News at Smith

Smith Welcomes PhD Entries

Sep 03, 2012


Top (L-R): Justin Frake, Ning Li. Second Row (L-R): Vickee Wolcott, John Patrick Paraskevas, Mustafa Sahin. Third Row (L-R): Camil Martinez, Dongwon Lee, Peter Dixon. Fourth Row (L-R): Heejung Byun, Chenqi Huang, Yang Pan, Liu Ming. Bottom (L-R): Yue Zheng, Sijing Wei, Dr. Amna Kirmani and Donald Bowen.

An arm injury on the pitching mound prompted John-Patrick Paraskevas' exit from a St. Mary's College (Md.) baseball scholarship to Van Munching Hall's classrooms and a pathway to a supply chain management PhD from the Robert H. Smith School of Business.

"Getting hurt that first year forced me to focus away from baseball and get serious about mapping out my career. I enrolled at St. Mary's as an economics major, but I realized a promising opportunity to study business in the Smith School," said the Fairfax, Va., native who is among 15 entries this fall to a Smith PhD pool of now 91 candidates and students.

These first-year PhDs from leading U.S. business schools, plus institutions in China, Turkey and Korea, bring research specialties including econometrics, innovation, financial reporting and performance management. Vickee Wolcott's interest in health IT derives from nine years as a Medical Service Corps officer in the U.S. Army, where she will remain on active duty through her Smith doctoral studies.

PhD Program Director and Professor of Marketing Amna Kirmani addressed the entire group during the program's late August orientation, reminding them they were selected through a highly competitive process to develop into high-level researchers. "The new class is highly motivated with a diverse set of specialties," she said, following the orientation. "Each of these students has the capacity to enhance the profile of our doctoral programs."

The lone Smith grad among the newcomers, Paraskevas said strong faculty role models through his finance and international business undergraduate studies and subsequent supply chain management work has piqued his research interest in international strategy and transportation. His master's work focused heavily on these elements in connection with the defense industry, as he worked the past three years as a co-op student for the Naval Air Systems Command.

Smith's faculty also factored heavily in drawing Yue Zheng from Washington University in St. Louis to the Accounting and Information Assurance Program. The Nanning, China native said she meticulously investigated and targeted Smith to study financial reporting and the role of accounting information in capital market, including market efficiency tests, fundamental analysis and valuation.

"Accounting researchers have made seminal contributions to such areas as company valuation, asset pricing, stock market behavior, corporate governance and executive compensation. So it was especially impressive to learn that many of Smith's accounting professors – Dr. Rebecca Hann and Dr. Nick Seybert to name a few – are experts in financial disclosure and capital markets research," Zheng said. "The program has a very good reputation, and the Smith School appears to invest in it significantly.”

Paraskevas attests to Smith's reputation in this regard. "At this point, it's exciting for me to envision researching and teaching others at the same high level I've experienced here."

Zheng echoes her new colleague. "I love both teaching students and researching, and it's especially satisfying that these pursuits can make a difference in the world."

Read more about the Smith PhD program at

Smith’s New PhD Students

Donald Bowen, Finance
Hometown: Oxford, Mich.
Schools & Degrees: Arizona State University – B.S. in Economics and Business
Research Interests: Empirical corporate finance.
Other Interests: Sports (Detroit), running, basketball, golf

Heejung Byun, Strategic Management
Hometown: Seoul, Korea
Schools & Degrees: Seoul National University – BBA, M.S. in Business
Research Interests: Social Networks
Other Interests: Tennis

Peter Dixon, Finance
Hometown: Ogden, Utah
Schools & Degrees: Brigham Young University-Idaho – B.S. in Financial Economics
University of Utah – M.S. in Econometrics
Research Interests: Microstructure, asset pricing, efficiency
Other Interests: Rock climbing and time with his children

Justin Frake, Strategic Management
Hometown: Atlanta, Ga.
Schools, Degrees: University of Oklahoma – B.S. in Business Administration and Finance
Research Interests: Innovation

Chenqi Huang, Strategic Management
Hometown: Xiaomen, China
Schools, Degrees: Peking University – Bachelor of Finance
John Hopkins-Nanjing University Center for Chinese and American Studies – 
M.A. in International Affairs
University of Maryland – M.S. in Political Science
Research Interests: Strategy and entrepreneurship in China
Other Interests: Philately, astronomy, history

Dongwon (David) Lee, Information Systems
Hometown: Seoul, South Korea
Schools, Degrees: Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology – B.S. in Computer Science, 
M.S. in Information Technology
Research Interests: Health care IT, online consumer behavior, human-computer interaction
Other Interests: Driving and shopping

Ning Li, Organizational Behavior/Human Resource Management
Hometown: Beijing, China
Schools, Degrees: Beijing Normal University – B.S. in Psychology
Zhe Jiang University – M.S. in Business
Research Interests: Leadership and performance management
Other Interests: Soccer

Camil Martinez, Supply Chain Management
Hometown: Ponce, Puerto Rico
Schools, Degrees: Case Western University – B.S. in Systems and Control Engineering
Pontifical Catholic University (Puerto Rico) – B.S. in General Science
Research Interests: Supply chains 
Other Interests: Movies, books, travel

Liu Ming, Operations Management/Management Systems
Hometown: Fuyang, China
Schools, Degrees: Shanghai Jiao Tong – B.S. in Engineering
University of Michigan – M.S. in Engineering and M.S. in Mathematics
Research Interests: Applications of stochastic models and statistical models
Other Interests: Basketball, eating

John Patrick Paraskevas, Supply Chain Management
Hometown: Fairfax, Va.
Schools, Degrees: UMD-R.H. Smith School of Business – B.S. in Finance and International Business,
M.S. in Business and Supply Chain Management
Research Interests: Supply chain risk management and strategy, Supply Chain of the Defense Industry
Other Interests: Sports

Yang Pan, Information Systems
Hometown: Changsha, China
Schools, Degrees: Wuhan University – BBA and B.S. in Software Engineering
Peking University – Master of Software Engineering
Research Interests: e-business, IT business value, knowledge management
Other Interests: Volleyball, chorus

Mustafa Sahin, Operations Management/Management Science
Hometown: Denizli, Turkey
Past Schools, Degrees: Bilkent University – B.S. in Engineering
Sabanci University – M.S. in Engineering
Research Interests: Algorithms, mechanical engineering 
Other Interests: Sports, movies

Sijing Wei, Accounting and Information Assurance
Hometown: Beijing, China
Schools, Degrees: Saint Louis University – B.S. in Accounting and Finance, M.S. in Accounting
Research Interests: Financial accounting, capital markets, earnings management, disclosures and corporate governance
Other Interests: Swimming, singing, television, reading

Vickee Wolcott, Information Systems
Hometown: Stowe, Vt.
Schools, Degrees: Boston University – Bachelor’s in Aerospace Engineering
Research Interests: Health IT 
Other Interests: Biking, hiking, other outdoor activities (active duty U.S. Army officer)

Yue Zheng, Accounting and Information Assurance
Hometown: Nanning, China
Schools, Degrees: Central University of Finance and Economics – Bachelor of Business in Accounting
Washington University in St. Louis – M.S. in Accounting
Research Interests: Financial reporting
Other Interests: traveling, reading, movies


About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business 

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and part-time MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, specialty masters, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.