Texas Tech University

Personal Financial Planning

Ph.D. Bios


Maher Alyousif
Maher Alyousif

Ph.D. Student
Email: Maher.Alyousif@ttu.edu

Are you currently on the job market for a full-time position? No

If you are not on the job market, when do you expect to graduate? Spring 2017

Why did you choose Texas Tech? While managing financial advisory training programs at Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency I developed an interest in pursuing a graduate level study in personal financial planning and found that Texas Tech PhD program is unique compared to other universities in the US and other countries. The academic structure and research focus makes Texas Tech program well positioned to lead the work in both theoretical understanding and practical applications of current issues facing the industry.

Prior Degrees: BA in Sociology (Damascus University); MBA (California State University, San Bernadino)

Research Interest: behavioral finance, investment decision making, asset allocation, financial planning education and program development.

Teaching Interests: behavioral finance, investment and wealth management.


 

Lua Augustin
Lua Augustin

Ph.D. Student
Email: Lua.Augustin@ttu.edu

Are you currently on the job market for a full-time position? No

If you are not on the job market, when do you expect to graduate? August 2017

Why did you choose Texas Tech? Texas Tech has the best Personal Financial Planning program and has a host of excellent professors. The program is small enough to have that personal touch but the graduates and faculty are doing big things

Prior Degrees: M. Ed. (Lamar University); MBA (Midwestern State University); BBA (Midwestern State University)

Research Interest: Impact of Micro lending on Debt reduction, Financial Planning education, Behavioral finance

Teaching Interests: Fundamentals of personal financial planning, Budgeting and debt reduction

Vita



Maher Alyousif
B. Steele Campbell, J.D., M.S.

Ph.D. Student
Email: Steele.Campbell@ttu.edu

Are you currently on the job market for a full-time position? No

If you are not on the job market, when do you expect to graduate? Spring 2019

Why did you choose Texas Tech? Coming out of undergrad I had decided to pursue a JD and given that the majority of my professors were Texas Tech Graduates they made sure I knew about the JD/MS dual degree. During Law school I fell in love with research and writing, and so I decided to take advantage of the opportunity to earn a PhD from the top PFP program in the country. Due to the notoriety of this PhD program and my passion for Financial Planning it has been a natural fit. The decision to stay and pursue a PhD was made easier having associated with the top notch staff and faculty in the program.

Prior Degrees: JD (Texas Tech School of Law); MS in Personal Financial Planning (Texas Tech University); BS in Personal Financial Planning (Utah Valley University); Passed CFP exam July 2016

Research Interest: Regulatory Policy in the Financial Industry, Estate Planning, ERISA and Retirement, Financial Planning Education and Program Development.

Teaching Interests: Introduction to PFP, Retirement Planning, Estate Planning, Personal Income Tax, Risk and Insurance, and Capstone in PFP.


 

Ruizhi Chen
Ruizhi Chen

Ph.D. Student
Email: Ruizhi.Chen@ttu.edu

Are you currently on the job market for a full-time position? No

If you are not on the job market, when do you expect to graduate? Fall 2019

Why did you choose Texas Tech? Texas Tech has the best PFP program in the United States

Prior Degrees: MBA (Eastern New Mexico University); Bachelor of Economics in Finance (Central South University of Forestry and Technology - China); BBA in Finance (Eastern New Mexico University)

Research Interest: Asset and Wealth Management

Teaching Interests: Introduction to Personal Finance & Asset/Wealth Management

Vita



Preston Cherry
Preston D. Cherry, CFP®

Ph.D. Student
Email: Preston.d.cherry@ttu.edu

Are you currently on the job market for a full-time position? No

If you are not on the job market, when do you expect to graduate?Spring 2020

Why did you choose Texas Tech? After I was introduced to the Texas Tech PFP program by my undergraduate mentor, I never looked back. The program feels like a family and I have found lifelong friends and developed long-lasting professional and academic relationships. The TTU PFP program is the best in the country with its graduates, at all levels, going on to accomplish great feats in the profession. In particular, I believe obtaining an M.S. or Ph.D. degree and experience from this program allows one to pursuit their dreams with limitless potential.

Prior Degrees: B.B.A in Finance (Prairie View A&M University); M.S. Personal Financial Planning (Texas Tech University)

Research Interest: Behavioral finance amongst the African-American population, financial literacy in economically & socially underserved communities, determinants of historical policy on the current wealth gap of American-Americans to the rest of the population and how future policy can help close said gap.

