Carnegie Mellon University

Image of award

April 07, 2021

Doctoral Students Honored at Annual Ph.D. Awards Tea

The Tepper School Ph.D. program presented doctoral students with awards and fellowships in support of their academic pursuits.

Each year, Ph.D. students at the Tepper School of Business are recognized for their hard work and dedication to their research with several awards for research contributions and fellowships that support their future work. This year's awards were announced to Ph.D. students and faculty virtually on March 29, 2021.

Carnegie Mellon University Presidential Fellowship in the Tepper School Award

The Presidential Fellowship program at Carnegie Mellon University was established in 2014 to provide one year of financial support to doctoral students at the university who have contributed an impactful body of work to their field of research.

This year’s fellowship was awarded to Caroline Hopkins for her work and research in the energy and climate space, specifically on the economics of flood risk.

Hopkins's dissertation advisor, Nicholas Muller, Lester and Judith Lave Associate Professor of Economics, Engineering, and Public Policy, praised Hopkins for her dedication to her research. “I feel the advisor has learned as much working with the student as the student has from the advisor,” said Muller.

Henry J. Gailliot Presidential Fellowship

Another Carnegie Mellon University award, the Henry J. Galliot Presidential Fellowship, was awarded to Sae-Seul Park. Park’s area of focus is Organizational Behavior and Theory. Her research lies at the intersection of organizational theory and knowledge management in capital development.

Park stated “I am very honored to be receiving this fellowship, especially after my field experiment was affected by COVID-19 last year. Getting the institutional support from the Tepper School and CMU really meant a lot to me. I would like to thank everyone on my dissertation committee and all the faculty who have supported me in getting through those hurdles.”

PNC Presidential Fellowships

Each year, the PNC Presidential Fellowships recognize two researchers who are focusing on the future of financial services. This award is given each fall when faculty nominate students who are working within the Ph.D. program. To be eligible, their research topics must be consistent with the goals and mandates of the PNC Center for Financial Services Innovation. A committee chaired by Chris Telmer, Associate Professor of Financial Economics; Param Vir Singh, Carnegie Bosch Professor of Business Technologies and Marketing; and Alan Montgomery Professor of Marketing, then choose the students from the nominations.

This year, Ali Oğuz Polat received one of the two fellowships for his work on network models with a focus on regulatory schemes with the goal of eliminating money laundering and insider trading. Polat thanked Assistant Professor of Economics, Selman Erol, whose support was invaluable through his research process.

The second PNC Presidential Fellowship was awarded to Bo Yang. He received the award for his work in machine learning, particularly reinforcement learning, to solve financial and real option models. Yang mentioned that he was “truly honored to be awarded this fellowship. I appreciate the support of PNC. I would also like to thank my advisors for supporting my research.”

Egon Balas Award

The Egon Balas Award for Best Student Paper in Operations Research/Algorithms, Combinatorics, and Optimization commemorates the pioneering work of the late Egon Balas, a former operations research and applied mathematics professor at the Tepper School.

In a year with a number of strong nominations, Lingqing Shen was awarded the honor for her first-year paper covering bi-level optimization in which she made remarkable algorithmic contributions to a very important class of problems.

Shen shared her research with attendees and ended by saying, “Thank you to the committee for your consideration and to my advisors for your support.”

Dipankar and Sharmila Chakravarti Doctoral Fellowship Award

This award was given to both Franco Berbeglia and Jinwoo Kim for their outstanding research in the field of marketing. Chaired by Jeff Galak, Associate Professor of Marketing, the entire marketing faculty was on the committee selecting the students for this honor. The award, named after 1979 Ph.D. alumnus Dipankar Chakravarti, was made possible thanks to his contribution along with his wife, Sharmila, to support future generations of Ph.D. students focusing on marketing and market research.

Kim received the award for his research into consumer behavior, psychology, and decision making. “It’s a great honor for me, and I really want to thank my advisor Jeff Galak, who has always supported me. I couldn’t have survived these four years without his support,” Kim said.

In addition to Kim, Berbeglia was awarded the honor for his work at the intersection of operations management and marketing. He stated, “It’s a great honor and encouragement to receive this award today.”

Paul S. Goodman Doctoral Dissertation Award

Matthew Diabes received the Paul S. Goodman Doctoral Dissertation Award in Recognition of Outstanding Contributions to Research in Organizational Behavior and Theory. The award was named after Organizational Behavior and Theory Professor Paul Goodman, who had a gift for building unusual data sets in diverse areas such as coal mining and car manufacturing. His students created the award to recognize this unique type of research, pioneered by Goodman.

This year, Diabes’ research was made up of a set of studies on learning and collaboration among patient transfer workers in healthcare. His work calls attention to overlooked and marginalized workers in patient care and delivery systems. Members of the committee include Taya Cohen, Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior and Theory; Laurie Weingart, Richard M. and Margaret S. Cyert Professor of Organizational Behavior and Theory; and Linda Argote, Thomas Lord Professor of Organizational Behavior and Theory and Senior Associate Dean of Faculty and Research.

“I’m absolutely, deeply honored to receive this award. I think what’s most humbling is joining the list of former students who looked like giants to me when I started the program. It’s definitely a special moment for me to consider I’m on the same path with them,” Diabes said upon receiving the honor.

Alexander Henderson Award

The Alexander Henderson Award for Excellence in Economic Theory is a long-standing honor recognizing achievements in economic research. Its winners have included four Nobel laureates. The award is one of the oldest at Carnegie Mellon University.

Polat was awarded the honor this year. He was also the recipient of the PNC Presidential Fellowship. His work looked into financial markets and the fact that many use auction formats to set opening prices. The problem with this format is that bids and offers can be made in advance of opening, which allows for insider trading. Polat looked at the possibilities to police this problem and eliminate the vulnerability to insider trading.
Ali went on to say, “I would like to thank all the faculty for their support and for their consideration for this award.”

Gerald R. Salancik Doctoral Fellowship Award

Given each year in honor of Professor Salancik, this award recognizes a doctoral student for outstanding research contributions to the field of Organizational Behavior and Theory, who have already successfully proposed his or her dissertation. The award provides financial support for the student to go on to complete the dissertation.

This year, in a highly competitive field, Jisoo Park won the award for her research into microprocesses that affect organizational learning outcomes in the healthcare industry. Sunkee Lee, Assistant Professor of Organizational Theory and Strategy;  Dennis Epple, Thomas Lord University Professor of Economics; and Argote are members of the dissertation committee.

Weingart, who was the award selection committee chair, shared that one of the committee members said of Park’s research, “Her dissertation makes both theoretical and practical contributions which when combined with her novel samples makes for one of the most outstanding dissertation proposals I have ever read.”