Head of the Class

Bauer Welcomes New Tenure and Non-Tenure Track Faculty

Welcoming new faculty to Bauer College each year culminates a strategic and selective process. College leadership seeks to strengthen and expand research priorities with world-class research faculty and to bolster the college’s considerable impact on managerial practice.

“We appreciate that today’s business challenges are inherently complex, and we are committed to pursuing cross-disciplinary approaches to tackle them,” said Dean and Cullen Distinguished Chair Professor Paul A. Pavlou.

“This is reflected in the selection of the 13 new faculty who are joining the Bauer College. The 2021-22 cohort is an impressive group of academic scholars and industry practitioners who are bringing a wealth of knowledge that enhances the value of the Bauer College degrees and certificates. Our impact on academia and practice, here in Houston and around the world, now, and in the future, relies in great part on our world-class faculty,” he added.

Senior Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs and Cullen Distinguished Chair Professor Praveen Kumar characterized the new faculty as “highly accomplished and promising scholars, as well as professors of practice with important industry expertise.”

“Collectively, the new faculty will substantially contribute to the strategic objective of the Bauer College to be a top-ranked business school,” Kumar said.

Among the 13 faculty members, nine are tenure or tenure-track, with four coming on board as non-tenure track.

Tenure Track Faculty

Rohit Allena

Rohit Allena

Assistant Professor, Department of Finance

Rohit Allena joined the faculty at Bauer College in the Fall of 2021. He holds a Finance Ph.D. from Emory University, where his dissertation was comprised of three essays on estimation uncertainty. One of his essays won a Cubist Systemic Strategies award for outstanding research at the Western Finance Association annual meetings, held in July 2020.

Allena’s research interests are in asset pricing and market-microstructure with an emphasis on the econometrics of Machine Learning inferences and Bayesian inferences. He obtained his bachelor's and master's degrees in Statistics at Indian Statistical Institute.

David De Angelis

David De Angelis

Assistant Professor, Department of Finance

David De Angelis was previously an Assistant Professor of Finance at Rice University. His primary research interests are in corporate finance and corporate governance.

De Angelis' research revolves around the design of governance mechanisms. One theme of his research investigates the factors that affect the design of CEO compensation contracts. The other theme of his research studies debt contracts and the role of creditors in corporate governance.

De Angelis earned a Ph.D. in Finance and a master’s degree in Finance from Cornell University. He also earned a master’s degree in Economics from the University of Montreal and a BBA in Finance from HEC Montreal.

His research has been published in leading academic journals, such as the Journal of Finance, Review of Financial Studies, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis (JFQA), Review of Finance, and Journal of Economics and Management Strategy. He received the W. F. Sharpe Award for Best Paper in the 2020 Volume of JFQA.

Elizabeth Berger

Elizabeth Berger

Assistant Professor, Department of Finance

Elizabeth Berger’s research is in the area of empirical corporate finance with a focus on financial institutions, entrepreneurship, product market competition, and labor economics. She currently studies the effects of financial institutions on labor market outcomes, stock price efficiency, and firm profitability and competition.

Berger previously was an Assistant Professor of Finance at the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University. She received a Ph.D. in Finance from the Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University and her BA and BFA in Economics and Vocal Performance, respectively, from Tulane University.

Spenser Essman

Spenser Essman

Assistant Professor, Department of Management & Leadership

Spenser Essman earned his Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior and Human Resources at the University of South Carolina - Darla Moore School of Business. He is interested in how firms attract, retain, motivate, and develop strategic human capital resources. Essman’s research focuses on understanding how firms compete through talent, as well as how firms use human resource practices, primarily compensation, to manage talent.

Essman earned an MBA and a BS in accounting from the University of Kansas. He has also worked as an accounting analyst.

Meng Li

Meng Li

Associate Professor, Bauer Fellow and Supply Chain Management Ph.D. Coordinator, Department of Decision & Information Sciences

Meng Li’s research interests focus on AI operations, platform operations, and behavioral models. His research has appeared in Management Science, Manufacturing and Service Operations Management, Production and Operations Management, (POM), and Strategic Management Journal, among others. He is a Senior Editor for POM, and an Associate Editor for Decision Sciences Journal. He formerly was a tenured Associate Professor at Rutgers University.

His recent awards include the Rutgers Research Council Award, 2020; second place in the, Junior Faculty Interest Group Paper Competition for INFORMS, 2019; and the Chancellor's Award for Outstanding Research and Creative Activity, 2019. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Texas, Dallas.

Enrica N. Ruggs

Enrica N. Ruggs

Associate Professor, Department of Management & Leadership

Enrica N. Ruggs was most recently an Assistant Professor of Management at the University of Memphis, where she was also Director of the Center for Workplace Diversity & Inclusion. Ruggs received her Ph.D. in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from Rice University. In her research, she examines individual, organizational, and societal factors that influence mistreatment and inequity in workplace. Her work focuses on the manifestation of subtle forms of discrimination and mistreatment toward employees with stigmatized identities, the outcomes of these behaviors, and strategies that individuals and organizations can engage in to combat and reduce discrimination. Additionally, she examines the experiences of minority employees to understand factors that influence job attitudes and psychological well-being.

Ruggs has received grant funding for her research from the National Science Foundation. She is an active member of the Academy of Management, Society for Industrial-Organizational Psychology, and Southern Management Association. Her research has been published in the Journal of Applied Psychology and Journal of Management, and has been featured in popular media outlets such as the New York Times, U.S. News & World Report, Business Insider, and Fortune.

