Wake Forest Online MBA Faculty

Learn from Expert, Market-Connected MBA Faculty

Wake Forest online MBA faculty members are dedicated teacher-scholars who understand what it takes to succeed in the business world. They are in tune with the market in developing an innovate curriculum, infusing real-world scenarios and practical learning applications into dynamic, engaging courses. Many of our faculty have worked for leading companies, started their own successful businesses, and consulted for leading organizations around the globe. While active in market-connected activities, they are also committed scholars who support Wake Forest’s commitment to teaching excellence.

MBA Faculty and Deans

Assistant Teaching Professor

Dr. Stephan Shipe is an Assistant Teaching Professor of Finance at Wake Forest University. He has experience teaching in a wide variety of financial course areas including Big Data, financial management, financial technology, hospitality financial management, and fundamentals of personal finance.

He received the RA Funding Award from the UNH Peter T. Paul College of Business and has been designated a CFA Charterholder by the CFA Institute. His professional affiliations include the Financial Management Association, the American Finance Association, and the Southern Finance Association.

He has published in the Journal of Investing and the Journal of Empirical Finance, and has presented his work at the Financial Management Association Annual Meeting, the Southern Finance Association, and the Florida Finance Conference.

He received his PhD in Finance from Florida State University, and his BBA in Finance from the University of North Florida, where he graduated summa cum laude.


Dr. Pete Brewer is a Lecturer at Wake Forest University. He holds a BS in Accounting from Penn State University, an MS in Accounting from the University of Virginia, and a doctorate from the University of Tennessee. Prior to joining the faculty at Wake Forest, he was an accounting professor for 19 years at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He has published more than 35 articles in a variety of journals including: Management Accounting Research, Journal of Information Systems, Strategic Finance, Journal of Business Logistics, and Issues in Accounting Education. His co-authored articles “Using Six Sigma to Improve the Finance Function” and “Lean Accounting: What’s It All About?” were awarded Lybrand Gold and Silver Medals by the Institute of Management Accountants in 2005 and 2006. His article “Putting Strategy into the Balanced Scorecard” was chosen as the 2003 Article of the Year by the International Federation of Accountants. He serves as a co-author on three McGraw-Hill Education textbooks: the market-leading Managerial Accounting, Introduction to Managerial Accounting, and Managerial Accounting for Managers. Brewer has received Miami University’s Richard T. Farmer School of Business Teaching Excellence Award. He has served on the editorial boards of Issues in Accounting Education, Journal of Accounting Education, Cost Management, and the IMA Educational Case Journal.

Brewer’s interests include fishing, hunting, landscaping and vegetable gardening, cooking with his ceramic smoker, hiking, and biking. He and his wife Betsy have two daughters, Madeline and Annaliese.

Associate Teaching Professor

Dr. Tonya Etchison Balan is an Associate Teaching Professor at the Wake Forest University School of Business. Balan has considerable experience as a practicing statistician working with customers in a broad range of industries such as government, financial services, health care, retail, and consumer packaged goods. Prior to joining Wake Forest, Balan served on the faculty of North Carolina State University’s Poole College of Management. She also spent 10 years at SAS Institute as Director of Analytics Product Management where her team provided strategic direction for all aspects of the development and deployment of SAS’ analytics products.

Balan received both her BS in Mathematics and PhD in Statistics at North Carolina State University.

Associate Teaching Professor

Dr. Brian Young is an Associate Teaching Professor of Finance at Wake Forest University. His research interests include stock market diversification, stock option expense reporting, and performance evaluation in executive compensation contracts, with specialties including executive compensation practices, corporate governance, and financial reporting of compensation.

He has experience teaching in a wide variety of financial course areas including financial management, financial modeling, equity investments, and derivatives.

Young has presented his work at many leading financial venues including the Western Finance Association Meeting, the Financial Research Association, the European Finance Association Annual Meeting, and the CICF Annual Meeting, as well as institutions of higher education including the University of Utah, Baylor University, the University of Washington, and Arizona State University.

He received his PhD in Finance from Arizona State University, his MBA from Southern Methodist University, and his BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.

Associate Teaching Professor; John Hendley Fellow in Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship

Matthew Phillips teaches courses in business law and ethics across the undergraduate and graduate programs in the School of Business. He leverages a passion for innovative teaching and experience as a tax and estate planning lawyer to engage students with the practical intersections of law and business, but also emphasizes the underlying principles that will shape managers’ interaction with law and ethical decision-making throughout their careers. He has received awards for excellence in teaching and was named the 2015 Charles M. Hewitt Master Teacher by the Academy of Legal Studies in Business.

