Ryan is a PhD student at Kelley School of Business after completing his undergraduate degree in finance here at IU. The Chicago native’s academic interests are in the areas of corporate governance and strategic leadership. “I’m fascinated by the work of those who lead large organizations,” Ryan explains. “As soon as I decided that I was going to pursue a Ph.D., I knew that I wanted to study these individuals and what they do.” He credits regular interaction with his dissertation chair, Matt Semadeni, and Dr. Semadeni’s guidance and encouragement as the most important factors in his academic progress. “It makes graduate school so much easier when you have a dissertation chair who is as excited as your research as you are,” Ryan explains. Of all his myriad accomplishments that make him worthy of this award, he is proud of his publications, dissertation work, and rapport with his colleagues, but he is most proud of his marriage to “the most beautiful woman in the world.” Ryan reports his wife is also an opera singer, and notes that his favorite way to spend his rare free time is traveling with her and listening to her perform.
When asked to provide the final vote in our year-long Cake Vs. Pie debate, he understandably provides a write-in vote for bacon as “it’s healthier,” but acknowledges that “chocolate cake is pretty difficult to pass up.” That brings our final vote tally to Cake: 2, Pie: 1, Chocolate: 1, Bacon: 1, and Vietnamese desserts with avocado: 1. So we have Cake winning the year by a slim margin, but the takehome point seems to be if you’re hosting academically superior graduate students for dessert, it’s best to provide a buffet.