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Ten New Faculty Strengthen Teaching and Research at Nebraska Business

College Furthers Mission-Focused Goals with Hires
Ten New Faculty Strengthen Teaching and Research at Nebraska Business
Ten new faculty join the College of Business in the 2020-21 academic year.

Dr. Kathy Farrell, James Jr. and Susan Stuart Endowed Dean of the College of Business, announced 10 new faculty who will help advance the college’s mission-focused goals in the 2020-21 academic year. They drive discovery with impactful research, create opportunity through transformative teaching and build meaningful connections at Nebraska Business.

“I’m thrilled to welcome our 10 new faculty who bring their expertise and a wide variety of valuable experiences to our college,” said Farrell. “We continue to build a faculty of exceptional scholars who engage in cutting-edge research, and create and deliver innovative curriculum that empowers individuals to lead the future of business.”

They include: Dr. Edward Balistreri, Duane Acklie Chair of International Trade and Finance and associate professor of economics; Dr. Qian Chen, assistant professor of marketing; Dr. Yifan Gong, assistant professor of economics; Shawntell Kroese, assistant professor of practice in supply chain management; Kyle Langvardt, J.D., assistant professor of law; Dr. Robert Mackalski, assistant professor of practice in marketing; Dr. Brett Neely, assistant professor of management; Dr. Pinar Runnalls, assistant professor of practice in marketing; Dr. Teck Yong Tan, assistant professor of economics; and Dr. Federico Zincenko, assistant professor of economics.

Dr. Edward Balistreri, Duane Acklie Chair of International Trade and Finance and Associate Professor of Economics
Balistreri, who received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Colorado in 1995, fulfills an important interdisciplinary role. His appointment links the College of Business to the university's Clayton Yeutter Institute of International Trade and Finance, a program connecting expertise within the college with the College of Law and the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

“The Duane Acklie Chair provides me with the unique opportunity to represent the College of Business on the leadership team of the Clayton Yeutter Institute,” said Balistreri. “The Yeutter Institute connects academic disciplines related to law, policy, business and agriculture to prepare students for leadership roles in international trade and finance, support interdisciplinary research and increase public understanding of these issues. I was excited to accept the new position in the Department of Economics as it allows me to make an impact through education, research and outreach.”

Balistreri published in top journals such as Environmental and Resource Economics and Journal of International Economics and also brings experience as both an academic and government economist. He worked for the United States Trade Commission where he performed analysis on numerous trade agreements and trade disputes to assess their impact on U.S. agricultural production and economic activity as an economist. In addition, he brings specialized skills in numeric modeling policy, including how the U.S. and China trade war affects Nebraska households and businesses.

“Edward brings significant strength to our department in international economics. He is a well-trained researcher with a host of publications addressing current topics in international trade,” said Dr. David Rosenbaum, Hay Professor of Economics and chair of the Department of Economics.

Dr. Qian Chen, Assistant Professor of Marketing 
Chen received her Ph.D. in business administration from Pennsylvania State University in 2020 focusing on quantitative marketing. Prior to that, she gained industry experience working as a business intelligence specialist and marketing operations manager at Avepoint, Inc., a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner.

“Qian’s research focuses on empirical modeling of marketing phenomena. Her excellent analytical skills will be an asset for students when she teaches courses on marketing analytics,” said Dr. Ravi Sohi, chair of the Department of Marketing and Robert D. Hays Distinguished Chair of Sales Excellence.

Chen plans to continue her work in quantitative marketing research, which interfaces with statistics, machine learning, operations research and econometrics. Her research interests in segmentation, digital marketing, product diffusion and customer relationship management will impact students interested in the emerging field of marketing analytics.

“My research interests focus on the development of new methods and algorithms to solve real-world marketing problems with massive marketing data,” said Chen. “My industry experiences in marketing and business analytics as well as marketing operations, contribute effectively to the teaching mission of Nebraska Business.”

Dr. Yifan Gong, Assistant Professor of Economics
Gong received his Ph.D. in economics at the University of Western Ontario, Canada, in 2020 and joins the college in the spring. His research interests include labor economics, public economics and urban economics, and he published an article on the uncertainty of future income in Quantitative Economics in 2019.

“Yifan adds depth in our department to provide advanced statistical analysis. He also strengthens our research and teaching capabilities in labor economics,” said Rosenbaum.

Gong, who looks forward to accessing restricted-use versions of important datasets provided by the Central Plains Federal Statistical Research Data Center at Nebraska, said, “Data access is very appealing to labor economists because we are interested in bringing economic theory to the data and studying empirical issues. For example, the geographic information contained in these datasets is very important for understanding variation in individuals' educational and labor market outcomes.” 