Teaching Interests: Behavioral finance, practice management, technology, investment and wealth management, risk management

Vita



Christopher Crouch
Christopher Crouch

Ph.D. Student
Email: Christopher.Crouch@ttu.edu

Are you currently on the job market for a full-time position? No

If you are not on the job market, when do you expect to graduate? Summer 2019

Why did you choose Texas Tech? Texas Tech University has the best PFP program in the country, but my reason for attending TTU is much more personal. As a West Texas Native from a farm located in the surrounding area, I have watched my family and friends devote their lives to the land with no plans for retirement. I've always wondered how to best blend the agricultural traditions with retirement planning. TTU is my community and I want to provide research, education, and financial guidance to the area that has already invested so much in me.

Prior Degrees: B.B.A. Accounting 2009 (Texas Tech University), MBA 2012 (Texas Tech University), M.S. Personal Financial Planning 2012 (Texas Tech University)

Research Interest: Agricultural retirement, investments, risk management in agriculture

Teaching Interests: Retirement, finance, investments, wealth management, and PFI



Gary Curnutt

Gary Curnutt

Ph.D. Student
Email: Gary.M.Curnutt@ttu.edu

Are you currently on the job market for a full-time position? No

If you are not on the job market, when do you expect to graduate? Fall 2019

Why did you choose Texas Tech? Texas Tech University is at the forefront of education and research in Personal Financial Planning. I chose Texas Tech for the opportunity to study under, and conduct research with, the many influential figures of the industry who call this University their own.

Prior Degrees: Bachelor of Business Administration (Eastern New Mexico University)

Research Interest: Financial Services Regulation, Behavioral Finance, Asset Management

Teaching Interests: Asset Management, Financial Planning, Investment Management & Analysis

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Mark Evers
Mark Evers

Ph.D. Student
Email: Mark.Evers@ttu.edu

Are you currently on the job market for a full-time position? No

If you are not on the job market, when do you expect to graduate? Summer/Fall 2020

Why did you choose Texas Tech? After an extensive search of various business and financial planning doctoral programs, I chose Texas Tech due to its stature among the Financial Planning community. As a bonus it is in Texas and I get to stay in my home state.

Prior Degrees: BBA in Management (LeTourneau University, Longview, Texas); MBA (West Texas A&M University, Canyon, Texas); Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor designation (College for Financial Planning)

Research Interest: Behavior Finance, Relationships and Money, Retirement Planning and Sudden Wealth Effect

Teaching Interests: Personal Finance, Retirement Planning, Investment



Catherine "Cathy" Michalka Figert
Catherine "Cathy" Michalka Figert, CFP®

Ph.D. Student
Email: Catherine.Michalka@ttu.edu

Are you currently on the job market for a full-time position? No

If you are not on the job market, when do you expect to graduate? May 2016

Why did you choose Texas Tech? I was looking for a program that offered opportunities that enhanced my skills and added value to my profession as a CPA. I found the program in Personal Financial Planning at Texas Tech University which offered me educational opportunities during the summer. Ultimately, I figured out that this program was the best kept secret around and I have been engaged with the program since then.

Prior Degrees: BBA – Accounting (Texas Tech University)

Research Interest: Wealth accumulation, retirement planning and estate planning

Teaching Interests: Helping students reach their full potential. Educating students and future planners to use the available tools to help themselves and others achieve financial self-sufficiency especially in the areas of risk management, tax planning, retirement planning, and estate planning.


Nhat Ho
Hoang-Nhat Ho

Ph.D. Student
Email: hoang-nhat.ho@ttu.edu

Are you currently on the job market for a full-time position? No

If you are not on the job market, when do you expect to graduate? May 2016

Why did you choose Texas Tech? The Personal Financial Planning program at Texas Tech provide me the best opportunity to become a successful researcher in field of financial planning.

Prior Degrees: B.S. in Finance (California State University, Northridge)

Research Interest: Asset Allocation, Risk Tolerance, Investor Behavior

Teaching Interests: Fundamental of Personal Finance, Asset Management, Retirement Planning, Risk Management

Vita



William Hocutt
William Hocutt

Ph.D. Student
Email: William.L.Hocutt@ttu.edu

Are you currently on the job market for a full-time position? No

Why did you choose Texas Tech? I chose Texas Tech due to their reputation and overall dedication to the financial planning industry.

Research Papers: Currently working on research paper with a focus on financial planning for disasters.

Prior Degrees: B.S. in Financial Planning (University of Alabama); Chartered Retirement Plan Consultant.

Research Interest: Interest in financial planning for disasters and liquidity within mutual funds.

Teaching Interests: I have interest in teaching student athletes.