Phillips received undergraduate and law degrees from Wake Forest and a Master of Divinity from Duke University, where he focused on the intersections of law and religion in American history. He has done additional academic work, concentrating on leadership and ethics, at the U.S. Air Force’s Air University. He is admitted to practice law before state and federal courts of North Carolina, the United States Tax Court, and the United States Supreme Court. He is certified by the North Carolina Dispute Resolution Commission as a Superior Court Mediator.

Phillips is Secretary-Treasurer and a member of the executive committee of the Academy of Legal Studies in Business. He is also a member of the North Carolina Bar Association and its business, estate planning, and dispute resolution sections. As an instrument-rated private pilot, Phillips enjoys flying single-engine planes, and he is a pilot and legal officer in the Civil Air Patrol (the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary).

Associate Professor of Accounting

Dr. Ya-wen Yang joined the faculty of Wake Forest University in the summer of 2009. She teaches graduate financial accounting courses in the School of Business. Prior to joining Wake Forest University, she taught intermediate accounting in the undergraduate accounting program and financial reporting and analysis in the MBA program at the University of Miami.

Yang received her MBA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her PhD from the University of Tennessee. Her research interests include executive compensation, corporate governance, corporate lobbying, and international financial accounting and reporting. She has published in Accounting Horizon, Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, Journal of Accounting and Economics, and Journal of Business Finance and Accounting, among other academic journals. Her work has been cited in news outlets, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fortune, Bloomberg Businessweek, and USA Today.

Associate Professor of Strategic Management

Dr. Amol Joshi is Associate Professor of Management at Wake Forest University. Previously, Joshi was Assistant Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at Oregon State University’s College of Business. Joshi’s work focuses on technology entrepreneurship, and has included an investigation of the impact of workforce diversity at agencies awarding SBIR and STTR grants and the likelihood of minority and women technology entrepreneurs receiving awards. Joshi’s work also examines how inventors create and commercialize new products and technologies, and the problems associated with managing innovation across organizational boundaries.

Joshi has extensive experience in the private sector as a research engineer, a business manager, inventor, and entrepreneur, and has invented several commercialized products and worked at venture-backed startup firms and high-growth public companies across many industries throughout the United States and the world. Joshi has also trained teams of scientific researchers across the world on the best practices for spinning-off and launching new ventures from university and government research labs.

Joshi received his PhD in Business Administration from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, his MS in Engineering Sciences from the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College, and his BS in Electrical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Associate Professor of Management; Center Associate, CLC; James Farr Fellow

Dr. John Sumanth serves as a James Farr Fellow and Associate Professor of Management at the Wake Forest University School of Business. His research focuses on issues of employee voice and upward communication, leadership, and status. To date, his research has appeared in several of the premier management/applied psychology journals in the field (e.g., Harvard Business Review, Administrative Science Quarterly, Journal of Applied Psychology, Personnel Psychology, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Journal of Business Ethics).

Prior to academia, Sumanth spent nearly a decade working in several high-profile strategic planning, marketing, and R&D positions for Fortune 1000 multi-national firms in the insurance, global tourism (cruise), and fast food industries. He is an award-winning teacher and has extensive corporate consulting experience, including coaching, teaching, and mentoring assistant coaches and student-athletes (e.g., Wake Forest athletics), senior-level executives (e.g., ExxonMobil, Royal Caribbean, Wells Fargo, Huber Engineered Woods, Driven Brands), legal professionals (Smith Anderson) and top U.S. military officers and government leaders (e.g., Army, Navy, Air Force, Veterans Affairs, special operations).

Sumanth holds a PhD in Organizational Behavior from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, an MBA in Marketing and Management from the University of Florida (Warrington), and a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering (cum laude) from the University of Miami. He is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, Golden Key, Tau Beta Pi, and Iron Arrow, the University of Miami’s highest honor.

Professor of the Practice

Dr. Amy Wallis is a Full Professor of the Practice in Organizational Behavior at the Wake Forest University School of Business. Since joining the School of Business in 2012, Wallis has taught courses on leadership, ethics, organizational behavior, team development, and change management, and has been instrumental in advancing global immersion courses, where students experience the opportunity to study business practices around the world and travel to international locations to advance their knowledge. She is the faculty leader for the MBA global immersion course in Nicaragua, and a member of a team of faculty who have guided courses in Latin America, India, and China.

Prior to becoming a faculty member, she was an organizational development leader in various international corporate environments focusing on organizational change, talent and leadership development, performance management, and succession planning. She has served as a strategy consultant in Latin America with The Monitor Company, Director of Workplace Learning and Development at American University, Organizational Learning Consultant with Development Dimensions International, and Talent and Performance Management Lead at Welch Allyn.

