Academic Faculty Network

The Blockchain Center of Excellence will serve as a central point for information sharing, networking, and collaboration among faculty members conducting research, teaching, or professional service activities in the area of blockchain technologies.

Full-time and part-time faculty members from the University of Arkansas and other universities active in blockchain activities related to research, teaching, and service are welcome to apply to the Director, Mary Lacity. Membership is by appointment.

University of Arkansas Faculty

Mary Lacity, Director of the Blockchain Center of Excellence

Dr. Mary C. Lacity is a Walton Professor of Information Systems and Director of the Blockchain Center of Excellence in Sam M. Walton College of Business at The University of Arkansas. She was previously Curators’ Distinguished Professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She has held visiting positions at MIT, the London School of Economics, Washington University, and Oxford University. She is a Certified Outsourcing Professional ®, Industry Advisor for Symphony Ventures, and Senior Editor for MIS Quarterly Executive. Her recent research focuses on improving business services using Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Cognitive Automation (CA), and Blockchain technologies.

She has conducted case studies and surveys of hundreds of organizations on their adoption journeys. She has given keynote speeches and executive seminars worldwide and has served as an expert witness for the US Congress. She was inducted into the IAOP’s Outsourcing Hall of Fame in 2014, one of only three academics to ever be inducted. She was the recipient of the 2008 Gateway to Innovation Award sponsored by the IT Coalition, Society for Information Management, and St. Louis RCGA. She has published 28 books, most recently, A Manager’s Guide to Blockchains for Business, SB Publishing, UK.  Her publications have appeared in the Harvard Business ReviewSloan Management ReviewMIS Quarterly, MIS Quarterly Executive, IEEE Computer, Communications of the ACM, and many other academic and practitioner outlets. She is among the top scholars in Information Systems as measured by citations to her work.

Rajiv Sabherwal, Information Systems Department Chair

Rajiv Sabherwal is Edwin & Karlee Bradberry Chair and Department Chair of Information Systems in the Walton College of Business at University of Arkansas. He has published on the management, use, and impacts of information technology and knowledge in Information Systems Research, MIS Quarterly, Management Science, Organization Science, Journal of Management Information Systems, and other journals.

He has performed numerous editorial and conference leadership roles, including serving as Editor-in-Chief for IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, Conference Co-Chair for International Conference on Information Systems, Program Co-Chair for Americas Conference on Information Systems, Senior Editor for MIS Quarterly and Journal of AIS, and Special Issue Editor for Information Systems Research. He is a Fellow of IEEE, a Fellow of the Association of Information Systems, and a PhD from University of Pittsburgh.

W. Art Chaovalitwongse

Dr. W. Art Chaovalitwongse joined the University of Arkansas in the fall of 2016 as Professor of Industrial Engineering, 21st Century Leadership Chair in Engineering, and Co-Director of the Institute of Advanced Data Analytics. He currently serves as Associate Editor and Editorial Board Member of 10 leading international journals. He has edited 4 books and published over 100 research articles including more than 80 journal papers. He is the immediate past Chair of INFORMS Data Mining (DM) Section, and the President of the Association of Thai Professionals in America and Canada (ATPAC), which is a non-profit organization that works closely with Thailand's Ministry of Science and Technology, the Office of the Higher Education Commission, and the Royal Embassy of Thailand in Washington DC.

Dr. Chaovalitwongse’s research group conducts extensive Analytics research, ranging from basic computational science/statistics, applied mathematical modeling, and translational research at the interface of engineering, medicine, and other emerging disciplines. He holds three patents of novel optimization techniques in seizure prediction system, which have been licensed to use in IdentEvent® by Optima Neuroscience, Inc.

