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College of Business welcomes new faculty

September 18, 2019

The College of Business (COB) welcomes seven new faculty members into its ranks this autumn.  

Elina Tang

Elina Tang is teaching Principles of Digital Marketing. She came from China in pursuit of a Ph.D. degree in molecular biology. Then she realized she liked business and made the switch.

“I got my M.S. degree in molecular biology and microbiology and worked in the pharmaceutical / biotech industry for seven years,” she says. “I eventually realized how much I enjoy research and teaching, so I got a Ph.D. degree in marketing from the University of Missouri, and I haven’t looked back since.”

Tang’s research interest is in innovation (sustainable innovation), sales management and big data subsampling. In her spare time, she likes to run and to read.

Her teaching inspiration came by way of her father.

“I went to graduate school three times, and eventually, decided to become a professor like my dad so I can be a lifelong learner (he teaches Chinese classical literature). I think universities are great places to be a student,” says Tang. “I have taught in medical, dental, journalism and business schools, and of course, I love teaching marketing the most. I love learning about different perspectives from my students. It is such as privilege to be able to share ideas with the vibrant community of Huskie learners.”

Sina Ehsani

Sina Ehsani is teaching two classes in the Department of Finance: Financial Data Analysis and Risk Management. He previously worked at Saint Xavier University in Chicago. Prior to that position, he completed his Ph.D. degree at the University of Texas in San Antonio, Texas. Ehsani’s research interests are in investments and empirical asset pricing.

In his spare time, he tries to stay active. “I used to play soccer and tennis but considering our tight schedules, I use the little spare time I have to work out at the local gym. I also read journal articles to keep up with the current research,” he says.

Wendie Stone

Wendie L. Stone, an NIU alumna (MBA), is teaching Marketing 350: Principles of Selling. Prior to teaching at NIU, she worked in software and pharmaceutical industries. Stone also spent time at home raising her daughter (18) and son (14) who keep her busy traveling in her spare time with their high school travel sports. They play soccer and hockey and have their games and tournaments in both the U.S. and Canada.

Stone doesn’t just watch her kids play sports though.

“I love to watch NFL and NHL games,” she says. “I enjoy the competition, the strategy and the statistics of the games.”

Tim Michaelis

Tim Michaelis is teaching MGMT 327 (Creativity and Innovation) and MGMT 437 (Entrepreneurship and Business Model Implementation). He grew up in Greensboro, North Carolina, and received his B.A., M.G.I.M. and Ph.D. degrees from North Carolina State University. He received his MBA from Aix-Marseille Université in France.

When talking about his background prior to NIU, he says, “I worked in strategic consulting before and during my Ph.D. degree on helping firms manage innovation. I also worked with IBM Watson to develop text analytics models for business intelligence, which led to founding a company in that space.” 

Michaelis, who studies the resourceful and frugal behaviors of entrepreneurs, has traveled to nearly every continent and has never paid for a plane ticket. He encourages folks to ask him how!

He enjoys traveling, golf, skiing and personal finance.

Shannon Gates

Shannon Gates is no stranger to the COB. She graduated from NIU with a B.S. degree in marketing in 1995 and received her M.S. degree in industrial management in 2000. Gates previously worked at NIU for 17 years from 1995-2012, including 10 years in the COB. She recently returned to the college as extra-help/part-time in 2018.

Apart from spending her time at NIU, Gates is married with identical twin girls who just started their freshman year in high school and a 16-year old son, a junior at DeKalb High School. 

“I enjoy family time,” says Gates. “I have three very involved children — in school, sports and music — so I’m a taxi driver and cheerleader in my ‘spare’ time!”

Wenlian Gao

Wenlian Gao is teaching FINA350-Financial Markets and Institutions this fall and FINA560-Financial Markets and Investments next spring.

“I am originally from China and received my Ph.D. degree from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee. Since then, I worked at Dominican University in Chicago and the Central University of Finance and Economics in Beijing, China.”

Gao’s research interests are in corporate finance and international financial markets.

“Recently, I have been interested in how investors’ emotion affects the stock market performance across the world,” says Gao.

In her spare time, she loves to garden. 

When asked about something we’d be surprised to know about her, Gao says, “I hate driving and wish I could take bus to school every day.”

Margee Myles

Margee Myles is a two-time alumna of NIU with degrees in the field of family and child studies. Previous to coming to the COB, she was employed on campus for the past 25 years working in undergraduate recruitment and advising.

“In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family and being active,” she says.