Meet 17 new members of the Olin faculty

  • August 26, 2019
  • By WashU Olin Business School
  • 6 minute read

Meet the new faculty members joining (or who have already joined) WashU Olin Business School for the current academic year.


Hossein Amini, lecturer in data analytics: Although his PhD and master’s are in industrial engineering from Kansas State and he collaborated there on studies relating to 3D printing, Amini’s research interests largely center on health care. He studies predictive analysis and machine learning in various forms of health and medicine: drug development, adverse drug reaction models and such diseases as breast cancer.

Kelly Bean, professor of practice in leadership, director of executive education: She also is a senior associate dean and holds the inaugural Charles F. Knight Distinguished Director of Executive Education. Coming to the Olin Business School from the University of Virginia, and before that Emory, USC and UCLA, Bean will work at both the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., and on campus. She earned her bachelor’s in marketing and master’s in human resources at the University of South Carolina.

Samira Fazel, lecturer in data analytics: She has been a visiting professor in statistics and industrial engineering at Louisiana Tech.Fazel earned her PhD in industrial and systems engineering at Wayne State University (Michigan). She focuses on health-outcome metrics while trying to improve health-care operations through systems engineering and optimization.

Brett Green Photos Copyright Noah Berger / 2019

Brett Green, associate professor of finance: He joins Olin from the Haas School of Business at the University of California Berkeley. An applied theorist, Green’s research  involves understanding of news and learning in markets with information asymmetries. He also studies corporate finance and sports economics. Green received a PhD in economics and a master’s in financial mathematics from Stanford, plus a bachelor’s in engineering and economics from Duke.

Emily Grijalva, assistant professor of organizational behavior: An expert on narcissism in the workplace and its links to leadership and personality development, Girjalva’swork has been published in management and psychology journals. She received her PhD from the University of Illinois. She comes to Olin from the University at Buffalo, where she was an assistant professor of organization and human resources.

Brent Hickman, assistant professor economics: Hickman comes to Olin from Queens University, the University of Wisconsin and the University of Chicago. He holds two bachelor’s degrees from Brigham Young University in economics and Spanish translation, and a PhD from Iowa. His research interests include: empirical methods for models of private information; industrial organization; auctions; higher education and affirmative action.

Courtesy: Wikipedia

David Huntoon, professor of practice in leadership, senior director of military program:After a 40-year military career that included a stint as the superintendent at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and the rank of Lieutenant General, He is considered one of very few to lead the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, the U.S. Army War College and West Point. Huntoon moves to an instructional role as well as overseeing military students transitioning into business school. His areas of expertise include: management strategy, critical thinking, leadership and  leadership development, motivation, organizational behavior, organizational strategy, and more.

Seung-Hwan Jung, visiting assistant professor of operations and manufacturing management: Jung is an Olin PhD from 2017 who is returning after a year at Texas A&M University Kingsville. His research interests include theoretical and practical issues in supply chain management, sustainability, operations strategy, practice-based operations management and operations-finance interface. He earned a master’s in industrial and systems engineering at Korea Institute of Science and Technology and a bachelor’s in industrial engineering at Hanyang University.

Paulo Natenzon, assistant professor of economics:His journey to Olin started… across campus — Natenzon comes to the business school from Arts & Sciences, where he worked since 2011. He has published three papers since 2018 on random choice and decision making. He received his PhD in economics from Princeton, a master’s in mathematics from the Instituto Nacional de Matematica Pura e Aplicada, and a bachelor’s in economics from Universidad de Sao Paulo.

Richard Palmer, senior lecturer in accounting: Palmer returns to a Washington University where he served as a visiting professor before becoming the Copper Dome Faculty Research Fellow at Southeast Missouri State and the Lumpkin Distinguished Professor of Business at Eastern Illinois.He is considered one of the world’s leading authorities on the procure-to-pay business cycle and bank commercial card technology. Prior to joining academia, he worked in the financial services and public accounting industries for a range of clients. He received his PhD, MBA and master’s in accountancy from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale.

David Rapach, visiting assistant professor of finance: Rapach, who spent the previous 16 years at St. Louis University, is no stranger to Olin — he has co-authored a number of papers with Olin’s Guofu Zhou, for one. He spent eight years as a visiting scholar doing research with the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Financial economics and macroeconomics are his main interests for research and teaching.He got his undergraduate degree at Randolph Macon and his PhD at American, both in economics.

Doug Villhard, professor of practice in entrepreneurship, academic director for entrepreneurship: Villhard is an Olin MBA (2014) who was named the academic director of the entrepreneurship program founded almost 12 years ago by Cliff Holekamp, who retired effective July. He is a serial entrepreneur who launched, sold, bought, advised and invested in companies. He also taught at Truman State, where he earned his undergraduate degree.

Liberty Vittert, professor of practice of data science: She is a visiting professor at Harvard for the coming academic year before she returns to her hometown and to Washington University, where she served as a visiting professor in statistics in Arts & Sciences this past academic calendar. She is a graduate of MIT as well as Le Cordon Bleu Paris and the University of Glasgow, where she earned her PhD and worked for a time. Vittert writes a column for Fox News and was a regular contributor to television in the United Kingdom.

Elanor Williams, associate professor of marketing: Consumer behavior and decision making are among her areas of expertise. Among her streams of research are the causes and consequences of mental gaps for consumers and marketers, including the distance between ourselves and other people, the past, present, and future, and between expectations and reality. Williams earned her PhD in social psychology at Cornell University and a bachelor’s at Yale; she joins Olin from Indiana University.

Song Yao, associate professor of marketing: Yao joins Olin after almost two years at the University of Minnesota and eight years at Northwestern. Previously he also was a visiting professor at the University of Chicago and Stanford. He serves on editorial boards at a handful of journals, and his research interests include quantitative marketing, empirical microeconomics, advertising, new technology, competitive strategy and customer analytics. He earned a PhD in marketing at Duke and a master’s in economics from UCLA.

Giorgio Zanarone, visiting associate professor of economics: He arrives at Olin from Madrid, Spain, where he spent the past decade at the Colegio Universitario de Estudios Financieros (CUNEF). He also has been a visiting scholar at MIT about five years after he spent time there as a visiting graduate student. He received his PhD and master’s from Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona. His research interests include organizational economics, strategy, and law and economics.

Minyuan Zhao, associate professor of strategy: Coming from Penn, Zhao brings with her impressive experience — she previously worked at the University of Michigan, the University of Minnesota and in entrepreneurship, the automotive industry as well as a government think tank. Her research — in multinational innovation and intellectual property — examines the interactions between external environment and firm strategy, in a global context. She was awarded the 2018 Teaching Excellence Award from Penn’s Wharton School. Zhao received a PhD and master’s from New York University, a master’s from Fudan University and a bachelor’s from Xi’an Jiaotong University.

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