Category: Faculty Research

Research Q&A with Elham Asgari

Elham Asgari
Asgari is an assistant professor of management and entrepreneurship at Michigan Tech.

Elham (Ellie) Asgari, the Charles C. and John G. Gates Professor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation, is at the leading edge of entrepreneurship research, studying the formula of success in this high-stakes sector of business. Last month, Dr. Asgari was selected as a recipient of the Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning Instructional Award for Innovative or Out-of-Class Teaching. Asgari’s selection was based on her innovative teaching strategies, including use of crowdfunding campaigns to help Huskies gauge startup interest, and working with students individually to help them prepare for regional and global investment pitches. During the 2022-23 academic year, Michigan Tech student teams collected $67,000 in pitch prize money.

Jenny Apriesnig Earns Research Award for Collaborations Impacting Region and World

Jenny Apriesnig
In addition to her research, Dr. Jenny Apriesnig serves as the Collegiate DECA advisor on campus.

The 2022-23 Michigan Tech College of Business (COB) Research Award has been presented to Jenny Apriesnig, natural resource economist and assistant professor of economics.

Apriesnig’s research evaluates natural resource allocation issues of regional economies, i.e., how firms and consumers respond to changes in the availability of natural resources or natural resource policy. She was selected as the award recipient by her COB colleagues.

Awards Earned at International Business Conference

Image of Ulrich Schmelzle' research award
Assistant professor Ulrich Schmelzle earned both a research and service award at the international conference last month.

College of Business faculty and graduate students attended the MBAA International conference held at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago, Illinois, March 22-24. The theme of the conference was “Quality Higher Education in a Post-Pandemic World.”

COB Announces Faculty Awards in Research, Service

Each year the Michigan Tech College of Business recognizes faculty for their accomplishments in the areas of service and research. A faculty panel of past recipients guides the selection process. This year’s honorees are:

Jenny Apriesnig–Service

This year’s Service Award went to Jenny Apriesnig, assistant professor of economics. A faculty member in the College since 2018, Apriesnig took on the advisor role for Michigan Tech Collegiate DECA last fall. Under her leadership and mentorship, the group reactivated and saw early success. Highlights include: Six students competing and placing at the state competition in February and four students competing in the national conference in Baltimore in April, with two earning a top 10 placement.

The organization now has 13 members and is looking forward to growing.

Apriesnig’s above-and-beyond efforts were noticed by her students, too—many of whom nominated her for Tech’s student organization advisor of the year, another award she received this year. Nominees noted that she traveled with the group to various functions across the country and held one-on-one mentoring sessions to ensure each student felt prepared and supported ahead of their competitions and presentations.

Many College of Business students were active in DECA during their high school careers, and were eager to continue their endeavors during college.

Professor Jenny Apreisnig holding a plaque in front of a step and repeat
Jenny Apriesnig

“Jenny’s dedication to support DECA students is appreciated by everyone in the College of Business; she is an outstanding role model for our students,”

Mari Buche, associate dean, Michigan Tech College of Business

William Breffle–Research

Many of Associate Professor of Economics William (Bill) Breffle’s research papers are published in top environmental economics journals, including the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, The American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Land Economics, Ecological Economics, and Environmental and Resource Economics. Breffle has also published in policy journals such as Contemporary Economic Policy and Urban Studies. Two of Breffle’s journal articles were selected for International Library of Environmental Economics and Policy book volumes as “important and influential essays.” Another publication he co-authored is listed among the top 200 most influential research papers in the discipline of environmental and ecological economics. Impressively, according to Google Scholar, his research has been cited more than 1,500 times.

portrait of Dr. William Breffle
Bill Breffle

During the first half of his 30-year career, Breffle’s research centered on the valuation of economic damages caused by injuries to natural resources, such as mining injuries, releases of organics, and oil spills. Research teams across 15 states that included him secured more than $700 million in settlements for restoration and remediation. More recently, his research has investigated pressing topics related to sustainability and carrying capacity, especially focused on the Great Lakes, but also climate change issues as far away as Laos and Uganda. Blending his teaching with research, Breffle’s co-authors frequently include students. 

“Dr. Breffle’s selection for the COB Faculty Research Award is a reflection of his career-long commitment to academic discovery. His research has informed policy decision-makers on national issues for more than 20 years.

“MTU students are fortunate to learn from a person who sits at the forefront of his profession,”

Dean Johnson, dean, Michigan Tech College of Business

About the College of Business

The Michigan Tech College of Business offers undergraduate majors in accounting, business analytics, construction management, economics, engineering management, finance, management, management information systems, and marketing, as well as a general business option. Graduate degrees include the TechMBA®, a Master of Engineering Management, a Master of Science in Accounting, and a Master of Science in Applied Natural Resource Economics.