Beverly Johnson
Beverly Johnson

Ph.D. Student
Email: Beverly.D.Johnson@ttu.edu

Are you currently on the job market for a full-time position? No

Why did you choose Texas Tech? It is the best educational institution for Personal Financial Planning.

Research Papers: Poster Presentation: Aragon, S. J., Johnson, B., Joseph, S., Tobias, K., & McGuinn, L. (February 2011). The influence of nursing patient-centered behaviors on African American and Black female Medicare patient satisfaction. Poster presentation at The Health Disparities/Health Equity Research Summit, The WSSU Center of Excellence for the Elimination of Health Disparities and the WFUBMC Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity, Winston-Salem, NC.
Oral Presentation: Aragon, S. J., &amp: Johnson, B. D. (November 2009). The influence of nursing patient-centeredness on African American and Black female Medicare patients' satisfaction. Oral presentation at the Faces of a Healthy Future, National Conference to End Health Disparities II, Winston-Salem, NC.

Prior Degrees: B.S. Mechanical Engineering (U.S. Military Academy); M.S. Engineering Management (Missouri University of Science and Technology); MBA (Kellogg Graduate School, Northwestern University)

Research Interest: Retirement Planning, Military Service

Teaching Interests: Introduction to Personal Finance, Introduction to Corporate Finance, Marketing, Leadership

Vita



P.K. Joseph
P.K. Joseph

Ph.D. Student
Email: Pk.joseph@ttu.edu

Are you currently on the job market for a full-time position? No

If you are not on the job market, when do you expect to graduate? Retired from the Job Market. (Doing Ph.D. mainly to give back to society)

Why did you choose Texas Tech? Some five years ago, I identified personal financial planning as an area through which I could contribute in my retirement to those who are needy, yet eager to provide their children a college education. Although it is perhaps the most applied topic in life, financial planning knowledge may not be a concern when we are young. Most of the time we may use it just intuitively rather than with some formal knowledge of it. I felt it could be taught with enhanced practical examples of basic high school math, such as the concepts of percentages, compound growth and so on. My industrial experience has taught me anecdotally that this type of basic math application is lacking even in many college graduates. Is there an opportunity, at the secondary school level, to take further advantage of this synergy between math and personal finance? Where better to research this topic than the premier PFP program at Texas Tech to help influence the secondary school curriculum and take this on the road to spread the word!

Prior Degrees: B.Sc. Engineering, Kerala University, India, 1971
MBA, University of Dayton, Ohio, 1975

Research Interest: Early personal finance literacy

Teaching Interests: Pro-bono guest lecturing in Texas high schools in the basics of personal finance. Work with educators and policy makers to develop a more effective curriculum for early financial planning literacy.

Vita


Jennifer Lehman

Jennifer Lehman

Ph.D. Student
Email: Jennifer.Lehman@ttu.edu

Are you currently on the job market for a full-time position? No

If you are not on the job market, when do you expect to graduate? August 2018

Why did you choose Texas Tech? Because of its excellent reputation and knowledgeable faculty in the PFP area.

Prior Degrees: JD, MPA

Research Interest: charitable giving, estate planning, behavioral finance, end of life issues

Teaching Interests: four year university personal financial planning, financial literacy, finance or general business school courses, leading to tenured position

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Poy Lertchaipitak
Areerat "Poy" Lertchaipitak

Ph.D. Student
Email: A.Lertchaipitak@ttu.edu

Are you currently on the job market for a full-time position? No

If you are not on the job market, when do you expect to graduate? 2016

Why did you choose Texas Tech? The personal financial planning program at Texas Tech University provides both high standard academic and professional knowledge. I would like to advance my future career in this profession and disseminate personal financial planning education in Thailand.

Research Papers: Reasons why U.S. Households Underuse Comprehensive Financial Planners. Investor Sentiment and Asset Allocation.

Prior Degrees: MS in Finance and Economics, West Texas A&M University; BS in Finance , Kasetsart University (Thailand)

Research Interest: Behavioral finance, retirement planning, financial counseling

Teaching Interests: Introduction to personal finance, financial counseling, behavioral finance

Vita



Yi "Bessie" Liu
Yi "Bessie" Liu

Ph.D. Student
Email: Yi.Liu@ttu.edu

Are you currently on the job market for a full-time position? No

If you are not on the job market, when do you expect to graduate? Summer 2019

Why did you choose Texas Tech? While completing my other studies, my ultimate goal was to earn a PhD in the financial space. I chose the Personal Financial Planning program at TTU, because of its reputation as the best in the nation both scholastically and professionally. I truly believe that this was the right decision for me and the program will provide me with the tools necessary to become the best PFP researcher/Instructor possible.

