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Whitman welcomes new faculty members

The Whitman School welcomes four new faculty members this fall: Jeffrey Harris (finance), D. Craig Nichols (accounting), Alexandra Kostakis ’91 (entrepreneurial practice) and Peter Scott (entrepreneurial practice).

“We are delighted to welcome Jeff, Craig, Alex and Peter to the Whitman family,” says Whitman Dean Melvin T. Stith. “Their vast knowledge and expertise in their respective fields, and their wealth of experience in academia and industry will benefit not only our student body, but the entire Whitman and Syracuse University community. We are thrilled to have them on board and look forward to all that they will accomplish during their time at Whitman.”

Harris has been named the Dean’s Professor of Finance. He comes to Whitman from the University of Delaware, where he had been a member of the faculty since 2001. He held the visiting James M. Collins Chair during the 2010-11 academic year at Southern Methodist University. Harris’ teaching interests are in investments and risk management, with research interests in market microstructure, equities and futures trading, IPOs and investor behavior. He holds a Ph.D. in finance from The Ohio State University and an MBA in finance from the University of Iowa. In addition to faculty positions, Harris has served as the chief economist in the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, as visiting academic fellow at the NASDAQ, and visiting academic scholar at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Nichols is assistant professor of accounting in the Joseph I. Lubin School of Accounting and comes to Whitman from Cornell University, where he was an assistant professor of accounting. Nichols teaches in all areas of financial accounting and is particularly interested in financial statement analysis. His research interests include financial reporting, fundamental analysis, valuation, earnings management, market efficiency and the role of accounting information in capital markets. Nichols’ research has appeared in the Journal of Accounting Research, Review of Accounting Studies and Accounting Horizons. He earned a B.A. in accounting and an M.S. in tax accounting at the University of Alabama. He holds an MBA and Ph.D. in accounting from Indiana University.

Kostakis is assistant professor of entrepreneurial practice. An entrepreneur, she is a founding partner of the Student Storage Company Inc., located in Syracuse. The company provides moving and storage services to college students nationwide. She is also a founding partner of Hellinis Imports Co., one of the top import wholesale companies marketing to the Greek-American consumer market. A Whitman alumna, Kostakis earned her MBA in finance from the Leonard N. Stern School of Business at New York University.

Scott is assistant professor of entrepreneurial practice. He comes to Syracuse from Ann Arbor, Mich., where he is director and board adviser to Estrakon Inc.–an in-store marketing company dealing with LED technology–and a business development consultant at Blue Newt, a visualization software company. His previous experience includes advising 15 new Ann Arbor-based technology startups in strategy, marketing/sales, finance and fundraising through his position with Noble Consulting. These companies have been in varying markets from solar to wind turbines, fuel injection, mechatronics, RFIDs, consumer product and medical devices. In addition, he has served as president of Current Motor Co. (Ann Arbor), director of the advanced technology incubator at Kettering University (Flint, Mich.), director of business development at Vale Solutions (Ann Arbor), professor of marketing at the Wyzsza Szkola Biznesu (Poland) and has held marketing and business manager appointments with Covinsint LLC (Southfield, Mich.), Lorro Inc. (Detroit), Worldspan LLP (Atlanta), MBA Enterprise Corps (Poland) and GE Aircraft Engines (Cincinnati). Scott holds a B.S. in mechanical engineering and aerospace engineering from the University of Michigan, an M.S. in aerospace engineering from the University of Cincinnati and an MBA from the University of Michigan.