  • Data Analytics
  • Machine Learning
  • Optimization
  • Medical Imaging & Signal Processing
  • Medical Decision Making

Paul Cronan

Dr. Cronan is Professor of Information Systems and holds the M. D. Matthews Chair in Information Systems - cronan@uark.edu. Dr. Cronan received the doctorate degree from Louisiana Tech University and is currently Director of the Master of Information Systems degree program and Co-Director of the University of Arkansas Teaching and Faculty Support Center. In the past he has served as Vice Chair of the Information Systems department. He is an active member of the Association for Information Systems, the Decision Sciences Institute, and the Association for Computing Machinery. He has served as Regional Vice President and on the Board of Directors of the Decision Sciences Institute and as President of the Southwest Region of the Institute. In addition, in the past he has served as Associate Editor for MIS Quarterly.

His teaching interests include project management and project development, database management, business analytics, and information technology management. His research interests include information systems ethical behavior, academic integrity, user learning, enterprise resource planning, work groups, change management, performance analysis and effectiveness, and end-user computing. Publications have appeared in MIS Quarterly, Decision Sciences, Journal of Business Ethics, Information and Management, OMEGA The International Journal of Management Science, The Journal of Management Information Systems, Communications of the ACM, Journal of Organizational and End User Computing, Database, Journal of Research on Computing in Education, Journal of Financial Research, as well as in other journals and Proceedings of various Conferences.

Sebastián J. García-Dastugue

Dr. Sebastián J. García-Dastugue teaches in the Department of Supply Chain Management of Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas. His main area of research is how technology innovations impact supply chain management. His interest in innovation is twofold: examining how technology innovations disrupt supply chains, and also how supply chain professionals can assess and communicate these disruptions. Sebastián also works in B2B relationship management and supply chain strategy. He has taught for-credit and executive courses in Australasia, Europe, and North and South America.

Dr. García-Dastugue has been the Dean of the School of Management at Universidad de San Andrés in Buenos Aires, Argentina. His research has been published in Industrial Marketing Management, Journal of Business Logistics, Journal of Supply Chain Management and The International Journal of Logistics Management, and as chapters of books. Sebastián holds a BS in Information Management Systems from Universidad CAECE, an MBA from Universidad Austral’s IAE Business Management School (all these in Buenos Aires, Argentina), and a Ph.D. from The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA.

Blockchain Activities:

  • Research in impacts of adoption of blockchain-based solution in supply chain management
  • Interest in the deployment of decentralized blockchain-based ecosystems to improve what traditionally are supply chain activities such as food traceability
  • Invited Keynote speaker in conferences in Argentina, Bolivia, Costa Rica, and USA.
  • García-Dastugue, Sebastián, Brian Adam, and Blayne Mayfield, “Decentralized Blockchain-based Ecosystem for Food Traceability: deployment, governance and value proposition”, Journal of Business Logistics, submitted December 2019; (under review).

Carol Rose Goforth

Carol R. Goforth is University Professor and the Clayton N. Little Professor of Law at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. With decades of experience in corporate, securities, and business law issues, she has recently branched out into cryptotransactions, writing on how lawyers should understand the world of blockchain and bitcoin and how such interests are regulated under U.S. law. She is currently working on a book on the evolving regulatory paradigm into which cyrptoassets and compliant cryptotransactions will have to fit.

She is the author of more than 50 published law review articles and 2 books, primarily dealing with unincorporated businesses, although touching on a wide range of legal topics. Her teaching interests have also been in the area of corporate and business law and related topics.

Michael Oh

Michael Oh is a Lecturer at the Walton College of Business at University of Arkansas and taught the College's inaugural course on Cryptocurrencies. He has advised various crypto projects, including heading a Security Token Offering for a fintech company and assisting on the token economics of another blockchain-based publishing platform.

Previous to entering the cryptocurrency field, Michael was an emerging market sovereign debt and currency investor at T. Rowe Price and previous to that served as an International Economist at the U.S. Department of Treasury. He has worked in other international policy and finance settings, for example at the Asian Development Bank and ExxonMobil. He earned an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management and MPA in International Development from the Kennedy School of Government.

Brajendra Panda

Dr. Brajendra Panda is a Professor in the Computer Science and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Arkansas. He is also currently serving as the Associate Department Head for Graduate Programs in Computer Science and Computer Engineering. He received his PhD in Computer Science from North Dakota State University in 1994. He is the founder and director of the Center for Information Security and Reliability at the University of Arkansas. Dr. Panda’s research focuses on data security.