He specializes in analyzing how perceptions about future outcomes affect individuals' decisions and how to effectively elicit or infer these perceptions.

“My skills can help design policies to assist people going through the pandemic. Policymakers need to know people's perceptions about their future economic and health conditions and how these perceptions can be affected by public policies. Because of the lack of understanding about and prior experience with the current pandemic, people's perceptions can be very heterogeneous and are difficult to characterize using traditional methods. The methods I learned and developed during my Ph.D. study can be helpful in this case,” said Gong.

Shawntell Kroese, Assistant Professor of Practice in Supply Chain Management
Kroese brings 20 years of experience in transportation and logistics, including executive level experience at Union Pacific Railroad in Omaha, Nebraska. As a past Fortune 150 company executive, her supply chain management experience also includes marketing and sales components combined with valuable experience at Nebraska Business.

“As the lead recruiter for Union Pacific for more than 15 years, I hired many university students for marketing and sales jobs. I also helped Rob Simon (associate professor of practice in marketing) develop a course that was successful in better preparing students for their careers,” said Kroese. “Now I create classes to help students develop their business acumen and critical thinking skills, which will assist them in achieving their career goals. I’m excited to bring exposure to the vast opportunities in a field that is rapidly changing all the time,” she said. 

Kroese majored in management at Nebraska, received her MBA from Creighton University and stayed involved at the College of Business serving on the CoB Marketing Advisory Board and helping with the course.

“Shawntell demonstrated a passion for teaching by helping develop and teach a project-based undergraduate course at the college for more than a decade,” said Dr. Jennifer Ryan, Ron and Carol Cope Professor of Supply Chain Management and Analytics and chair of the Department of Supply Chain and Analytics. “Her vast work and teaching experience made her a unique candidate. Rarely do individuals working in industry demonstrate that kind of commitment to undergraduate education.”

Kyle Langvardt, J.D., Assistant Professor of Law
With a dual role teaching in both the College of Law and the College of Business, Langvardt teaches courses for the law and business minor – an innovative, joint program between the two colleges. The minor provides a solid foundation of legal insight crucial for students to know in the world of business.

Langvardt received his J.D., in 2007 from the University of Chicago Law School and published more than 10 papers on issues ranging from religious speech, first amendment decision-making on the Supreme Court and regulating online content moderation. By developing a new course called Law for Startups for this spring, he plans to guide students through various legal situations in the early lifecycle of a technology company.

“I enjoy working with students who come to law from outside the discipline and also first-year law students. I hope to give students a general awareness of the legal and ethical dimensions of their work – not just so they can avoid bad decisions, but so they also can recognize points of leverage and opportunity in the policy terrain around their business. I would also like to provide them with a better understanding of public governance processes that most non-lawyers don’t often think about,” said Langvardt, who joins the university this spring.

Richard Moberly, J.D., dean of Nebraska Law and Richard C. & Catherine S. Schmoker Professor of Law, explains how Langvardt’s interdisciplinary background will benefit law and business students.

“Kyle brings a wealth of knowledge in cutting-edge legal issues that impact business, such as the Internet’s implications for free expression both as a matter of constitutional doctrine and as a practical reality. His written work addresses new and confounding policy issues including tech addiction, the collapse of traditional gatekeepers in online media and 3D-printable weapons. His interdisciplinary work weaving legal theory with the practicalities of operating a business in an increasingly technology-driven environment will benefit law students who need to understand business practicalities and business undergraduates who need to appreciate the legal rules and norms that will regulate their future work,” said Moberly.

Dr. Robert Mackalski, Assistant Professor of Practice in Marketing
With a dual role teaching in both the College of Business and the Jeffrey Raikes School of Computer Science and Management, Mackalski’s expertise includes branding and the entrepreneurial side of marketing. After earning his Ph.D. in marketing at McGill University in Montreal, he served as director of McGill’s Dobson Centre for Entrepreneurship where he taught as well as helped develop entrepreneurs and provided training and support to more than 20 companies.

“Dr. Mackalski brings with him several years of experience as an entrepreneur and a faculty member at McGill University,” said Sohi. “He is an excellent teacher who can make a tremendous impact on our students, both in the classroom and out. He will also do a great job engaging with local businesses.”

An author of many business cases while at McGill, he served as a guest case author for Harvard Business School's MBA in 2016 and 2017 and Harvard Business School’s Executive Education in 2014.

