Eight New Faculty Join Haslam Ranks

September 13, 2015

One of our favorite things about the start of an academic year is welcoming new faculty to our college. This fall, eight new full-time faculty members join our ranks.

Haslam Chair Sean Willems joins the Department of Business Analytics and Statistics along with assistant professor Paolo Letizia. Dove Professor Chris Craighead and assistant professor Stephanie Eckerd assume roles in the marketing and supply chain department. Assistant professor Jama Summers and lecturer Mark Farley will work in accounting and information management, while assistant professors David Maslar and Matthew Serfling join the Department of Finance.

Below is a brief bio of each of these individuals to help you get to know a bit more about them. Be sure to give them a warm welcome if you see them in HBB or SMC.

Chris Craighead is the Dove Professor of Supply Chain Management. His primary research interests lie in the area of strategic sourcing and supply management, with a focus on global supply chain disruptions/risk and resilience. He has articles published in numerous prominent journals and has been the recipient of several research fellowships, competitive research grants and research awards. Craighead has extensive teaching experience in terms of audiences and course content, and he currently teaches strategic sourcing within the undergraduate program and supply chain strategy within the MBA program. He has been the recipient of awards for teaching excellence at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. He serves as an associate editor of the Journal of Operations Management, Decision Sciences, Journal of Supply Chain Management and Journal of Business Logistics and also serves on the editorial review boards of Production and Operations Management and IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management.

Stephanie Eckerd is an assistant professor in supply chain management. Eckerd’s research uses survey and experiment methodologies to investigate how social and psychological variables affect buyer-supplier relationships. Her articles have appeared in the Journal of Operations Management, the Journal of Supply Chain Management, and the International Journal of Operations and Production Management. She received her doctorate degree at The Ohio State University and was an assistant professor at the University of Maryland prior to joining Haslam.

Mark Farley joined the Department of Accounting and Information Management in January 2015. He received his MBA with a focus in management information systems (2005) and a bachelor’s in human resource management (2004) from Tennessee Technological University. Farley spent 13 years in the U.S. Air Force and Air National Guard in Knoxville and Washington, D.C., serving in fields including cyber security operations, IT project management, nuclear command/control, network infrastructure/maintenance and satellite communications. He worked in the nonprofit sector for five years in a variety of leadership positions. Farley recently served as an Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) instructor in Detachment 800 (Air Force Aerospace Studies Department) at the University of Tennessee from 2010 to 2013, where he taught freshman, junior and senior level courses and oversaw all departmental recruitment, admissions, advisement, curriculum, graduation and faculty training programs. He currently teaches database design and administration and business process analysis in the undergraduate program.

Paolo Letizia is an assistant professor of business analytics and operations management. His research interests lie in the areas of sustainable operations, closed loop supply chain management, supply chain channel design and role of information in a supply chain. His research has been published in Production and Operations Management. Letizia holds a master’s degree in supply chain management from Bordeaux Business School and a doctorate with dual degrees in operations research and business administration from Penn State’s Smeal College of Business. Before joining UT, Letizia was a faculty member at Erasmus University’s Rotterdam School of Management.

David Maslar is an assistant professor in finance. He is originally from Binghamton, New York. In 2006, he graduated with honors from Binghamton University, receiving a bachelor’s degree in economic analysis. After graduating, he moved from upstate New York to Columbia, Missouri, where he earned master’s degrees in applied mathematics and economics from the University of Missouri in 2009. Maslar then elected to stay at Missouri to pursue his doctorate in finance, graduating in May 2013. He has since been working as a visiting assistant professor of finance at Missouri. His research interests include investments and empirical asset pricing, with a particular emphasis in fixed income and bond mutual funds.

Matthew Serfling is an assistant professor in finance. He received his doctorate in finance from the University of Arizona and undergraduate degree in finance with a minor in mathematics from North Dakota State University. His current research interests are how corporate financial policy decisions are related to labor market frictions, product market competition, nonfinancial stakeholders, laws and regulations and a firm’s governance environment. He has an article that is forthcoming in the Journal of Accounting and Economics and another that has been published in the Journal of Corporate Finance. His research has also been presented at several national and international conferences.

Jama Summers is an assistant professor in accounting and information management. She received her doctorate in business administration (information systems) from the University of Oklahoma, a master’s in management information systems (MIS) from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and a bachelor’s in MIS from Arkansas State University. Her research focuses on the interaction between large groups and technology, examining large group collaboration in contexts such as social media, online communities and crowdfunding platforms. Summers’ research has been published in MIS Quarterly, and she has presented her work at numerous conferences. Prior to entering academia, she worked in the information technology industry as a programmer/analyst.

Sean Willems is the Haslam Chair in Supply Chain Analytics. Willems pioneered the development of commercial-grade inventory optimization tools. In 2000, he co-founded Optiant, a provider of multi-echelon inventory optimization tools, which was later acquired by Logility, Inc. His highly recognized work with companies such as Hewlett Packard and Proctor & Gamble has led to prestigious finalist selections for the 2003 and 2010 Franz Edelman Award for Achievement in Operations Research and the Management Sciences as well as finalist selections in 2006, 2008 and 2012 for the Daniel H. Wagner Prize for Excellence in Operations Research Practice. His work on inventory placement under non-stationary demand won the Wagner Prize in 2008. Willems is the department editor of the practice section of the journal Production and Operations Management. He received his bachelor’s degree in decision sciences from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and his master’s in operations research and doctorate in operations management from the MIT Sloan School of Management.