketing Award for his excellent teaching ratings.
Weining Bao joins the Marketing Department as an assistant professor, based in Storrs. Bao earned a Ph.D. in economics from Johns Hopkins University. Most recently, he worked at the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia. Bao’s research interests include empirical and theoretical industrial organization, crowdfunding, digital marketing, financial services markets and emerging markets, and his recent work has been published in Marketing Science. Bao has taught at the undergraduate and postgraduate level, including courses in marketing research, pricing strategies and tactics, and dynamic methods in economic analysis. At UConn, he is teaching undergraduate digital marketing and postgraduate advanced modeling.
Operations & Information Management
Miao Bai joins the OPIM Department as an assistant professor, based in Storrs. He earned a Ph.D. in Industrial and Systems Engineering at Lehigh University and worked as a postdoctoral research associate at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. His research interests include leveraging mathematical optimization, data analytics, and machine learning to develop effective and efficient solutions for complex problems arising in healthcare systems and medicine, including capacity and access management, real-time hospital operations management and medical decision making.
Chen Liang joins the OPIM Department as an assistant professor, based in Storrs. Liang earned a Ph.D. from Arizona State University. Her professional interests include gig economy, platform economy, bias and discrimination, and artificial intelligence. Her work has appeared in Management Science and Information Systems Research. She has received several academic awards and research grants, such as the WISE Best Paper Award, a National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant, and three NET Institute grants.
Carlos Cardonha joins the OPIM Department as an assistant professor, based in Storrs. He earned his Ph.D. in mathematics from Technische Universität Berlin in Germany. He has recently worked as a research staff member for IBM’s Natural Resources Optimization group and has been recognized as an IBM Master Inventor, a title given to employees who have strongly contributed to the company’s intellectual property portfolio. While at IBM, he designed data analytics and optimization solutions for a wide range of areas, including transportation, smart cities, cloud computing and more. His professional research interests include analytics, operations research, optimization, mathematical programming, and theoretical computer science. His research has been published in premier journals.
David Wanik joins the OPIM Department as an assistant professor-in-residence, based in Stamford. He is a three-time alumnus of the University of Connecticut, most recently earning his Ph.D. in 2015.
Wanik is an active researcher on risk analysis, remote sensing and smart cities. He is the former manager of the Eversource Energy Center at the University of Connecticut, where he managed research teams from UConn’s Schools of Business, Engineering, and Agriculture/Health and Natural Resources. As a lecturer, he has developed two graduate classes on predictive analytics and deep learning. He has previously served as an assistant research professor in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering at UConn, as an adjunct professor of business, and as a data scientist at Hartford Steam Boiler/Munich Re.