David W. Sullivan

David W. Sullivan

Assistant Professor, Department of Management & Leadership

David Sullivan’s research investigates the social, psychological, and cognitive aspects of human resource management processes, including performance management, fit and misfit during the job search, and the impact of gender bias on entrepreneurial activity and outcomes.

His work has been published in the Journal of Applied Psychology and the Journal of Management.

Sullivan received his Ph.D. in Management from the Mays Business School at Texas A&M University. He received a master’s degree in Management from the University of Florida and a master’s in Higher Education Administration from Florida State University. Sullivan earned a BA in Organizational Leadership at the University of Cincinnati.

Yinliang (Ricky) Tan

Yinliang (Ricky) Tan

Associate Professor, Bauer Fellow, Department of Decision & Information Sciences; Executive Director, Executive Doctorate in Business Administration

Yinliang (Ricky) Tan received his Ph.D. in Operations Management and Information Systems from the University of Florida.

His research is interdisciplinary, spanning the areas of operations management and information systems and includes the management of technology, digital goods pricing, business analytics, and supply chain management. His work has been published in Management Science, MIS Quarterly, Information Systems Research, Production and Operations Management (POM), Decision Sciences Journal (DSJ), Human Relations, and other premier academic journals.

Tan is a Senior Editor at POM, and Associate Editor at DSJ. He is recognized as one of the 40 Most Outstanding Business Professors Under 40 worldwide by Poets & Quants and also received the Carol J. Latta Emerging Leadership Award for Outstanding Early Career Scholars by Decision Science Institute.

Prior to joining Bauer College, Tan worked at the A.B. Freeman School of Business of Tulane University as an Assistant Professor and received confirmation as an Associate Professor with tenure in 2021. While at Tulane, he received the Irving LaValle Early Career Professorship and served as the Executive Director for Goldring Institute of International Business, where he helped facilitate global partnerships between universities and industry for degree and non-degree programs, faculty and student exchanges, and research.

Keran Zhao

Keran Zhao

Assistant Professor Department of Decision & Information Sciences

Keran Zhao’s research investigates the design and the user behavior of the online live streaming and healthcare community. He is interested in the impact of user characteristics on social media platforms design, streaming content analysis, and the impact of social media users’ behavior patterns. Prior to arriving at the University of Houston, Keran earned a Ph.D. in Management Information Systems from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a master's degree in Information Science with a focus on adaptive information systems and data mining from the University of Pittsburgh.

Non-Tenure Track Faculty

Erica S. Henning

Adjunct Faculty, Department of Finance

Erica S. Henning has joined the Bauer College Real Estate Program in the Department of Finance as adjunct faculty. She is Senior Director, Real Estate Operations, of Rice Management Company, acting as COO/CFO of the real estate organization and focusing on ensuring that the real estate portfolio achieves its financial, reporting and operational goals.

Henning has 18 years of broad real estate experience across multiple asset types, geographic markets and capital platforms, including private equity firms, lenders and real estate developers. She is an active member of the Urban Land Institute and serves on the national Executive Committee of its Women’s Leadership Initiative. Since 2019, she has served on the board of directors for Petriage, a private pet telehealth company based in Seattle. Henning received her MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and has a master’s degree in Public Administration and BA degree in history from Cornell University.

Jinghui (Jove) Hou

Professor of Practice, Department of Decision & Information Sciences

Jinghui (Jove) Hou previously served as an Assistant Professor at Florida State University’s College of Communication and Information. Hou’s research focuses on IT-Mediated Markets, Health Informatics and Interventions, Artificial Intelligence and Theory Construction. Her work has been published in top academic journals such as the Decision Sciences Journal, Journal of Management Information Systems, Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, Decision Support Systems, and others. She also received a National Science Foundation award for her work.

Hou received a master’s degree and Ph.D. in Communication from the University of Southern California. She also received a BS in statistics from Fudan University in China.

Nuria S. Seijas, CPA

Professor of Practice, Department of Accountancy & Taxation

Nuria S. Seijas is a doctoral student in the Dhaliwal-Reidy School of Accountancy at Eller College of Management, University of Arizona, has joined the Bauer College as a Professor of Practice.

Seijas earned a BBA in Accounting, a BBA in Finance, and an MS in Accountancy from the Bauer College. Her professional experience includes working in the advisory practice of Deloitte & Touche, LLP as a technology risk consultant, and as an assistant vice-president and audit supervisor in the Internal Audit department for Allegiance Bank.

She maintains professional memberships with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the American Accounting Association (AAA). During her time as a doctoral student, she was a member of The Ph.D. Project, president of the Ph.D. Project's Accounting Doctoral Student Association (ADSA) for the 2020-2021 academic year, AICPA Minority Doctoral Student Fellow, and a member of the Eller College Diversity and Inclusion Task Force.

Her research focuses on financial reporting disclosures, auditor impact from disclosure choices, and linguistic application to financial reporting.

Cheng Wang

Professor of Practice, Department of Decision & Information Sciences

Cheng Wang received her BA in Financial Management from Nankai University, and an MBA in Energy and International Business from Tulane University. Cheng has rich industry experience in auditing, investment analysis, and digital marketing. Prior to joining Bauer, Wang worked as a lecturer at Freeman School of Business, Tulane University.



Jessica Navarro (BA ’07, MA ’12)


Amanda Sebesta (MA ’19)



Kae Stensland


Josie Pham


Akil Bennett (BA ’07)
Nicki Evans
Chase Pedigo


Akil Bennett (BA ’07)
Charles Propst (BA ’10)


Julie Bonnin
Jessica Navarro (BA ’07, MA ’12)
Amanda Sebesta (MA ’19)


Brandon Moeller (BA ’03)
Marla Molony


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