Dai and Min Named Ten Haken Faculty Fellows

Jun Dai (left) and Junhong Min (right)

Following a recommendation approved by the Provost and President, the College of Business (COB) is pleased to announce that Jun Dai has been appointed as the Ten Haken Faculty Fellow in Accounting and Finance, and the Ten Haken Faculty Fellow in Business is Junhong Min. 

“The College of Business is blessed with excellent faculty,” says Dean Johnson, dean of the College. “As such, a goal of the Ten Haken Faculty Fellows is to rotate these Fellows such that more faculty can be recognized and provided with a boost to their careers.

The COB has a goal of 50 percent of our faculty in funded faculty positions by 2035.

Dean Johnson, dean, Michigan Tech College of Business

Ten Haken Faculty Fellow in Accounting and Finance

Jun Dai’s most recent accomplishments include lecturing on “Teaching Blockchain to Accounting Students” at the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Faculty Hour webinar in August, with more than 650 faculty colleagues from around the world in attendance.

Of the appointment, she says: “This offers tremendous support to my career from many perspectives—working with students on course tutors, establishing new student research projects, and traveling to conferences to share outcomes with academia and industry.”

Using the Ten Haken resource to support the local community through a new project that aims to identify social pathology through big data is also a goal for Dai.

Dai, who achieved her Ph.D. at Rutgers University and began at Tech as visiting faculty in 2018, is an assistant professor of accounting. Her research interests lie in applying new technologies such as blockchain, industry 4.0, and data analytics in the auditing profession. Her teaching foci include accounting systems, accounting analytical methods, and business database management. She also serves as the associate editor of the Journal of Emerging Technologies in Accounting and an editorial board member of the Journal of Information Systems.

In July, Dai chaired the 31st Annual Research Workshop on Strategic and Emerging Technologies in Accounting, Auditing, and Tax, held in San Diego.

She received the 2021 American Accounting Association Notable Contributions to Accounting Literature Award for a research article titled “Toward Blockchain-Based Accounting and Assurance.” In it, she explores how blockchain technology could reengineer the existing accounting and auditing procedures to make them more transparent, intelligent, and automated.

Ten Haken Faculty Fellow in Business

Junhong “Jun” Min, led students in a hands-on market research project that, through the study of digital metrics, directly benefited COB’s brand positioning and fall website refresh. As advisor of the American Marketing Association student organization, Min, an associate professor of marketing, mentors students through sales and digital marketing competitions in regional conferences, and hosts networking events with industry experts from leading companies. 

“The Ten Haken Fellowship provides new experiential learning opportunities for students, including alumni networking, community service, local marketing internships, and student-led research projects,” Min says.

The fellowship helps bridge the gap between academia and practitioners in the industry.

Jun Min, associate professor of marketing, Michigan Tech College of Business

Min was a finalist for the 2022 Distinguished Teaching Award, a reflection of his expertise and passion for leading hands-on marketing courses—including Principles of Marketing, Marketing Data Analytics, Sales and Sales Technology, and B2B Marketing in a Digital Age. He studies the relationship governance problems that threaten a firm’s long-term success and growth. He has presented potential solutions in a variety of journal publications, including the European Journal of Marketing, Journal of Business Research, and Journal of Business Ethics, as well as national and international conferences such as the American Marketing Association, the Society for Marketing Advances, and the Decision Sciences Institute.

His analysis, conducted with Matt Monte of Houghton-based Monte Consulting, earned the award for best paper at the Society for Marketing Advances conference in Orlando, Florida. Using more than 12,000 ratings and reviews collected from IMDb.com, the pair identified factors causing inconsistencies between online ratings and reviews. Their work aims to contribute to the understanding of sponsorship marketing performance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lasting Ten Haken Impact

The Ten Haken Faculty Fellows were established in 2017 through the support of Joyce and Richard Ten Haken, COB accounting alumni. Prior to the appointment of Dai and Min, Jeff Wall, associate professor of management information systems, and Sheila Milligan, associate teaching professor of accounting, fulfilled the roles from 2019 to 2022. “Sincere appreciation is extended to both Sheila and Jeff for their depth of service to the fellowships,” says Johnson. “We look forward to the new endeavors Dr. Dai and Dr. Min establish during their term as Ten Haken Fellows.”

About the College of Business

The Michigan Tech College of Business offers undergraduate majors in accounting, business analytics, construction management, economics, engineering management, finance, management, management information systems, and marketing, as well as a general business option. Graduate degrees include the TechMBA®, a Master of Engineering Management, a Master of Science in Accounting, and a Master of Science in Applied Natural Resource Economics.