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Meet our new professors

This fall we welcome new faculty members who are contributing to our tradition of excellence in teaching, research and service. Some are familiar faces – now teaching full-time and some have changed roles at UNC Kenan-Flagler.

Click on their names to read more about them.

Art BakerArt Baker teaches courses on private equity, M&A and entrepreneurship through acquisition. He brings over 15 years of professional finance experience to the School. He worked as an investment banker and finance executive in Fortune 500 and mid-sized companies; in strategy for a private-equity firm and AAA; corporate development for GM; and investment banking and M&A for RBC Capital Markets in Toronto. He received his PhD from Moscow State University.

Ivonne Chirino-KlevansIvonne Chirino-Klevans teaches courses on leading and managing diversity. She is the author of several books on cross-cultural leadership and the principal investigator of award-winning virtual reality simulations that develop leadership skills across cultures. She is an executive coach, a consultant for NASCAR, and a volunteer with LÍDER, an interactive leadership development program for Latinx undergraduate students throughout North Carolina. She received her PhD in psychology from Iberoamericana University.

Margot HowardMargot Howard studies how tax policy relates to investment, financing and reporting decisions. She teaches courses in financial accounting. Her research has been published in the Journal of the American Taxation Association and the Journal of Portfolio Management. She worked in tax consulting for a major public accounting firm, engaging with clients all over the U.S., before she began her academic career. She received her PhD from UNC Kenan-Flagler.

Saman LagziSaman Lagzi’s research interests are in revenue management, and pricing and healthcare operations management. His research focus is on integrating data analytics into the process of decision-making. He uses data, and designs ways to use data, to better guide the decision-making process. His teaching interests are in the areas of operations management, data analytics and machine learning. He received his PhD from the University of Toronto. 

Eric MaribojocEric Maribojoc teaches real estate courses that explore financing affordable housing and real estate development. He is an associate director of the Wood Center for Real Estate Studies, leading its housing affordability initiative. He formerly served as executive director of George Mason University’s real estate center. He has over 25 years of experience in commercial and residential properties. He received his MBA from American University’s Kogod School of Business.

Vrinda MittalVrinda Mittal’s research interests include private capital markets, private equity, real estate and asset pricing. She studies investors’ allocation decisions in private assets and implications of private assets for the real economy. She teaches classes in finance and real estate. She spent time at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and Federal Reserve Board as a dissertation intern as a doctoral student. She received her PhD from Columbia.

Kelley O’Brien Kelley O’Brien teaches business communication courses. She has been teaching at Carolina since 2011 – at UNC Kenan-Flagler, the Graduate School and UNC School of Government. She has over 20 years of experience as a communicator, grant writer, project manager and administrator in higher education and nonprofits. She is senior partner of an executive-search firm and owner of a strategy and communication firm. She received her MPA from Carolina.

Christine PorathChristine Porath researches how to help people and communities thrive. She teaches courses in leadership, coaching, organizational culture, organizational change and building communities of belonging. She is the author of the books “Mastering Community” and “Mastering Civility,” and co-author of “The Cost of Bad Behavior.” She worked for a leading sports management and marketing firm before she began her academic career. She earned her PhD from UNC Kenan-Flagler.

Pramita SahaPramita Saha brings over 15 years of experience in capital markets, sales and trading and investment banking to her teaching and her role as executive director of the Center for Excellence in Investment Management. Her teaching focuses on experiential offerings. Before she joined UNC Kenan-Flagler she led loan syndicate and distribution Americas at Standard Chartered Bank and held positions at Goldman Sachs, Citi and BBVA. She received her MBA from Wharton.

Sibel SözüeSibel Sözüer’s research focuses on leveraging text mining, machine learning, optimization and econometric methodologies for business applications related to innovation, food and well-being. She is interested in research questions related to creativity-based new-product development, crowdsourcing in innovation, sustainability and consumer health. Her teaching interests include core marketing courses, new product development and data-driven marketing. She worked as a product marketing manager at a home appliances company. She received her PhD from Columbia.

Jim SpaethJim Spaeth’s expertise is real estate finance and development, with a special interest in the intersection of the built environment and the innovation economy. He teaches courses in applied real estate finance for undergraduates and MBA students. He served as Wood Center for Real Estate Studies executive director and associate director of Full-Time MBA Program career management, and held senior roles at financial firms. He received his MBA from the University of Florida.

Annie WilliamsAnnie Williams’ research interests revolve around understanding how to encourage sustainable consumer behavior and how brands can leverage sustainability communication to bolster their brand equity. She teaches courses in consumer behavior, marketing and brand management. Her industry experience includes serving as a consumer insights analyst and a research analyst. In addition, she successfully launched and operated a restaurant in downtown Chapel Hill. She earned her PhD from UNC Greensboro.