Excelling as Business and Accounting Leaders

Excelling as Business and Accounting Educators, Practitioners and Researchers with Impact

Distinguished scholars. Practitioners at the top of their fields. USC Marshall and Leventhal faculty are redefining innovation in business and accounting.


Students at a leading research university such as USC have the unique opportunity to study under the best scholars and clinical practitioners. Many members of the USC Marshall and USC Leventhal faculty have literally written the book on their respective areas. These thought leaders are educating our students and conducting research with real-world impact, from addressing issues related to the coronavirus and machine learning to talent management and global financial matters. Here are a few recent highlights of research at work at Marshall:


Humans vs. technology, the market for fake online reviews, the science behind financial decision-making, and rethinking the seawater supply chain were all research topics explored in the sixth annual USC Marshall School of Business Research Fair in 2021.



New research from the USC Marshall suggests that changes in working conditions brought on by the coronavirus pandemic shutdown will alter Los Angeles for the better. The study, “How Do Cities Change When We Work from Home?” co-authored by Assistant Professor of Finance and Business Economics Andrii Parkhomenko (with Matt Delventhal and Eunjee Kwon—an economics Ph.D. candidate at USC), was recently accepted for publication in the Journal of Urban Economics. “We wanted to examine the question of how the sudden transition to work from home will affect the city overall,” said Parkhomenko. “So we looked at Los Angeles specifically. And what we found was that the changes will positively impact the city on several levels if work from home remains common after the pandemic.” Using a detailed quantitative model of internal city structure, the researchers found three major impacts: Jobs move to the core of the city while workers move to the periphery, traffic congestion eases and travel time drops, and average real estate prices drop with declines in core locations and increases on the periphery.


USC Marshall Assistant Professor of Data Sciences and Operations (DSO) Adel Javanmard has been selected to receive a Sloan Research Fellowship—one of the most prestigious awards a young researcher can earn. “As our society today increasingly relies on statistical learning algorithms to support human decisions, the reliability of such systems is of crucial importance,” Javanmard said. “Adel is a young researcher in the DSO Department with very broad research interests including statistics, machine learning, operations research, and information theory….[and] the impressive thing about Adel’s research is that he actually has impact in multiple areas,” said Greys Sošić, chair and professor of Marshall’s Department of Data Sciences and Operations.



USC Marshall Assistant Professor of Finance and Business Economics Erica Xuewei Jiang’s recent research on debt relief has been making the rounds lately, showing up in several prominent publications, including Fortune, Money, and Brookings. Her area of research is especially important now given the current COVID crisis that has affected so many borrowers. In a new working paper, Jiang and her co-authors study debt relief actions during the pandemic using data that covers the entire US. They had four main goals: to document the overall amount of forbearance, to assess who benefits from debt forbearance, to analyze the role of government mandates for implementation of debt relief actions, and to draw broader implications for debt relief policies. There have been some surprising findings.



Following the coronavirus pandemic shut down of campus, University President Carol L. Folt noted how professors across the university stood up to meet the challenge of remote teaching and developed creative ways to ensure their students received the best learning experiences possible. She was inspired to tell some of their stories. Earlier this year as part of her ongoing We Are ‘SC interview series, Dr. Folt celebrated Emily Nix, assistant professor of finance and business economics who’s been at USC Marshall since 2017. As an economist who studies human capital formation, the economics of crime, and the gender income gap, Nix is a popular classroom teacher who made news when she created her own remote teaching hack—a DIY light board.



In the inaugural Dean’s Dialogue webinar series, Marshall Dean Geoff Garrett discussed antiracism in business with three Marshall professors who are distinguished in their work in the areas of diversity, equity, inclusion and antiracism: Sharoni Little, then-Vice Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Professor of Clinical Business Communication; Sarah Townsend, Interim Assistant Vice Dean for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and Associate Professor of Management and Organization; and Shaun Harper, Provost Professor of Management and Organization, Clifford and Betty Allen Chair in Urban Leadership, and USC Race and Equity Center Executive Director. The conversation explored how leaders can think about antiracism in the current moment, what it means for businesses and business education, and how it features in Marshall’s vision.

In a Dean’s Dialogue in the fall, Dean Garrett spoke with data scientists Kimon Drakopoulos and Vishal Gupta, two assistant professors of data sciences and operations at the Marshall School, who collaborated to develop advanced AI algorithms to help the Greek government admit tourists last summer. The large-scale, high-performance implementation of their team’s data-driven approach for an AI-based project nicknamed Eva helped to reopen Greece, which is home to approximately 11 million people and typically welcomes 33 million visitors each year making the tourist industry vital to its economy, amid the ongoing pandemic.


Diversity Matters

World-class faculty at USC Marshall and USC Leventhal have their choice of leading business and accounting schools as their academic homes. Our faculty are frequently invited to collaborate and work for other institutions and in industry where they have access to tremendous resources. The Marshall and Leventhal Schools are also committed to increasing the diversity of the faculty and fostering an inclusive environment. The Marshall and Leventhal learning community, especially students, benefit greatly from the instruction, guidance and mentorship of brilliant and talented educators on faculty here at USC. The work of thought leaders also benefits from and extends to business and accounting in practice.


Your Gift Counts

Thank you for any gift you make to the USC Marshall and Leventhal Fund for Faculty Research. Your contribution of any size will make a direct impact on helping to recruit, retain, support and expand the impact of the best researchers and educators based at Marshall and Leventhal.