He has worked on several key aspects of data security including Defensive Information Warfare, Data protection, Intrusion Detection in database systems, Damage assessment and recovery of databases after attack detection, Insider threat in databases, Cloud Databases and Big Data security. He has guided about three dozen MS students’ theses and seven PhD dissertations to completion in Cyber Defense research. His research in this field has produced over 100 publications.

Ed Pohl

Dr. Ed Pohl is a Professor and Head of the Industrial Engineering Department and holder of the 21st Century Professorship at the University of Arkansas. Ed previously served as the Director of the Center for Innovation in Healthcare Logistics (CIHL) and past Co-Director of the Institute for Advanced Data Analytics at the University of Arkansas. He has participated and led systems engineering, reliability, risk and supply chain related research efforts at the University of Arkansas.

Before coming to Arkansas, Ed spent twenty-one years in the United States Air Force where he served in a variety of engineering, operations, analysis, and academic positions during his career. Previous assignments include the Deputy Director of the Operations Research Center at the United States Military Academy, Operations Analyst in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Ed received his Ph.D. in Systems and Industrial Engineering from the University of Arizona. He holds a M.S. in Systems Engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology, a M.S. in Reliability Engineering from the University of Arizona, a M.S. in Engineering Management from the University of Dayton, and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Boston University. Ed is the Co-Editor of the Journal of Engineering Management, an Associate Editor for the IEEE Transaction on Reliability, the Journal of Risk and Reliability, Journal of Quality Technology and Quantitative Management, and the Journal of Military Operations Research, on the Editorial Board of the IEEE Transaction on Technology and Engineering Management, and Systems.  Ed is a Fellow of IISE, a Fellow of the Society of Reliability Engineers, a Fellow of the American Society of Engineering Management, a Diplomat in the Society of Health Systems, a Senior Member of IEEE, a Senior Member of ASQ, member of INCOSE, INFORMS, ASEE, MORS and AHRMM.

Rodolfo M. Nayga, Jr.

Dr. Rodolfo M. Nayga, Jr. is Distinguished Professor and Tyson Endowed Chair in Food Policy Economics at the University of Arkansas. Dr. Nayga’s research interests include the economics of food consumption, policy, and health. He has focused his work on critical issues such as poverty, nutrition, obesity, and novel food technologies using both experimental and observational data.

He has also analyzed the effects of important federal food programs such as the National School Lunch Program, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and the Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Program on food consumption and obesity. His work in this area provided crucial information on the causal effects of important federal food programs/policies on health outcomes of various segments of the population including children and historically disadvantaged groups.

Blockchain Research:

  • Assessment of consumers’ valuation for food traceability using blockchain technology

Zachary Steelman

Dr. Zachary Steelman is an Assistant Professor of Information Systems in the Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas. He has authored refereed publications in prominent IS journals and conferences such as Information Systems Research, MIS Quarterly, MIS Quarterly Executive, Information Systems Journal, Communications of the Association of Information Systems, Americas Conference on Information Systems, and the Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences. His research interests include the selection, development, and management of IT portfolios for individuals, teams, and organizations.

He has worked with a variety of Fortune 500 organizations to examine the impact of IT infrastructure and policy changes on individuals and the organization, specifically within the context of IT consumerization. He currently teaches blockchain development and blockchain enterprise data courses at the University of Arkansas.

Rhonda Syler

Dr. Rhonda Syler is a professor in Information Systems at the Sam M. Walton College of Business at University of Arkansas and serves as Associate Director of Enterprise Systems. Syler teaches and conducts workshops in analytics, Blockchain, and ERP, and her research focuses on organizational and societal impact and business value of disruptive technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and Blockchain. Syler’s interests include smart city design and development including AV/CV (autonomous and connected vehicles), and 5G development. Among her work in this space, Syler co-developed an Internet of Things Lab at Louisiana Tech University designed to provide a learning and innovation environment for big data, security, ERP, mobile development, and cloud computing and working on data- and analytic-driven curriculum projects with Fortune 500 companies.

