PhD Research Fellows
Abrar Al-Hasan obtained a B.S. in Computer Engineering from Kuwait
University, and an MBA from Smith School of Business at the University of
Maryland. He is currently pursuing a PhD degree in Information Systems. Al-Hasan’s
research focuses on online social networks and how they are changing the
traditional ways of conducting business. Web 2.0 has allowed social networks and
the wisdom of crowds to profoundly impact many traditional business models and
creating new ones that can survive in this environment.
One of the most recent business models that seek to radically change the
investment sector is social investing. Traditionally the investment sector has
been dominated by “experts”, “investment brokerages”, and “analysts”, with most
individual investors seeking their advice for investment decisions. Social
investing or social stock picking seeks to move away from such centralized
sources by tapping into the “wisdom of the crowds”. Understanding how amateur
investors as well as the technology vendors can profit from such a marketplace
is the focus of Abrar’s current research.
Brad Greenwood is a PhD student at the Robert H Smith School of Business in
the Decisions, Operations, and Information Technology department. His research
focuses on how discourse affects the willingness of venture capitalists to fund
entrepreneurs. Specifically within discourse his research focuses on the
fashionability of technologies and how both fashion and herding effect the
legitimacy of organizations. Prior to his time at the Smith School he earned his
Bachelors and Masters in Information Technology at RPI and Virginia Tech
respectively. Brad also holds an MBA from the University of Notre Dame and spent
several years working as an IT consultant in the greater DC Metro area.
Wei (Vivian) Guo
Wei Guo (Vivian) is a 4th-year PhD student in Strategy and Entrepreneurship
in Robert H. Smith School of Business at University of Maryland. Prior to
joining the PhD program, Vivian obtained her MBA from Marshall University and
worked as a graduate research assistant for the Center for Business and
Economics Research for two years. She obtained her Bachelor of Business from
Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand, where she majored in both
marketing and international business.
Vivian was born in P.R. China and was raised in a family full of entrepreneurs,
including her father, aunt, uncle, and older brother. In particular, her father
started a venture in the high-tech industry in Southern China and is currently
in preparation for an initial public offering. Vivian witnessed almost all of
the entrepreneurs in her family struggle at some point with the problem of
needing more resources and capital. Because of this, she is particularly
interested in understanding how entrepreneurs raise fund and attract external
resources. Beside entrepreneurship, Vivian is also actively collaborating with
several faculty members on various research projects on firm competition and
innovation, including Ken G. Smith, Paul E. Tesluk, Rhonda Reger, and Curt
Grimm. In April 2010, Vivian won the “PhD Student Research In Progress” award at
the Dingman Center’s Research Competition.
Bryan Stroube is pursuing his PhD in strategic management at the University
of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business. His current research interests
broadly involve how private enterprise and entrepreneurship can be used as
development tools in emerging economies. He is also interested in high-tech
industries, social networks, and international business (particularly China).
Before coming to Smith, he worked at a Chicago-based consulting firm
specializing in sales and marketing projects for the pharmaceutical and medical
industries. He holds a master's degree in economics from the Hong Kong
University of Science and Technology and bachelor's degrees in electrical
engineering and English from Purdue University.
Lei Zhang is a PhD candidate of Management & Organization at the Robert H.
Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland. Lei’s research focuses
on networks and entrepreneurship. Her current research examines network
formation and performance implication at a group level. She studies this
question in the context of Venture Capital (VC) syndicates: when VC firms
unfamiliar to each other form syndicates together, how a VC firm new to rest
group members participates in the syndicate, and how the unfamiliarity within
syndicates influences start-up company performance directly and indirectly.
Lei received her Master degree at Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade. Before
she came to US for her PhD studies, she gained two years of business experience
at the Bank of Communications, one of the largest commercial banks in China.