Student Profiles

The Finance Track of the PhD in Business Administration Program attracts individuals from a variety of work and educational backgrounds with a shared interest in understanding of financial issues, specifically in its application to real world issues. The cornerstone of the finance track is to provide training that facilitates innovations and provides tools for significant research grounded in the business realities of today.

Recent Graduates

Priya Garg, PhD, Assistant Professo of Finance, University of San Diego

Priya Garg joined the University of San Diego in fall 2020 as a tenure track assistant professor of finance. 

Priya has taught financial accounting courses at UMass Boston over the past three years. Her dissertation titled "Firm Networks" focuses on the salient economic linkages across firms that are difficult, if not impossible, to capture through fundamentals alone. She employed text analytics to capture overlaps in firm risks and show how investors' inattention results in their slow incorporation into stock prices. Her solo paper is forthcoming at Financial Management, titled "Cybersecurity breaches and cash holdings: Spillover Effect."


 Li Gao, PhD, Assistant Professor of Accounting, SUNY New Paltz

​​​​Li Gao joined the School of Business at SUNY New Paltz as an assistant professor of accounting in the fall of 2019. She received her bachelor degree in accounting from Shandong University in 2011 and masters degree in accounting from Loyola University of Chicago in 2014. She attended the University of Massachusetts Boston for her PhD degree in business administration, and graduated in May 2019. Her research interest focuses on the Chief Financial Officers’ influence on various financial reporting issues, such as earning management and tax avoidance. 


Rongbing Liu, PhD, Assistant Professor of Finance, Framingham State University

Rongbing Liu is a tenure track assistant professor at Framingham State University. She received her bachelor degree from Shandong University of Finance and Economics and  MSc in Finance from George Washington University. Her research interests include corporate social responsibility, financial accounting, and corporate capital structure. Her research “The IPO corporate social responsibility information disclosure: Does the stock market care?” has been published in Accounting and Finance. Rongbing is a pending Chartered Financial Analyst and Financial Risk Manager. 


Bo Xu, PhD, Assistant Professor of Finance, Harbin Institute of Technology (Shenzhen) in China

Bo Xu is an assistant professor of finance at Harbin Institute of Technology (Shenzhen), a C9 League university in China. His research interests lie in empirical corporate finance, specifically corporate innovation, executive compensation, corporate governance, and corporate social responsibility. He is actively working on several projects aiming at top-tier finance, accounting, and management journals. Bo graduated from UMass Boston in May 2019 with a PhD degree in finance. Before joining the doctoral program, he worked in consulting, banking, and insurance industries in the states. He received his MSc in mathematical risk management and MAS in actuarial science from Georgia State University, and his BEcon in finance from the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing, China.

Current Students

Junwoo Kim

Junwoo joined the PhD program at the College of Management in 2016 after earning a BS degree in Accounting and Finance and a MBA degree from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business (Bloomington). His research interests include corporate information environments, disclosure, and corporate social responsibility (CSR).

His recent work  "Does Financial Statement Comparability Mitigate Delayed Trading Volume Before Earnings Announcements?" (with Robert Kim and Sangwan Kim) has been accepted for publication at Journal of Business Research. He is currently working on several research projects including the impact of earnings non-synchronicity on manager’s non-GAAP reporting decisions. He has presented his research at the 2019 AAA Annual Meeting and the 2019 AAA Mid-Atlantic Region Meeting. He was a fellow at the 2019 AAA Doctoral Consortium. After completing the PhD degree, he plans to pursue an academic career in accounting.


Yuechan Lu

Yuechan “Luna” Lu is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Accounting and Finance at UMass Boston. She studies the impact of firm information environment with a focus on how corporate-level or systemwide changes alter firm responses, market behavior and transaction outcomes. Her research has been published in journals such as Journal of Corporate Finance and Annals of Economics and Finance. She serves as an ad hoc reviewer for Journal of Corporate Finance and Eurasian Economics Review.

Prior to graduate school, Luna worked for Andrews Kurth LLP on mergers & acquisitions in the petroleum industry between China and Latin American countries such as Peru, Venezuela and Ecuador. She was the liaison between the clients in Beijing, the target firms in Latin America and the legal team in Washington D.C. She was largely involved in due diligence assignments and bidding campaigns.  

Luna received her BA from Peking University (China) and her MA from Boston University. Aside from enthusiasm for research and teaching, she also has a knack for language learning—currently speaking Spanish, Mandarin, English, Italian and Hebrew.


Prianka Musa

Prianka Musa is a fifth-year PhD student on the Finance track. The PhD program at UMass Boston provided her with the tools needed to narrow down her research interests and pursue them. Prianka's research focus is on corporate litigation, financial reporting, voluntary disclosure and corporate social responsibility. She has one published paper with Robert Kim and Sangwan Kim: “When Does Comparability Better Enhance Relevance? Policy Implications from Empirical Evidences.” In this paper, they find that comparable financial statements make it easier for information users to identify similarities and differences among firms and make financial decisions accordingly.

Prianka believes a unique aspect of the program is a class all PhD students are required to take and focuses on how to become an effective teacher. This course helped prepare her for her future as a professor, and to date she has taught three semesters of an undergraduate finance course.