In addition, Syler is currently a vice president of the Association of Information Systems, and she is immediate past president of the AIS Special Interest Group for Information Systems Education. Prior to entering academia full-time, Syler helped organizations leverage technology for strategic advantage in roles such as a marketing executive in the financial industry and an Information Manager for the 1996 Olympic Games.

Affiliated Faculty

Nasser Arshadi

Dr. Nasser Arshadi is a professor of finance at the University of Missouri – St. Louis, where he teaches and writes on banking, financial markets, venture capital, and blockchain. Previously he served as Vice Provost for Research for the university leading efforts in securing grants and contracts, infrastructure, technology transfer, and economic development activities. In this role, his accomplishments included the creation of platforms, facilities, and practices to expand cutting-edge research; commercialization of discoveries; implementation of multi-stakeholder economic development projects; development and management of research centers; and collaborations with industry and government agencies.

Currently, he serves as a senior editor for Technology and Innovation, the journal of the National Academy of Inventors and is a member of the editorial boards of several international journals. He is the founder of ITE, a technology startup incubator and a board member of the Center for Emerging Technologies – a life sciences startup incubator.

Benjamin Barraza

Benjamin Barraza, MBA, is the Senior Manager of Application Development at Weber State University and an Adjunct faculty member of the John B. Goddard School of Business & Economics MBA program (AACSB) at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. Additionally, Ben is currently a student in the Doctor of Business Administration program at IE Business School in Madrid, Spain. He received a BS in Computer Science and an MBA from Weber State University, a Graduate Certificate in Strategic Management from Harvard University, and studied Platform Strategy at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Ben’s expertise is split among software development, business management, and education. As a programmer, he has been focused on full-stack, full-lifecycle enterprise software development. His current production portfolio of more than 200 disparate applications has facilitated nearly $100M in financial transactions, billions of network transactions, and is the foundation for a high-availability, mission-critical application ecosystem.

As a current doctoral student at IE Business School, his principle area of research is the strategic management of technology innovation. Currently he is exploring the intersection of Blockchain and platform markets. His principle questions are related to how managerial decision-making impacts the co-evolution of the technology and the ecosystem, the impact of agent-networks within ecosystems, and fundamental technological, organizational, and economic principles of Blockchain ecosystems.

Ben teaches graduate level courses in decision sciences guiding MBA students through the complexities of optimization modeling and Monte Carlo simulation. He is currently developing a graduate course on Blockchain strategy. Ben has presented at local, regional, and international conferences on subjects such as high impact pedagogies in graduate business curricula, signaling devices in Initial Coin Offerings, and ecosystem development of mobile platforms.

Roman Beck

Dr. Roman Beck is Professor at the BusinessIT department at IT University of Copenhagen. He is Head of the European Blockchain Center and Blockchain Summer Schools. Roman is Head of the Danish delegation to ISO TC 307 Blockchain & Distributed Ledger Technology standardization group and Convenor of ISO TC 307 WG5 Blockchain Governance standardization. He works as Blockchain expert for the EU commission and the German parliament.

Daniel Conway

Daniel Conway, Ph.D., is an instructor in the Business Analytics and Information Systems department at the University of South Florida. He previously served on faculty at Notre Dame, Indiana, Northwestern, Iowa, Virginia Tech, and Florida. He is COO at blockchain startup The Apollo Group, Chief Decision Officer at Qlytix, and serves as an adviser to several blockchain startups. He also serves on the IoT program committee for SAE and is a regular contributor to Forbes and Cognitive World.

Kevin Dooley

Dr. Kevin J. Dooley is Chief Scientist of The Sustainability Consortium, a Distinguished Professor of Supply Chain Management in the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, and a Senior Sustainability Scientist in the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability. At TSC Dooley leads a global research team that works with over 100 of the world’s largest retailers and manufacturers to develop tools that measure and track progress on critical product sustainability issues.