“My main goal is to deliver marketing in a way that resonates well with my students. I also plan to develop content – business cases, videos and examples – tailored to their interests and needs. A few days ago, I published my first marketing case as a faculty member at Nebraska,” said Mackalski.

Dr. Brett Neely, Assistant Professor of Management
Neely, who published five articles prior to receiving his Ph.D. in industrial organizational psychology earlier this year, explores leadership issues in his research, as well as factors that influence outcomes of diversity. His papers on gender research and leadership types appeared in top journals such as the Academy of Management Journal and The Leadership Quarterly respectively.

“Brett had already published research articles in journals at the highest level in the field of management and others in the pipeline, which showed he was a productive researcher who would bring greater prestige to our department and Ph.D. program,” said Dr. Jonathan O’Brien, U.S. Bank Distinguished Professor of Business and chair of the Department of Management. “He eloquently talked about his research in a way that made it easy for others to understand. It was clear that he was a skilled instructor in the classroom who would aid our students in gaining the valuable knowledge and skills they need to be effective managers of the future.”

Earning his Ph.D. in psychology from Pennsylvania State University in 2020, Neeley’s research interests include the social, cognitive, emotional and psychological factors that influence top leaders’ decision-making.

“I’m particularly interested in understanding how diversity in leadership can influence important organizational outcomes. I’m also interested in best practices for research methods in organizational science,” said Neely. “The Nebraska Department of Management is a place where I can continue to grow as an academic.”

Dr. Pinar Runnalls, Assistant Professor of Practice in Marketing
Runnalls received her doctorate in marketing from Michigan State University. With extensive teaching experience at the graduate and undergraduate levels, Runnalls taught courses in consumer behavior, business ethics, international marketing, quantitative business research methods, principles of marketing and digital marketing.

“Pinar’s research interests are in the area of international marketing, marketing strategy and marketing management. She also has global experience, which will be very beneficial to the students who take her classes,” said Sohi. 

Runnalls published in top journals such as Journal of Retailing and Journal of International Marketing. Her current research looks at sales training approaches, how team intelligence affects job attitudes and turnover, corporate legitimacy and a longitudinal analysis of worker performance data. Along with her coauthors, Pinar won the 2018 S. Tamer Cavusgil award, which recognizes the most impactful journal article that contributes to the field of international marketing for a given year (2018).

“I provide many international real-life examples for my students when it comes to teaching – both at the undergraduate and graduate level. With a different world vision, I can tie those experiences into marketing concepts and deliver multi-faceted knowledge,” said Runnalls. 

Dr. Teck Yong Tan, Assistant Professor of Economics
An applied economic theorist with an interest in organizational and personnel economics, Tan’s research overlaps significantly with many business fields such as accounting, finance and management. With two papers forthcoming, one in the RAND Journal of Economics, he hopes to find future research collaborators and co-authors at Nebraska.  

“Teck teaches the microeconomic core to all of our incoming graduate students. In addition, he enjoys applications to labor and public economics, two areas of concentration within our department,” said Rosenbaum.

Tan earned the Wueller Teaching Award at Columbia University in 2016 and his Ph.D. in 2017. Then he served as an assistant professor at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore for three years. 

“I want to work closely with the diverse faculty in other departments at the College of Business to pursue our common research interests and break new ground. Given my applied research interests and experience, I look forward to injecting an applied perspective to the classic economic theories in class to help Nebraska Business students appreciate the usefulness and beauty of these economic concepts,” Tan said.

Dr. Federico Zincenko, Assistant Professor of Economics
Zincenko’s research interests include econometrics and industrial organization. He published the lead article, “Nonparametric Estimation of First-Price Auctions with Risk-Averse Bidders” in the Journal of Econometrics and “Collusion and Heterogeneity of Firms” in the RAND Journal of Economics in 2017.

“Federico specializes in econometrics, an area of advanced statistical analysis. Econometrics is a foundational research tool in many research areas within the college. Consequently, Federico’s addition to the department brings added strength to the college’s research capabilities,” Rosenbaum said.

Zincenko received his Ph.D. in economics from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Prior to joining Nebraska Business, he served as an assistant professor of economics at the University of Pittsburgh since 2013. There he taught Applied Econometrics I and Ph.D. courses on Econometric Theory and General Econometrics.

“I would like to build a solid research agenda at Nebraska in econometrics and industrial organization that makes an impact,” Zincenko said. “I enjoy solving challenging problems and bringing that into the classroom to motivate students and find ways to help them discover what they want to do as a professional.”

Visit our New Faculty Webpage

The ten new College of Business faculty are featured on a new web page highlighting their accomplishments.
Published: September 17, 2020