Penn State Smeal announces promotions in academic rank

August 12, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Six members of the Penn State Smeal College of Business faculty, which ranks among the best in the world for research productivity, received promotions effective July 1.

Tenure-Track Faculty Promotions

Kimberly Cornaggia has been promoted to the rank of professor in the Department of Finance. Cornaggia conducts empirical research concerned with predicting, measuring, and resolving financial distress. She has particular interest in the efficacy of credit rating agencies as information intermediaries, the role of ratings in regulatory and contractual requirements, and the real effects of ratings on debt issuers.

Cornaggia holds a doctorate in finance from Purdue University and bachelor’s degrees in actuarial science and finance from the University of Nebraska.

Liang Peng has been promoted to the rank of professor in the Department of Risk Management. Peng’s research focuses on better understanding the housing market and its interaction with the economy, the risk and return of real estate and private equity, and helping to improve methods to estimate price/return indexes for infrequently traded assets.

Peng has a doctorate in economics and two master’s in economics from Yale University. He also holds a master’s in business administration and a bachelor’s in applied mathematics from Renmin University in Beijing, China.

Nan Zhu received tenure and was promoted to the rank of associate professor in the Department of Risk Management. His research interests include stochastic mortality modeling, secondary life market, longevity risk management, and insurance contract theory.

Zhu earned a bachelor’s and master’s in financial mathematics, and a bachelor’s in economics, all from Peking University in Beijing, China. He is a fellow of the Society of Actuaries and Charted Enterprise Risk Analyst.

Jason Acimovic received tenure and was promoted to the rank of associate professor in the Department of Supply Chain and Information Systems. His research is focused on applied operations research and developing heuristics and solutions for new or unsolved or under-solved problems driven by applications. Most of his research has to do with inventory, specifically online retailing supply chains, mobile-money inventory problems, short-product-life-cycle supply chains, and humanitarian logistics supply chains.

Acimovic holds a doctorate in operations research from MIT and a bachelor’s in physics from Yale University.

Clinical Faculty Promotions

Felisa Higgins has been promoted to clinical professor in the Department of Supply Chain and Information Systems. She teaches courses in supply chain management and design and management of supply chains, among others. In addition to teaching, Higgins serves as associate dean of undergraduate education.

Higgins holds a doctorate from Purdue, a master’s degree from Florida State, and a bachelor’s degree from Florida A&M, all in industrial engineering.

Schalyn Sohn has been promoted to assistant teaching professor in the Department of Accounting. She teaches courses in financial and managerial accounting for decision making, managerial accounting, and analyzing business and industry, among others. Sohn is the director for undergraduate students in the accounting program and director of the corporate control and analysis program.

Sohn is a CPA who earned her bachelor’s degree in accounting from Penn State and her master’s degree in accounting from Notre Dame.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated August 12, 2020