University of Southern Indiana

New business faculty welcome

Get to know the newest faculty members at the Romain College of Business, beginning Fall 2020.

Thomas NolandDr. Thomas Noland
Professor of Accounting
Chair of Accounting and Finance

A little bit about your background.
I grew up in a small town in Kentucky and lived in the same house until I left for undergraduate studies at the University of Kentucky.  After UK, I was an active duty Army officer stationed in Hawaii but also served in Korea and Thailand. After leaving the active Army, I went to graduate school at Georgia Tech and later worked for the FDIC. I then pursued my PhD at the University of Mississippi. I have taught at several institutions with the last three all having AACSB Accounting Accreditation (only 190 institutions in the world have earned separate Accounting Accreditation with USI being one of them). I previously served as Chair at the University of South Alabama and as an Academic Fellow in the Office of Chief Accountant at the Securities and Exchange Commission.

What is your focus/area of interest and how did you become interested in it?
My primary area of interest is auditing. I used my practical experience and the theoretical knowledge gained in the PhD program to write my dissertation on Internal Controls in Newly Chartered Banks. Over the years I have also written several articles that have a public policy focus which dovetails nicely with my public economics minor area of study.

Describe your teaching style.
Firm but fair. A former dean always told me to set the bar high and the students would rise to the challenge. In accounting we are preparing students to have success on national certification exams such as the CPA and CMA. As such, we are doing students a disservice if we don’t expect a lot from them.

What are you most looking forward to at USI and at Romain College of Business?
I am excited to continue USI’s tradition of working with the local business community to improve our accounting and business programs. I also look forward to enhancing our recruiting efforts to increase student enrollment.

What do you like to do in your free time?
I enjoy attending sporting events. My wife and I like to travel. 

A “fun fact” about you.
I have lived in 10 different states the last 33 years.

Anything else you would like the USI community to know about you.
I have been married for 32 years and have two daughters. My oldest recently started her MBA here at USI. My youngest is in high school and has trained with both the Boston Ballet and the Pacific Northwest Ballet.

Kasra PourangKasra Pourang
Instructor in Computer Information Systems

A little bit about your background.
I have an MBA, a master's degree in business analytics, and a master's degree in electrical engineering all from the University of Notre Dame. I have a few years of experience working as a project manager and a data scientist.

PourangWhat is your focus/area of interest and how did you become interested in it?
My main specializations are AI and machine learning. I started to code when I was 12 years old and couldn't stop since then! The reason I became interested in AI and machine learning was to find an answer to this question: "Can robots wake up and revolt against humanity?"

Describe your teaching style.
My classes are full of discussions and activities. I think the most interesting part of my classes is the fact that all my quizzes and exams are open book and open laptop! The reason I hold open-book exams is to simulate a real workplace. In the real workplace you will use every resource to solve a business problem. I believe business school is the best place to practice that.

A “fun fact” about you.
I was scared of airplanes and high altitudes. A few years ago, I traveled to Puerto Rico and did skydiving, and that solved my problem! My advice to people is to face your fears.

Dr WanjuguDr. Sabinah Wanjugu
Assistant Professor of Marketing

Dr. Sabinah Wanjugu is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at the Romain College of Business. She earned her doctorate in marketing and MBA degrees from Louisiana Tech University. Her research interests include consumer privacy, mainly understanding consumers' perceptions and behavioral responses to an organization's collection, use and dissemination of personal information. Her other research interests include developing and analyzing digital marketing models, diffusion of innovation models and cross-culture marketing research.

Dr. Wanjugu has presented her research at the Academy of Marketing Science Conference, the Society of Marketing Advances Conference, and the International Academy of Business and Public Administration Disciplines Conference. She has published her work in the Information and Management journal and in several conference proceedings.

Dr. Wanjugu is currently teaching digital marketing and promotional marketing. Her teaching style utilizes an experiential learning approach. This approach allows students to work with a real-life client to solve some marketing problems. However, due to challenges caused by COVID-19, Dr. Wanjugu has adjusted her approach to experiential learning by use of computer-assisted simulations in both of her classes this semester to provide her students with a simulated real-life learning opportunity. Simulations within both her digital and promotional marketing classes provide her students with an opportunity to promote concept attainment, demonstrate concepts, allow for interaction between teams and provide feedback that improves students' knowledge and skills.

Dr. Wanjugu is looking forward to learning more about the beautiful and welcoming USI community, interacting with students and being able to play her role as a member of the Screaming Eagles team in ensuring a smooth semester during these unprecedented times.

In her free time, Dr. Wanjugu enjoys cooking; being from Kenya, she is looking forward to the next International Food Expo to have an opportunity to make some Kenyan cuisine and try out some other cuisine from around the world.

Bohan YeDr. Bohan Ye
Assistant Professor of Economics

What is your focus/area of interest and how did you become interested in it?
I have studied many subjects in different places. I studied finance at Tsinghua University in China, management science and psychology at UC Berkeley, econometrics at Tilburg University in the Netherlands and economics at the University of Arizona. I am interested in using experimental methods to study economic questions, especially social preferences like trust and altruism.

Bohan YeDescribe your teaching style.
I use an interdisciplinary approach to teach. I’ve always believed that my priority is to assist students in enhancing their critical thinking and practical skills. I believe that all students, regardless of their background, race, ethnicity or socio-economic status, can learn and thrive in an environment where they are stimulated and challenged, and where they feel reaffirmed and supported. I endeavor to create a classroom that all of my students feel safe to participate and to enjoy challenges.

A “fun fact” about you.
I am also a Chinese opera singer! Chinese opera is a comprehensive stage art style that incorporates music, acrobatics, martial arts, performance art, etc. I regularly give performances worldwide. I look forward to an opportunity to perform at USI as well!

Published: August 20, 2020

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