Accounting & Information Systems

Robert Davidson | Assistant Professor


  • Ph.D., Accounting, University of Chicago, 2011
  • MBA, University of Chicago, 2011
  • B.S., Accounting, Wayne State University, 2003

DAVIDSON’S RESEARCH has addressed income statement and balance sheet fraud; executives’ legal records and insider trading activities; CEO materialism and corporate social responsibility; executive equity compensation and financial statement fraud; bank CEO materialism, corporate culture, and risk, and board composition, CEO attributes, and corporate innovation.
His co-authored article, published in the Journal of Financial Economics, examines the “off-the-job” behavior of CEOs and financial reporting risk.
Among his honors are the Best Paper Award at the George Mason Conference on Corporate Governance and research grants from the Institute for Fraud Prevention, the Fama-Miller Center, and the Initiative on Global Markets.
Davidson has taught courses on financial statement analysis, financial accounting, and managerial accounting. He taught at Georgetown University for five years and at the University of Texas at Austin for one year.

Matthew Erickson | Assistant Professor


  • Ph.D., Management, University of Arizona, 2017
  • M.S., Accounting, Texas A&M University, 2009
  • BBA, Accounting, Texas A&M University, 2009

ERICKSON’S RESEARCH interests are the interaction of taxes and capital markets; international tax policy and multinational tax competition; the role of taxes in valuation and decision making; and the formulation, promulgation, and impact of tax policy.
Erickson’s dissertation examined the relationship between firm dividend policy and the predictability of cash-effective tax rates. His recent co-authored article, published in the Journal of the American Taxation Association, examines the cost of regulatory compliance, represented by accounting rules and audit fees.
His other research explores the impact of foreign cash holdings on credit risk and the influence of taxes on decision making by foreign investors.
Among his many honors are the Charles Koch Foundation Dissertation Grant and research grants from the University of Arizona. He was selected as an Accounting Doctoral Scholar. Erickson has taught courses on accounting research, technology for accountants, and federal taxation, among others.
A certified public accountant, Erickson worked for three years at Deloitte’s office in Dallas, Texas, where he was most recently a senior in tax.

Michelle Harding | Assistant Professor


  • Ph.D., Accounting, University of Tennessee – Knoxville, 2017
  • M.S., Accounting, University of Virginia, 2003
  • B.S., Commerce, University of Virginia, 2002

HARDING’S DISSERTATION examined the impact of increased tax return reporting on financial statement tax disclosure quality.
Her co-authored papers, presented at various professional meetings, have investigated voluntary disclosures of tax planning and compliance components of auditor tax services, shared leadership and performance in virtual teams, and innovation diffusion of website features and their influence on e-commerce sales and website traffic.
She has taught introductory courses on federal taxation, managerial accounting, and financial accounting. Among her many grants and awards are the AICPA Doctoral Fellowship, the KPMG Doctoral Fellowship, and the Accounting and Financial Women’s Alliance Ph.D Scholarship.
Harding received the honor of being the student speaker at the University of Tennessee’s graduate hooding ceremony this year. A certified public accountant, Harding worked as a controller and senior staff accountant in Nashville, Tennessee; and Orlando, Florida.

Sean Hillison| Assistant Professor


  • Ph.D., Accountancy, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2017
  • Master of Accounting, University of Florida, 2002
  • B.S., Accounting, University of Florida, 2001

HILLISON’S RESEARCH interests are in judgment and decision-making in accounting and auditing, particularly how different mental perspectives influence auditors’ judgments and decisions.
His dissertation examined the influence of professional role identities and client importance on auditors’ acceptance of client-preferred financial reporting. It encompassed two experiments examining the judgments and decisions of both practicing audit executives.
One of his co-authored papers explored the argument that, in planning fraud detection procedures, auditors make better decisions and are more ideal thinkers when advising colleagues than when deciding for themselves.
Among his many honors are the Kenneth P. Santee Graduate Fellowship and the Fred H. Figge Distinguished Teaching Assistant Award. He was selected as an Accounting Doctoral Scholar.
A certified public accountant, Hillison worked for nine years at Ernst & Young’s office in Boca Raton, Florida, where he was most recently a senior manager.

