PAUL HERR, professor and department head of marketing, has taught and mentored students for over 30 years. He has published more than 25 peer-reviewed journal articles and written papers now considered classics in the field. Herr’s research has been cited more than 6,600 times. His H-index of 27 and I-10 index of 37 are testament to his impact on the field. His contributions to doctoral education have also been recognized at the national level.


RICHARD GRUSS, a doctoral student in business information technology, focuses his research on data analytics and text mining. He has two articles published in A-ranked journals, two manuscripts under review, and several other manuscripts in progress. Gruss has developed a highly scalable collaborative tagging system used for text analytics projects. It has been used by product compliance teams of two global companies and a national regulator, and holds more than 80 million online consumer reviews and discussions.


JITENDRA TAYAL (FIN ’16) wrote a three-essay dissertation on financial markets: 1) “Does Idiosyncratic Volatility Limit Arbitrage? Evidence from Short Selling,” 2) “Frictionless Short Positions and Asymmetric Risk Premium: Evidence from Future Markets,” 3) “Stock Prices Matter.” “He was the best Ph.D. student that I have mentored…in my more than two decades at Virginia Tech,” Vijay Singal, professor and department head of finance, wrote in his nomination letter.


SHAHRAM AMINI, a doctoral student in finance, for his proposal, “Institutional Presence and the Underpricing of Initial Public Offerings.” The project will look at the effect of nearby institutional investors on the underpricing of for initial public offerings.

CHRISTOPHER KWARAMBA, a doctoral student in business information technology, for his proposal, “Examining the effect of social media on supply chain disruptions: An empirical study.” He will study how social media can exacerbate the effect of demand side supply chain disruptions on firms’ market value in the backdrop of the restaurant industry.

DANIEL VILLANOVA, a doctoral student in marketing, for his project investigating what distributional properties consumers attend to when they evaluate a product based on user ratings/reviews. The grant will help him conduct additional research and enhance the level of contribution the work is making.

YUTONG XIE, a doctoral student in finance, for his project proposal that focuses on the relationship between a firm’s future cash flow volatility and three corporate decisions. The project seeks to divide total cash flow variation measured into downside and upside components.