He has published more than 100 research articles and co-authored an award-winning book Organizational Change and Innovation Processes. Dr. Dooley has provided training or consultation for over 200 companies in the areas of sustainability, supply chain management, quality, and technology and innovation. He obtained his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering at the University of Illinois.

Daniel Gozman

Dr. Daniel Gozman BSc, MSc, PG Cert HE, FHEA, PhD is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Sydney Business School and an Honorary Fellow at Henley Business School (AACSB, EQUIS, AMBA) at the University of Reading. Daniel received his PhD from the London School of Economics. He holds a first-class honors degree in Computer Science and an MSc with distinction in Information Systems and Management. He is a member of the LSE’s Outsourcing Unit and a Research Fellow at UCL’s Centre for Blockchain Technologies. Daniel is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA).

Daniel is a Senior Editor for the Journal of Information Technology (JIT) and Associate Editor for the journal of Electronic Commerce Research and Applications (ECRA). He is the principal investigator on two SWIFT Institute grants. Other work has been funded by the EU Horizon 2020 Financial and Institutional Reforms to build an Entrepreneurial Society (FIRES) in Europe and the UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) for a grant on Blockchain technology for Algorithmic Regulation and Compliance (BARAC). Daniel has acted as an academic advisor to international law firms and analyst groups and as an external examiner to other institutions. He has published within respected peer reviewed journals and has been invited to present his work at international conferences aimed at practitioners and academics. Daniel has also contributed to articles in the Sunday Times, Vice Magazine and Computer Weekly. His consulting experience includes providing advice to a US financial services process and trading outsourcer on the impact of new regulations. He has worked to refine risk management practices within a top tier European investment bank. He has also consulted on securitization deals. Other consulting experience includes working with an international telecommunications company to manage software license compliance and developing outsourcing processes for a global mailstream provider. Prior to academia, Daniel worked for a global management consultancy and a big four accounting firm.

Blockchain Research:

  • Research fellow at UCL Centre for Blockchain
  • Co-Investigator on Blockchain technology for Algorithmic Regulation and Compliance (BARAC).

Blockchain Service Activities:

  • Contributing to the ISO Standard on Blockchain

Nitin Kalé

Nitin Kalé is an Associate Professor in the Information Technology Program (ITP) and the Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISE) at the Viterbi School of Engineering, University of Southern California. He has taught at ITP since 1995 in the areas of programming, web design, interactive multimedia, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and data analytics. He has also been teaching at ISE since 2005 in the area of database design and implementation. Nitin’s current areas of interest are blockchain, cryptocurrencies, database modeling, enterprise information systems, business intelligence and big data analytics.

Nitin developed a minor in Enterprise Information Systems in 2012. In 2016 he led the effort to launch a Minor in Applied Analytics which has garnered popular interest from undergraduate students at USC and is growing rapidly. He earned his Bachelor of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science, India in 1989. He received a Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Southern California in 1990. He is the recipient of the 2016 Majdi Najm Outstanding Service award from SAP University Alliances. Nitin travels extensively around the globe to speak at academic and industry events on current technological advances. His latest endeavor is teaching a new class on Blockchain at USC. He is also a bitcoin enthusiast!

Blockchain Teaching:

  • Taught first undergraduate course at USC on Blockchain, Fall 2017

Blockchain Service:

  • Conducted bootcamps on blockchain for faculty on five contenents and 12 cities in 2018.

Blockchain Interests and Expertise:

  • Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, enterprise blockchain, hyperledger, SAP Blockchain services, DLT

Carsten Sorensen

Dr. Carsten Sørensen is Associate Professor (Reader) in Digital Innovation, Department of Management, The London School of Economics and Political Science, United Kingdom. He is a leading authority on digital innovation and has since the late 1980s studied the digital transformation of organizations and work — since 2008 the innovation dynamics of digital platforms and -infrastructures. Carsten has published his work in, for example, in MIS Quarterly, JIT, JMIS, ISR, ISJ, JSIS, I&O, The Information Society, CSCW Journal, SJIS, and the Scandinavian Journal of Management. He has extensive international research project experience from 1990 with a combined research portfolio of over £3 million.