Ling Lei Lisic| Associate Professor


  • Ph.D., Accounting, University of Connecticut, 2008
  • M.S., Applied Economics, University of Rochester, 2003
  • M.Phil., Accounting, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, 2000
  • B.S., Accounting, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, 1998

LISIC’S RESEARCH interests are in archival financial accounting — in such areas as corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, insider trading, executive compensation, and SEC comment letters, for example — and archival auditing.
Her co-authored papers have investigated executive overconfidence and compensation structure; CEO power, internal control quality, and audit committee effectiveness; and insider trading and commitment to social good. One co-authored article, forthcoming in The Accounting Review, looks at evidence from audit fees to examine whether CEO succession and succession planning affects stakeholders’ perceptions of financial reporting risk.
Lisic has taught courses on auditing, financial accounting, and managerial accounting. She taught at George Mason University for nine years, most recently as an associate professor.
Among her many grants and awards are four awards for outstanding research and publication. She currently chairs the American Accounting Association’s auditing section research committee.

Hospitality and Tourism Management

Juan Nicolau | Marriott Professor of Revenue Management


  • Ph.D., Economics and Business Administration, University of Alicante, 2002
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, University of Alicante, 1996

NICOLAU’S RESEARCH interests are the analysis of individual choice behavior and the examination of firm market value.
He is widely published in the premiere hospitality and tourism journals as well as in top journals in the fields of marketing and management.
Nicolau has served on the editorial boards of many professional journals in his field and has won 12 international awards for his research. He has presented his work at more than 80 international conferences.
Nicolau was formerly a professor of marketing and dean of the College of Economics and Business at the University of Alicante in Spain.
He has taught both graduate and undergraduate courses and has participated in numerous projects related to teaching innovation. He has received many teaching excellence awards, including University Professor of the Year in 2010.
At the University of Alicante, he served as vice dean from 2008 to 2014 before becoming dean. He has been a visiting scholar at Temple University’s National Laboratory for Tourism and e-Commerce in Philadelphia, and at the University of North Florida.

Business Information and Technology

Wenqi Shen | Assistant Professor


  • Ph.D., Management Information Systems, Purdue University, 2010
  • B.B.A., City University of Hong Kong, 2005

SHEN’S RESEARCH interests include business analytics, online virtual communities, social media and social dynamics, user generated content, the economics of information technologies, and firm information security.
She has taught undergraduate courses on networks and telecommunications, and systems development and served as faculty advisor for the student BIT Club and the NetAPP Transitions program.
Shen has presented papers at many academic conferences and published her research in various journals, including premier journal MIS Quarterly, which published her co-authored empirical study of online reviewers’ strategic behavior in 2015.
She joined Virginia Tech in 2012 as an e-commerce operations manager, with responsibilities that included security and compliance for the university’s payment card systems. She was appointed an assistant professor of practice in the business information technology department in 2016.
She was previously an information analyst at Purdue University and a visiting assistant professor at Miami University.

Finance, Insurance and Business Law

Pengfei Ye | Assistant Professor


  • Ph.D., Finance, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, 2007
  • M.S., Accounting, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, 2001
  • B.S., Accounting, Beijing Institute of Business, 1997

YE’S RESEARCH focuses on the roles of institutional investors, including mutual funds, pension funds and hedge funds in capital markets, and corporate decision-making.
He also conducts empirical research on the efficiency of the managerial talent market, including chief executive officers, and the economic implications on various corporate finance topics, including managerial incentives, corporate governance, and mergers and acquisitions.
He has presented papers at many academic conferences and published his research in a number of premier journals, including the Journal of Financial Economics and the Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis.
Ye has taught various undergraduate and graduate finance courses, including Corporate Finance, Investments, Fixed Income Securities, Equity Securities, and a doctoral seminar on institutional investors. He currently teaches Fixed Income Securities.
Before joining Virginia Tech, he taught for eight years at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Lally School of Management, where he received the Student Award in 2014 for teaching excellence.