Wallis consults with organizations in many industries, including travel, high tech, pharmaceutical, professional services, banking, and the nonprofit sector. Her past clients include Tauck World Discovery, Philips Medical, Marriott, Teach for America, and Lantiq. She has taught a wide array of professionals in multiple settings, and facilitated leadership development and change management processes in numerous organizations.

Thomas H. Davis Chair; Professor and Area Chair; Undergraduate Program Director of Math Business

Dr. Haresh Gurnani is the Thomas H. Davis Chair of Business at Wake Forest University. His research interests are related to global supply chain risk management, platform design in a sharing economy, product innovation and sustainability, health care operations and marketing, and operations-marketing interface issues including contract design and retail distribution channel management.

He serves as Area Chair of quant methods/analytics, operations management, marketing, and economics areas; Program Director of the Mathematical Business program; member of the Dean’s Council, and Councilmember on Diversity and Inclusion at Wake Forest University. He has served as the Benson-Pruitt Professor of Business and Executive Director of the Center for Retail Innovation at Wake Forest University.

He was previously the Leslie O Barnes Professor in the Department of Management at the University of Miami, Coral Gables, where he served as Chair of the Management Department and on the University’s Research Council, Graduate Council, and the Provost’s University-wide Advisory Promotion Board.

He has received several research and teaching awards, including The William W. Cooper Award for the best doctoral dissertation in the area of business and economics, The William Larimer Fellowship and Richard M. Cyert Fellowship nomination at Carnegie Mellon University, Cowan Faculty Research Award at Wake Forest University, the University of Miami Excellence in Teaching nomination, Best Professor of Management Award from the World Education Congress, the Michael G. Dale Prize nomination for teaching, and the Franklin Prize for Teaching Excellence at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. In 2015, two of his papers in management science and IIE transactions received the best paper awards.

Gurnani has served on review panels for the National Science Foundation, the Department of Homeland Security, and on multiple journal editorial boards. He is the founding Department Editor at Production and Operations Management Journal in the interface area of operations economics, and also serves as Guest Associate Editor at Manufacturing and Service Operations Management, Department Editor at Decision Sciences, Associate Editor at Service Science, Editorial Board Member at Journal of Retailing, and has previously served as Area Editor at IIE Transactions.

He has served as Vice President (Publications) and as Vice President (Colleges) for the Production and Operations Management Society. He has co-edited a book, Supply Chain Disruptions: Theory and Practice of Managing Risk, published by Springer-Verlag (London) in 2011. His research publications have been accepted in journals such as Management Science, Marketing Science, Journal of Marketing Research, Manufacturing and Service Operations Management, Production and Operations Management, Journal of International Business Studies, Naval Research Logistics, IIE Transactions, Decision Sciences, Journal of Retailing, IEEE Transactions on Semiconductor Manufacturing, European Journal of Operational Research, etc.

Gurnani has interacted extensively on research and training programs in different industries, including those corporations such as IBM, AT&T, General Motors, Lowes Foods, Covidien, Burger King, Texas Instruments, Volvo, Hanesbrands, Food Lion, INMAR, and Bellomy Research, along with various Asian companies. He received his B.Tech. (Mechanical Engineering) from the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi, and his MS and PhD from Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA. He is a member of INFORMS, Production and Operations Management Society, the Manufacturing and Service Operations Management Society, and the Council for Supply Chain Management Professionals.

Fellow in Investments & Portfolio Management, Teaching Professor

Dr. Mark Johnson is a Fellow in Investments & Portfolio Management and teaching professor at Wake Forest University. His research interests include financial markets, financial literacy, consumer sentiment, and investments, with specialties including financial modeling, complex data analyses, and financial markets. He has presented research to the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, the Midwest Finance Association, and the University of Dayton’s Redefining Investment Strategy Education Forum. He has contributed to media outlets such as Bankrate.com, FoxBusiness.com, The Daily Record, The Baltimore Business Journal, The Baltimore Sun, WBFF Fox45, WBAL-TV, and WBAL radio.

As a professor, he has experience teaching students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, including leading courses on mergers and acquisitions, financial applications and strategies, financial management, real estate, macroeconomics, and investment analysis. He has taught executive MBA students as well as full-time MBA, part-time MBA, and Master of Science in Finance students.

Johnson has received several research and teaching awards, including the Outstanding Educator Award at Wake Forest and the Harry W. Rodgers III Distinguished Teacher of the Year Award (highest university-wide teaching award) at Loyola University Maryland.

He received both his PhD and MS in Financial Economics from the University of New Orleans, his MS in Finance from Florida International University, and his BS in Finance from Florida State University.