Freeman welcomes seven to faculty for 2017-18

Continuing the historic faculty recruiting effort that began in 2012, Tulane University’s A. B. Freeman School of Business welcomes seven new full-time professors to the faculty for the 2017-18 academic year.

Junchao Li

Junchao “Jason” Li
Assistant Professor of Management

Junchao “Jason” Li teaches leadership and organizational behavior in the undergraduate program. He joins the Freeman School from the University of Washington, where he earned a PhD in organizational behavior and human resource management. His research interests include employee voice behavior, employee turnover, leadership and micro-dynamics of entrepreneurship. His research has been published in Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology and Journal of Organizational Behavior. He holds a BS in economics from the Sun Yat-Sen University and an MS in business administration from the University of Washington.

Ryan Peters

Ryan Peters
Assistant Professor of Finance

Ryan Peters teaches valuation in the Master of Finance program. He comes to Freeman from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, where he completed his MA and PhD in finance. His research focuses on corporate finance, investment dynamics and macroeconomics, and he has published articles in the Journal of Financial Economics and the Economic Journal. Prior to pursuing graduate studies, Peters was an associate economist in the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s Macroeconomic Policy Research Group, where he worked on macroeconomic forecasting models for Federal Open Market Committee reports. His industry experience includes trading equity derivatives on European and U.S. exchanges and financial engineering at a convertible bond arbitrage hedge fund. Peters received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago with concentrations in mathematics, statistics and economics.

Barrett Wheeler

Barrett Wheeler
Assistant Professor of Accounting

Barrett Wheeler teaches assurance services in the undergraduate and Master of Accounting programs. He joins the Freeman School from Indiana University, where he recently completed his PhD in accounting. His research focuses on financial accounting, with an emphasis on issues related to bank accounting. His dissertation, motivated by the FASB’s current expected credit loss model, examines the pricing of expected credit losses by bank investors. Prior to pursuing his doctoral studies, Wheeler spent six years in public accounting with Ernst & Young and four years as the head of financial reporting for a community bank in Virginia. He holds a master’s degree in business from Indiana University and a bachelor’s degree in commerce from the University of Virginia.

Mara Baumgarten Force

Mara Baumgarten Force
Professor of Practice in Finance and Associate Director, Master of Finance Program

Mara Baumgarten Force teaches corporate finance in the undergraduate and Master of Management programs. She comes to the Freeman School from JPMorgan, where she served as a managing director and head of Private Client Trust. In that role, she managed more than 150 trust professionals serving 13,000 clients with more than $13 billion under management. Prior to that, Force led the Investor Relations team supporting JPMorgan’s US Private Wealth Management Group and held numerous capital markets-related positions within JPMorgan and heritage firms’ investment bank, including six years on the trading floor in derivatives structuring. She received a Bachelor of Arts from Yale University and an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

Osman Kazan

Osman Kazan
Professor of Practice in Management Science and Associate Director, Master of Business Analytics Program

Osman Kazan has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in data analytics, advanced spreadsheets modeling, operations management and business statistics at the Freeman School since 2013. He received his PhD from the Jindal School of Management at the University of Texas at Dallas, where he specialized in energy issues, electricity pricing and supply chain management. Prior to beginning his academic career, he worked as a senior management consultant for technology companies including Sabre and Hewlett-Packard. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the Middle East Technical University in Turkey and a master’s degree in operations research from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Rob Lalka

Rob Lalka
Professor of Practice in Management and Executive Director, the Albert Lepage Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Rob Lalka teaches entrepreneurial management at the undergraduate level and innovation and technology commercialization at the graduate level. He is the co-founder of Medora Ventures, a consulting firm that supports investments with returns for shareholders, the local community, society overall and generations to come. He also served as director of strategy and partnerships at Propeller, a New Orleans nonprofit that supports social enterprises, and taught at Loyola University. He moved to New Orleans from Washington, D.C., where he was a director at Village Capital and a senior advisor at the Howard G. Buffett Foundation. Before that, Lalka served in the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Global Partnerships and was on the Secretary of State’s policy planning staff. Lalka earned his undergraduate degree from Yale University and holds a master’s degree in global public policy from Duke University.

Mark Powers

Mark Powers
Professor of Practice in Finance

Mark Powers teaches corporate finance in the undergraduate and MBA programs. Powers brings to the Freeman School more than 30 years of leadership experience in public company finance, principally in the commercial aviation industry. Prior to his relocation to New Orleans in 2016, he spent five years as chief financial officer and executive vice president of JetBlue Airways Corp. in New York. He joined the company in 2006 as treasurer and senior vice president for corporate finance. Prior to joining JetBlue, Powers held senior finance leadership roles with Northwest Airlines in Minneapolis and Tokyo, GE Aircraft Engines in Cincinnati, and Continental Airlines and Texas Air in Houston.  He also served as a commercial attorney with Boyar, Norton & Blair in Houston. Powers earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota and received a JD from Southern Methodist University School of Law, where he also served as editor of the Journal of Air Law & Commerce.

In addition to tenure system and professor of practice appointments, the Freeman School also welcomed nine new visiting assistant professors. These include Sangho Lee, Beau Page, Santiago Truffa, Betul Mollahaliloglu and Qi Yuan Peng in finance; Hyunseob Kim and Aleksanda Rebeka in management; and Mark Ratchford in marketing.

“Over the last five years, we have brought to the Freeman School both strong scholars whose research impacts the world and expert practitioners with a wealth of industry experience,” said Freeman School Dean Ira Solomon. “The seven outstanding professors who join our full-time faculty this year are a perfect illustration of this ‘best of both worlds’ strategy, and I couldn’t be happier to welcome them to the Freeman School.”