College of Business > News & Events > Driehaus College of Business Welcomes Seven Full-Time Faculty Members
By Jaclyn Lansbery /
October 12, 2022 /
Posted in: Faculty /
In addition to hiring
three new tenure-track faculty members, the Driehaus College of Business welcomed seven new full-time faculty members this fall. Below we highlight their teaching philosophies and diverse backgrounds in economics, finance, accounting, supply chain management and entrepreneurship.
Azizi has extensive experience in the private sector as a mutual fund manager and in academia. His research interests include development economics, applied econometrics, migration and remittances, and, recently, the application of artificial intelligence in economics. He is the sole author of many papers in journals such as Economic Modelling, Empirical Economics, The World Economy, and the Journal of Economic Studies, and is the co-author of several papers published in peer-reviewed economic journals.
He holds three degrees from Northern Illinois University: a PhD in economics, a master’s degree in economics and a master’s degree in applied probability and statistics. He also holds an MBA from the University of Tehran and a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the Sharif University of Technology.
“My goal is to ensure that students leave my classes with the ability to apply economic reasoning to real-world questions,” Azizi says. “Although having analytical skills regarding problem-solving is important, the most valuable element in economics education is to develop the ability to think critically. Analyzing requires that students understand the material rather than memorize it. I do so by providing many examples to my students on topics that are related to their actual lives. If possible, I describe how the topic can contribute to their lives and how they can benefit from being able to analyze the topic.”
A DePaul alumnus,
Brown teaches courses in corporate finance, data analytics in finance, and statistics. As director of the Finance Honors Program, Brown recruits participants and works with them from both academic and professional perspectives. His goal is to prepare students to pursue career opportunities and/or graduate education. Brown has several years of management experience in operations, information technology and information security.
After earning a master's degree in mathematics from Tuskegee University, Brown worked as the network team leader and information security manager at North Oaks Health System, where he directed a team of consultants performing risk assessment and vulnerability testing. For more than 15 years, he served as the director of operations at Roseland Learning Center, where he oversaw accounting and center management software programs that improved operational efficiency. Brown also holds master’s degrees from Louisiana State University and the Kellstadt Graduate School of Business. He is currently pursuing a doctorate in business administration at DePaul.
Brown has teaching experience at the University of Phoenix, where he served as a certified advanced facilitator, advising students on professional and academic issues, and as a visiting professor at the DeVry Education Group, teaching undergraduate classes in mathematics and statistics to adult learners.
“People often say work smart, not hard,” he says. “I disagree with this advice. I say, work smart and work hard. Remember, your competition is not just the person sitting next to you in classes. My goal is to help prepare students to pursue the opportunities that touch both their hearts and their minds.”
DeMory has more than 18 years of business development and operating experience at high-growth software-as-a-service, fintech, digital transformation and Web3 businesses. He has been an instrumental leader with companies such as SAP, BlueJeans Network and StakeFish resulting in multiple successful exits via merger and acquisition. In his most recent venture, DeMory launched the Chicago-based HODL Consulting Group, which invests and incubates early-stage cryptocurrency projects involving artificial intelligence and proprietary trading algorithms.
DeMory earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing, sales and entrepreneurial studies and an MBA from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
“As I am mostly teaching entrepreneurship and business courses, I always make sure to promote the entrepreneurial mindset with every topic we cover,” DeMory says. “Everyone can be an entrepreneur whether you are working for a large organization, for yourself or starting your own business. It is all about how you look at the world around you and how you respond.”
Double Demon Tom Festle spent more than a decade at RWE Renewables, one of the world's leading renewable energy companies, as its chief financial officer. He joined E.ON Climate & Renewables, RWE’s predecessor, as North American chief accounting officer, and was promoted to be the company’s North American chief financial officer in 2010.
Festle began his career at Ernst & Young, was director of accounting Asia-Pacific at McDonald’s Corp., and served as vice president of finance in audit at RR Donnelley & Sons. Festle returned to Ernst & Young as a partner in its M&A Transaction Advisory Services group, working with private equity and strategic corporate buy-side investors. He became chief financial officer of The Seaton Companies, executing the 2006 transaction that brought the midsized services firm into private equity ownership.
Festle is a licensed CPA and was recognized with the Elijah Watt Sells Award for Top 100 achievers nationwide in May 1981. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from DePaul University. He previously taught as an adjunct professor at Carthage College and has served as a frequent speaker and panelist at renewable energy conferences.
“Whether I am in the role of a parent, manager, colleague, coach, director or referee, one additional duty will always be required of me: to develop, teach and grow others,” he says. “I bring these attributes to the college classroom, and they inform my expectations and approach. My presentation style is demanding and simultaneously encouraging, exhorting my students to care, understand and learn.”
Jimenez Castillo earned his PhD in business administration at the Business School from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). His research interests include internationalization, strategy, corporate entrepreneurship, family firms and sustainability.
Jimenez Castillo has experience teaching management, strategy, entrepreneurship and innovation courses. Before pursuing his degree at WPI, Jimenez Castillo was a faculty member at Universidad Panamericana in Mexico, where he served as a member of the Advisory Board of the Family Business Management Bachelor’s Program. As a family business practitioner, Jimenez Castillo served as the chair of the board of his family’s firm in Mexico. He also has consulted for other family-managed companies in the Jalisco, Mexico area. Jimenez Castillo's articles have been published in both Spanish and English.
“I have been very fortunate to be influenced by great teachers and professors who forged my world vision,” he says. “This is why I believe that as an instructor, you are influencing and forging the minds of future leaders. In my experience, I have found that students get more excited and engaged when instructors use a variety of pedagogical tools and strategies so they can learn, such as project-based learning, experiential learning, the case method and traditional lectures. Students become active agents in their learning experiences through all of these delivery methods.”
Hung’s research and teaching areas include operations management, supply chain management, operations research and business analytics. At DePaul, Hung teaches the graduate-level course Project Management and the undergraduate-level courses Operations Management and Principles of Supply Chain Management.
His research has been published in the European Journal of Operational Research, and in 2019, he presented at the Decision Sciences Institute Annual Conference. Hung has worked with local companies to optimize their supply chains and production lines. He previously worked as a supply chain analyst at FMC, where he helped increase productivity of FMC's selected products by decreasing operation time, strategically rearranging facilities and resources, and optimally adjusting operators. Hung earned his PhD degree from the School of Management and two master's degrees from the School of Engineering at the University at Buffalo.
“My favorite teaching style is to have my students learn in groups,” Hung says. “I believe that teamwork and engagement in projects can lead to the best learning curve, compared to the traditional exams, quizzes and assignments. I also like to invite guest lecturers from industries to broaden my students’ horizons by sharing their personal experiences.”
Walker earned a Master of Science in Economics and Policy Analysis from the Kellstadt Graduate School of Business, and has an extensive background in mathematics and statistics. He earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and management from North Central College. His research includes the topics of carbon dioxide emissions, education voucher systems and intra-European Union trade. He recently served as a consultant and sales marketing assistant at Wramsco, a national risk management consulting, claims auditing and third-party administration company.
Walker teaches courses in microeconomics, macroeconomics, statistics, quantitative reasoning and business analytics. He has taught at Aurora University and Harper College, among other institutions.
“I always want to bring a welcoming, enthusiastic approach to the classroom,” Walker says. “It's an exciting time to get involved in business, so my goal is to equip my students with the skills and real-world applications needed to thrive in business, analytics and economics and help energize them for the future. It's an honor to work with DePaul students as they pursue their academic goals and dreams.”