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Girard School Hires New Accounting Faculty

January 19, 2016
Incoming Professor Michael Hyman talks about his research, teaching, music, and ice hockey.

Near the end of 24 consecutive years of school, Mike Hyman took a break during the recent holiday season to visit his girlfriend’s family. He flew to Kerala State, on the southern tip of the Indian subcontinent, with Parvathi Jayamohan, a fellow Ph.D. student from Syracuse University. Hyman, a self-described “huge hockey fan and a big music fan who plays some guitar” expects to complete his Ph.D. in May and will join the Girard School faculty as an assistant professor of accounting in the Finance and Accounting Department in fall 2016. 

That’s quite a semester-break trip.

“I’m going to India for my birthday and New Year’s. My girlfriend and I met at the doctoral program in Syracuse. No romantic tales there; we just happened to work 100 feet from each other and got to know each other. This will be my first time in India, along with my first time meeting her family, so it should be an experience. She is an entrepreneurship Ph.D. and is still on the job hunt for our move to the Boston area in the fall.”  

Hyman, a native of Long Island, N.Y., has spent his academic career in Central New York, receiving a B.S. and an M.S. in accounting from Binghamton University in 2010 and 2011, respectively, then enrolling in the Ph.D. program at Syracuse. His dissertation title is “Local Investment and the Relationship between Price and Earnings,” what he calls “a study of the effect of local ownership on the informativeness of stock prices and the stock price reaction to earnings announcements.”

How will your dissertation findings and your other research papers affect what you teach?  

“When I describe my dissertation to Syracusans, I use the example of Carrier Corp. Carrier is the sponsor of the Carrier Dome (at Syracuse University) and a major employer in the area. Local people are generally more familiar with Carrier’s operations, simply because they live in the area, are exposed to local media, and associate with Carrier stakeholders (e.g., employees, customers, suppliers). Meanwhile, Californians do not have this level of exposure to Carrier’s operations and are less informed as a result. This makes local traders better able to anticipate future business events.

“I think my dissertation falls in line nicely with the sentiments of Peter Lynch (the former Fidelity investment manager) that you can be a successful investor by investing in what you know. I hope my students see that they can run their own portfolios and do better than a mutual fund if they have a good foundation in accounting.”

How do you approach teaching?

“When I’m teaching, I try to make the environment as relaxed as possible. Formalities stifle learning and waste time in the classroom. I want students to feel like it is a dialogue more than a lecture, and understand that there is no harm in making mistakes. I also try my best to tie the discussions back to application and away from theory. I always learned best from examples, and I find my students benefit greatly from that style of teaching too.”  

Do you perform music?

“No, to everyone’s benefit, I don’t play in a band. I’m not much of a player at all. I have an out-of-tune red and white Fender Stratocaster. It’s mostly just to toy with. I’m all over the place with music I listen to, although my favorite band is definitely the Beatles. It’s cliched, but the best is the best.”  

What’s your favorite hockey team?

“I’m from the north shore of Long Island, but I’m a Penguins fan through and through. And, although I appreciate the Bruins historically, I don’t think I’ll ever be a fan.

“I’m very excited for Hockey East. At most schools, football or basketball is the flagship program, so I’m eager to be at a place that appreciates good hockey. I’m very much looking forward to my first game at Merrimack.” 

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