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Innovative faculty who mean business

Building on its international reputation as home to a world-class faculty, the USC Marshall School of Business has hired 12 new professors in the areas of accounting, marketing, finance and business economics, and management communication.

The new hires are among 48 professors recruited to USC Marshall since the school began its Thought Leadership Initiative in 2008. The initiative was designed to increase the size of the school’s research faculty and enhance its impact on issues of import to academics, business leaders, and society at large, as well as expand course offerings and programs.

Each new faculty member brings extensive knowledge in their areas of expertise and impressive credentials:

Kenneth Ahern, assistant professor of finance and business economics, specializes in corporate finance. Much of his research relates to mergers and acquisitions, including cross-border mergers. Ahern also has studied news stories during merger negotiations, during which he finds that firms are able to use press releases to manipulate their prices and achieve better merger terms. Ahern comes to USC Marshall from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. He received his PhD in finance from the Anderson School of Management at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Eric Allen, who will join the USC Leventhal School of Accounting as an assistant professor, has extensive knowledge of the tax accounting choices of IPO firms. Allen also is researching venture capital organization, profit-sharing contracts in the motion picture industry and the decision by multinational firms to incorporate outside the United States. He received his PhD in accounting from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley.

Miriam Burgos, assistant professor of clinical marketing, is an expert in market research, sales management and entrepreneurship. She also has lectured on the efficacy of international mortgage-backed securities as an investment. Burgos earned her PhD from USC Marshall in 2006. From 1998 through 2007, she was account manager and project manager for Procter & Gamble Distributing Co.

Cary Frydman, assistant professor of finance and business economics, brings expertise in the nascent field of neurofinance, which seeks to characterize the computations undertaken by the brain when making financial decisions. Frydman has used brain imaging to discover that investors are more likely to sell stocks trading at a gain than those trading at a loss, a pattern that is difficult to explain using rational theories of trading. In other experiments, Frydman has considered how genes correlate with financial risk-taking. He received his PhD in social sciences from the California Institute of Technology.

Maria Loumioti, an assistant professor who is joining USC Leventhal, explores issues related to debt contracts. She’s written about the recent credit market innovation of using intangible assets as collateral. Loumioti found that, by 2005, collateralization by intangible assets had grown to 24 percent of secured syndicated loans. She received her DBA in accounting and management from Harvard Business School.

Daylanne J. Markwardt, assistant professor of clinical management communication, has taught business and technical writing since 2006 at the University of Arizona, where she received her PhD in rhetoric and composition. She won the university’s Professional Writing Teaching Award in 2011, was a finalist for the Ruth Gardner Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Writing in 2007, developed original cases, and she coached teams of students to either first or second-place finishes in the Eller College of Management’s Business Communication Case Competition.

Dina Mayzlin, associate professor of marketing, is a pioneer in the area of word of mouth in online markets. Mayzlin was the first scholar to show that negative customer reviews posted on and the Barnes & Noble website had a more dramatic effect on sales than positive reviews. Mayzlin comes to USC Marshall from Yale University’s School of Management, where she has taught since 2002. She received her PhD in marketing from the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Maria Ogneva, assistant professor of accounting, researches financial accounting, with an emphasis on how internal controls and earnings quality affect the cost of capital. Ogneva has created a new method to measure the implied cost of equity for firms, which, consequently, can help to predict future stock returns. She has been named one of the “Best 40 B-School Professors Under the Age of 40” by Poets & Quants. Ogneva earned her PhD from USC Marshall in 2008 and has since taught at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.

Sun Hyun Park, assistant professor of management and organization, focuses on social relations between directors, managers, analysts and journals, and he explores how those relations affect corporate governance and strategy. Prior to beginning his doctoral studies, he held various management positions at DaimlerChrysler in Germany, South Korea and Australia. He received his PhD in strategy from the Ross School of Business.

Kelly Patterson, assistant professor of management and organization, studies how changes in the institutional environment affect decision-making in organizations. His dissertation studies historical data from the 19th-century predecessor of Dun & Bradstreet to investigate how the firm responded to public criticism of its credit ratings. He also researches the role of social identity in entrepreneurship, and his dissertation was one of 16 national recipients of a Kauffman Dissertation Fellowship in Entrepreneurship. Patterson received his PhD in sociology from Cornell University.

Mark Soliman, a visiting professor, specializes in financial accounting. He also has done research in positive accounting theory and capital markets, trading strategies and fundamental analysis. Soliman comes to USC Marshall from the University of Washington Business School, where he is the William A. Fowler Endowed Professor of Business. He earned his PhD from the Ross School of Business.

Marshall Vance, assistant professor of accounting, explores the effect of deferred compensation plans on employee turnover, and his findings point to possible strategies that retail firms can use to retain employees to create long-term personal relationships with customers. Vance also is researching how employee incentive plans affect firm performance. He received his PhD in accounting from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.

Innovative faculty who mean business

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