Carnegie Mellon University
May 03, 2018

Annual Tepper Tea Ceremony Recognizes Exceptional Doctoral Student Work

“Afternoon Tea” is a traditional twice-weekly gathering of Tepper School of Business Ph.D. students and faculty which offers a pause from rigorous days of research and studies to mingle. At the end of each academic year, students and faculty celebrate the year-end’s work with a special Tepper Tea Ceremony to recognize several students for their work and research.

This year, four doctoral students were recognized for their work and research produced during their time at the Tepper School on April 26.

“We’re impressed by the research accomplishments of our students,” said Nicola Secomandi, professor of operations management and head of the Ph.D. program. “They distinctly exemplify the strong intellectual capital of the Tepper School.”

The Egon Balas Award for the Best Paper in Operations Research/Algorithms, Combinatorics and Optimization


Arash Haddadan, current doctoral student studying algorithms, combinatorics, and optimization, was awarded the Egon Balas Award for the Best Paper in Operations Research/Algorithms, Combinatorics and Optimization for his paper “Applications and Constructions of Cut-Covering Decompositions for Connectivity Problems.” John Hooker, T. Jerome Holleran Professor of Business Ethics and Social Responsibility and professor of operations research, led the faculty committee which selected Haddadan for the award.

“Receiving an award named after a great researcher like Egon Balas has a great impact on my professional path. I feel humbled and inspired by his work and how much the pathway he created can help me grow,” said Haddadan. “I want to thank our wonderful faculty. If it weren't for their insightful comments, I would have never get to these results. This award makes me realize that the problems we addressed and posed in the paper are interesting across different areas of operations research, and that we need to continue working to obtain more results in this area.”

The Dipankar and Sharmila Chakravarti Doctoral Fellowship Award


The Dipankar and Sharmila Chakravarti Doctoral Fellowship Award was awarded to Shunyuan Zhang, current doctoral student studying Business Technologies, for her contributions in research in Marketing. In addition to a plaque, she was awarded a check for $2,000. Zhang was chosen as a winner by a faculty committee headed by Jeffrey Galak, associate professor of marketing.

“I feel honored and encouraged to be awarded The Dipankar and Sharmila Chakravarti Doctoral Fellowship Award. To me, it validates the significance of the problems I'm working on,” said Zhang. “My research interests broadly lie at the intersection of marketing, business technology, and machine learning. My current work involves quantifying causal effects of image attributes on property demand on Airbnb. I feel so fortunate to be in a supportive environment for interdisciplinary research here at Tepper. I think winning this award gives me added confidence that my research is on the right path to continue on."

The Gerald R. Salancik Doctoral Dissertation Award


Anna T. Mayo, current doctoral student studying Organizational Behavior & Theory was recognized for her paper entitled “Dynamic Teams: Navigating Membership Change and Boundary Permeability.” For this, she was awarded the Gerald R. Salancik Doctoral Dissertation Award and a check for $500. Anita Williams Woolley, associate professor of organizational behavior and theory, led the faculty committee.

“In my first year here at Tepper, I read work by Salancik and began to understand his influence on the field of organizational behavior. Knowing that history, and the impressive list of former winners, it is an honor to win the Gerald R. Salancik Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship,” said Mayo. “This award provides legitimacy for my dissertation research, along with funding, that will facilitate my ability to continue to pursue the line of research in my dissertation.”

The Alexander Henderson Award for Excellence in Economic Theory


The Alexander Henderson Award for Excellence in Economic Theory was presented to Emilio Bisetti, current doctoral student studying Financial Economics, for his dissertation entitled “Essays in Macro-Finance.” Bisetti was chosen by a faculty committee headed by Stephen Spear, professor of economics.

“I am humbled by the faculty’s decision to grant me the Alexander Henderson award. I remember myself looking up the names of the past winners when I first visited Tepper before starting my Ph.D. After six years, having my name next to those of so many distinguished economists is a great honor,” said Bisetti. “As my current research agenda is primarily empirical, I believe that this award in economic theory also speaks to the breadth of training that Ph.D. students receive here at Tepper. I am grateful that our diverse education allows us to engage in productive research in very different fields of economics.”