Current Business Administration Management Ph.D. Cohort

Spotlight: Recent Accomplishments

  • Steven Mueller recently graduated with his Ph.D. in Business Administration from UNR in December of 2021. Steven is now an Assistant Professor in the College of Business and Economics at Longwood University in Farmville, VA.
  • Yu (Joy) Rong recently coauthored a publication with Dr. James Leonhardt, Dr. Garret Ridinger, and Dr. Amir Talaei-Khoe. The article, entitled Invincibility threatens vaccination intentions during a pandemic, was published in PloS One in 2021. This study assessed participants’ perceived invincibility to the COVID-19 virus and linked these perceptions to vaccination intentions across 51 countries, shedding light on the interplay between individual intentions and cultural influences during the pandemic.
  • Mengyue Fan received the honor of Grad Student of the Year for the 2021-2022 school year. Congrats, Mengyue!

Diana Achoka

Diana AchokaDiana is a doctoral student in the Management program at UNR (2021 cohort). She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Finance and a Master’s in Business Administration (United States International University – Nairobi, Kenya). Diana also holds a Master’s in Accountancy degree (University of Nevada, Reno). Prior to graduate school she worked in banking (Standard Bank of South Africa). Her banking career spans 11 years in various roles including retail banking sales, corporate lending analysis and investment banking operations.

Her research interests include strategic management, leadership and decision making, with a focus on resources mobilization. In her free time, Diana enjoys stock- trading and keeping up with news from international business markets. She is a huge fan of corporate-themed TV shows, some of her favorites are Shark Tank, Billions & Succession. She also enjoys traveling to national parks within the U.S., Yosemite National Park and Lake Tahoe some of her go-to camping locations.

Taylor Beneke

Headshot of Taylor BenekeTaylor Beneke is a Ph.D. student in the Management department where he enrolled with the 2022 cohort with an expected graduation year of 2026. He was raised in Johnstown, Pennsylvania which is on the southwestern part of the state and he lived there all his life leading up to his move to Reno, Nevada. He has three degrees. He earned his Associate of Applied Science from Pennsylvania Highlands Community College in 2019; Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from California University of Pennsylvania (now called Pennsylvania Western University) in 2021; and Master of Business Administration from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2022. His research interests include: human resource management (recruitment and selection) as well as diversity topics (gender, discrimination). 

Mengyue Fan

Mengyue Fan headshotI am a Ph.D. student in the Management department at UNR (2020 cohort). I got my master's degree in Supply Chain Management at the University of Texas at Dallas. After that, I worked in California as a Supply Chain Analyst for several years. My current research interests include Strategy, Entrepreneurship, and Personality. And I am a huge fan of hiking and online gaming! 

Masialeti Charles Masialeti

Masialeti Charles Masialeti headshotMasialeti Charles Masialeti is a graduate student pursuing a PhD Business Administration at University of Nevada, Reno. He holds a BSc in Computer Science from Copperbelt University in Zambia and a Master of Philosophy in Information and Knowledge Management from Stellenbosch University in South Africa.

Masialeti is an Information Systems practitioner and academician with more than 10 years’ experience in Mining, Education and IT Consulting Sectors. He is currently an IT Service Delivery Manager with Nevada Gold Mines. He previously served as Technology Systems Leader, Global IT Service Delivery Manager and IT Superintendent with Barrick Gold Corporation.

Masialeti has practicing and teaching interests in IT/IS Management, IT Project Management, Database Systems, Cyber Security, Enterprise Architecture and Enterprise Information Systems. He is an Adjunct Faculty at University of Nevada, Reno and teaches information systems project management.

Masialeti holds various information technology professional certifications which include Microsoft Certified Trainer Alumni, Microsoft Certified Information Technology Professional, Prince 2 Certified Practitioner, Cobit foundation, ITIL Foundation and Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP). He is a member of the Association of Computing Machines (ACM), ISACA, Association of Information Systems (AIS), International Information System Security Certification Consortium (ISC)² and Southern Management Association (SMA). His research interests are Business Analytics and application of Information systems theory to implementation of Digital transformation technologies such as IoT, Mobile Applications, Big Data Analytics, Machine learning etc.  He has special interest in the Mining industry.

Heather D Patchell

Heather Patchell headshotHeather J. Patchell is a graduate student at UNR in the Business Administration: Management PhD program. She currently holds two Master's degrees in Psychology (California State University, Sacramento) and Social Psychology (University of Nevada, Reno). During her time at CSUS and UNR Heather has taught several undergraduate business courses including, Seminar in Quantitative Management, Organizational Behavior, Research Statistics, and Employee Selection in Organizations. Heather has also worked as an internal and external consultant for 12+ years in the field of employee selection and Equal Opportunity. Her current research interests include the intersection of Psychology and Business processes, including managerial decision-making, ethics, and strategic leadership practices.

Yu Rong

Yu Rong headshotYu Rong (Joy) is a graduate student at the University of Nevada, Reno (Ph.D. in business administration, management concentration). She holds a master’s degree in business administration (Eastern Oregon University) and a bachelor's degree in accounting (Liao Ning University, China).
The experiences of working in a hospital, non-profit organizations, and schools across different countries equip her with an in-depth perception of various industries. They also raised her awareness of cross-culture management.
Her current research interests include organizational behavior (leadership), corporate-level strategy, and entrepreneurship. Additionally, she strives to unravel the mystery behind people’s rule-following behavior and interpersonal trust.

Apart from work, Yu likes jogging, snowboarding, and hiking. She is a licensed Yoga coach and a National Latin dance judge.

Research interests:

  • Correlation between culture difference and rule-obeying;
  • How wildfires impact quality of life;
  • The best timing for managers to refinance and maximize profit from investment.


  • Yu, R. (2017). The Risk Point of Internal Audit in Big Data Environment——Taking Industrial Enterprises as an Example. Statistics and management, 2017 (10), 120-121. doi:10.16722/j.issn.1674-537X.2017.10.046
  • Yu, R. (2018). Market and Prospect of 7-ELEVEN in China. Yangtze River Series

Edit Szabó

Edit Szabó is a graduate student at UNR in the Business Administration, Management PhD program. She earned her master’s degree in literature and linguistics and is completing her PhD in psychology at the University of Pecs. Having worked as a journalist, she has also gained experience in journalistic and creative writing. Edit was honored with the Hungarian Eotvos State Scholarship to work on theory of mind research projects as a visiting student researcher at the University of Texas, El Paso (UTEP in 2018) and at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) in 2019. Her current research interests include business communication, social perception, and decision making strategies with a special focus on conflict management and interpersonal manipulation.

Tory Taylor

Headshot of Tory TaylorTory D.A. Taylor is a graduate student at the University of Nevada, Reno in the Business Administration, Management Ph.D. program. She holds a masters degree in Public Administration with emphasis in Organizational Learning and a bachelors degree in Economics with a concentration in Business Administration. Tory's professional background includes technical support and account management in the higher education and innovation management industries, management consulting, and co-founding two startups. Tory's current research interests include learning, climate, and dissonance in organizations and research methods, in particular online survey methodology. 

Additional Cohort Members

  • Armina Karapetian
  • Saeb Khassawneh
  • Zhonghao Zhang
  • Narges Mohammad
  • Hanqui Ma