Carsten is a Non-Executive Co-Founder and Board Advisor for RedGirraffe.com. He has served as company director for LSE Enterprise, and as special advisor for the Customer Contact Association, the iSociety project at The Work Foundation, and The Institute for Innovation & Information Productivity. He has since the late 1980s been actively engaged in significant industry research collaboration, executive education, and consulting with a large number of organisations, such as; Google, Microsoft, Huawei, PA Consulting, IMF, Orange, Intel, Vodafone to name a few.

Blockchain Research: 

  • Dr Sørensen has researched payment platform and -infrastructure innovation in UK FinTech, and as one aspect of this also covered examples of cryptocurrency systems: 
  • Kazan, E., C.-W. Tan, E. T. K. Lim, C. Sørensen, & J. Damsgaard (2018): Disentangling Digital Platform Competition: The Case of UK Mobile Payment Platforms. Journal of Management Information Systems — special issue on Financial IS, Underlying Technologies, and the FinTech Revolution, vol. 35, no. 1, pp. 180-219. 
  • He is also engaged in a research project seeking to explore the wider societal and innovation role of blockchains and cryptocurrencies:
  • Pitt, J., J. H. Clippinger, & C. Sørensen (2018): Values, Axial Currencies, and Computational Axiology: Digital Currencies Can Do More than Buy Stuff. IEEE Technology and Society Magazine, vol. 37, no. 3, pp. 56-63. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/8456865/

Blockchain Teaching:

  • Dr Sørensen has taught the role of digital platforms and -infrastructures for business transformation to a large number of executives, and as part of this related to blockchain innovation as an important aspect. 
  • He has recently developed an on-line certificate course for LSE on cryptocurrency and disruption: http://www.lse.ac.uk/study-at-lse/Online-learning/Courses/Cryptocurrency-Investment-and-Disruption
  • He is also with colleagues developing an executive course on blockchain transformation to be taught at LSE in 2019

Blockchain Service Activities:

  • He is co-editing a special issue of MIS Quarterly Executive on blockchain for business.

Nallan Suresh

Dr. Nallan Suresh is UB Distinguished Professor in Department of Operations Management & Strategy at The School of Management, State University of New York at Buffalo, and Associate Director of Institute for Sustainable Transportation & Logistics. Specializing in manufacturing, logistics and supply chain management, he has published widely in academic and professional journals such as Management Science, Decision Sciences, Journal of Operations Management, International Journal of Production Research, International Journal of Production Economics, IIE Transactions, International Journal of Flexible Manufacturing Systems, European Journal of Operational Research, Computers and Industrial Engineering, International Journal of Operations and Production Management, Journal of Manufacturing Systems, Production and Inventory Management and Journal of Intelligent Manufacturing.

His contributions include the co-edited book Group Technology and Cellular Manufacturing: A State-of-the-Art Synthesis of Research and Practice (Kluwer). He is a recipient of Alfred Bodine / Society of Manufacturing Engineers Award for Studies in Machine Tool Economics; Joseph T.J. Stewart Faculty Scholarship, etc. He has taught, lectured and worked with many firms in N. America, Europe and Asia, and has held the position of Visiting Professor at Faculty of Management & Organization, University of Groningen in Netherlands.

Blockchain Research: 

  • Commencing a new research program on food safety and traceability in agribusiness supply chains

Liudmila Zavolokina

Liudmila Zavolokina is a researcher in information systems at the Department of Informatics at the University of Zurich and Blockchain Center of the University of Zurich. She holds BSc and MSc in Applied Mathematics and Informatics. Liudmila is leading the research team of the Cardossier project, which, together with partners from automotive sector, implements a digital ecosystem for vehicle data in Switzerland. Her research interests are trust in blockchain systems, blockchain governance, and blockchain business models. Liudmila is passionate about transfer of knowledge from research into the industry.