This fall we welcomed four new faculty to the Merrick School of Business. Their expertise aligns with some of the most dominant trends transforming college campuses around the nation and particularly in the University System of Maryland. These tenure-track faculty as well as the 44 other faculty members face the extraordinary challenge of developing and adapting to new technologies and new operating models of business. The addition of these scholars to the Merrick School of Business faculty positions us to be ahead of the curve in areas of academic transformation and to embrace innovative and game-changing areas like mobile technologies, social decisions in corporations, and managing innovative organizations.
“During this hiring season we really focused on people who could contribute both in terms of research and teaching but who also had an entrepreneurial spirit,” said Marilyn Oblak associate dean in the Merrick School of Business. “We really emphasized the importance of experiential learning and the connecting with the business community and each new hire brings an enthusiasm to that goal as well as the ability to walk the walk and talk the talk of innovation. Throughout the University System and UB we are moving forward and innovation is a hallmark of that trajectory. This train is on the fast track.”
The added expertise of faculty like Associate Professor of Strategic Management Donald Hatfield reinforces the commitment to innovation and creativity on campus. Hatfield's current research is focused on how managers can deal with the uncertainty associated with technology, and the underlying factors driving geographic industrial clustering. His work examines how firms position for entrance into an emerging industry, how geographic factors influence technology competition, how diversity influences creativity, and how firms use research laboratories to develop competitive advantage.
And you can’t talk about new technologies without incorporating the expertise of Eusebio Scornavacca assistant professor of management information systems. Scornavacca who also holds the John and Margaret Thompson Chair in MIS came to UB by way of New Zealand. He has a love of traveling, meeting new people and Italian and Japanese cooking and focuses much of his research in the area of understanding the intersection between radical information and technology innovation and disruptive change at the individual, organizational and/or social levels. He also has played an important role the international research community in the areas of mobile and ubiquitous information systems. He was attracted to the Merrick School because of the culture of collegiality, that fact that it is so student focused and entrepreneurial.
When asked what inspires him to teach, he sees it as making a difference in the community and that education is one of the most effective means of social transformation.
“I am curious by nature and that drove me to be an academic,” said Scornavacca. “Teaching gives me the fantastic opportunity to share with others what I learn through research. I truly believe the knowledge and skills I acquire through my research activities are crucial elements of my success as a teacher as they enable me to engage my students with high-quality content in an effective manner.”
Associate Professor in Accounting Mikhail Pevzner has a research interest in auditing and international accounting issues. His current research deals with the impact of societal culture on firm decisions. In fact his recently published paper Audit Quality: Insights from Academic Literature was cited in a speech by Jeanette Franzel, who is a member of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, the nonprofit corporation established by Congress to oversee the audits of public companies. Pevzner holds the Ernst and Young Accounting Professorship and sees his teaching role as helping students succeed.
“I have always enjoyed helping students reach their full potential,” said Pevzner. “Teaching at UB is such a good fit for me because of its entrepreneurial spirit, openness to innovation and supportive environment for both teaching and research.”
While Pevzner is weaving innovative ideas and teaching methods into his courses, it is the faculty with ‘innovation’ in his title that affirms the direction the school is going. The globe-trotting Assistant Professor in Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship Tiago Ratinho concentrates his research on startups, new venture creation and entrepreneurship. He also brings added expertise to the newly launched M.S. in Innovation Management and Technology Commercialization program.
“I’m mostly interested in entrepreneurial ecosystems and entrepreneurial strategies,” said Ratinho. “Ecosystems was the focus of my doctoral thesis. I looked at the impact of business incubators in new firms. By analyzing the intensity of the intervention, the research identified which incubator’s characteristics are more likely to lead to survival and superior performance of new ventures. Currently, I’m working with a colleague on a U.S. database trying to understand the dynamics of aggregation of incubated companies when compared to a match sample of non-incubated companies.”
What truly resonates with Ratinho is teaching entrepreneurship to a student body that tends to be older and more experienced. which in turn makes them more aware of their communities and more capable of starting their ventures. We couldn’t agree with him more