Prior Degrees: M.S., Agricultural Economics

Research Interest: Investment, Asset Management, Retirement Planning

Teaching Interests: Introduction to Personal Finance, Asset Management

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Zhikun Liu
Zhikun Liu
(Candidate for CFP® Certification, CFP® Exam passed in 2016)

Ph.D. Student
Email: Zhikun.Liu@ttu.edu

Are you currently on the job market for a full-time position? No

If you are not on the job market, when do you expect to graduate? May 2018

Why did you choose Texas Tech? To study in the best PFP program in the world and become a successful researcher and educator in this field.

Prior Degrees: M.S. Economics (Oklahoma State University); M.S. Mathematics (UT Tyler); B.S. Information Technology and Computing Science (QJNU, China)

Research Interest: Behavior Finance, Financial Decision Making, Household Investment Choice, Retirement Planning, Financial Education

Teaching Interests: Personal and Family Finance, Financial Decision Making, Wealth Management, Retirement Planning, Risk Management, Estate Planning, Micro/Macro Economics, Econometrics, College Algebra, Calculus, Probability and Statistics, Applied Mathematics.

Vita



Jacob Lumby
Jacob Lumby

Ph.D. Student
Email: Jacob.Lumby@ttu.edu

Are you currently on the job market for a full-time position? Yes

If you are not on the job market, when do you expect to graduate? December 2016

Why did you choose Texas Tech? The department of personal financial planning is filled with distinguished and caring professors who treat students like family.

Prior Degrees: CFP® Candidate - passed exam and currently completing experience requirements; M.S. Personal Financial Planning, summa cum laude, (Texas Tech University); B.Sc., summa cum laude, Biology/Chemistry (Missouri State University)

Research Interest: Risk Management and Insurance, Behavioral Finance, Retirement Planning

Teaching Interests: Investments, Risk Management and Insurance, Retirement Planning, Marketing and Branding

Research Papers: Lumby, J., Browning, C., Finke, M.S. (forthcoming) "Who is Likely to Purchase Long-Term Care Insurance?"

Vita



Eakamon "Andy" Oumtrakool
Eakamon "Andy" Oumtrakool

Ph.D. Student
Email: Eakamon.Oumtrakool@ttu.edu

Are you currently on the job market for a full-time position? No

Why did you choose Texas Tech? Texas Tech is well known in both academic and athletic achievements, and Texas Tech is a center of knowledgeable and experienced professors, especially a personal financial planning program.

Prior Degrees: Master of Science in Finance and Economics (MSFE), West Texas A&M University
Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) in Finance, Kasetsart University, Thailand

Research Interest: Behavioral finance, Risk tolerance, and Retirement planning

Teaching Interests: Asset Management, Business Finance, and Personal Financial Planning.

Vita



Hossein Salehi
Hossein Salehi

Ph.D. Student
Email: Hossein.Salehi@ttu.edu

Are you currently on the job market for a full-time position? No

If you are not on the job market, when do you expect to graduate? Summer 2018

Why did you choose Texas Tech? Since joining the Personal Financial Program at Texas Tech, I have been observing its credibility and reputation nationally and world-wide, which is rooted in its knowledgeable, experienced and well-respected faculty. As an individual who wants to make effective contributions to this growing profession, I am very excited to be in a program providing me with a wide variety of unique opportunities to broaden my research skills and teaching abilities.

Prior Degrees: M.A. in Economics (Texas Tech University); M.Sc. in Finance (University of Tehran); B.Sc. in Computer Engineering (Azad University)

Research Interest: Retirement Portfolio Management, Real Estate Finance, Reverse Mortgages, Wealth Management, Behavioral Finance

Teaching Interests: Personal Finance, Wealth Management, Managing Risk

Vita



Sven Saaretalu
Sven Saaretalu

Ph.D. Student
Email: Sven.Saaretalu@ttu.edu

Are you currently on the job market for a full-time position? No

If you are not on the job market, when do you expect to graduate? 2019 or 2020

Why did you choose Texas Tech? After developing a strong passion for personal financial, I decided to enhance my skills and experience in a nation's best Personal Financial Planning program.

Prior Degrees: B.S. in Finance

Research Interest: Wealth Management, Asset Allocation, Personal Finance

Teaching Interests: Personal Finance, Asset Management, Wealth Management

Vita



Jacob Tenney
Jacob Tenney

Ph.D. Student
Email: Jacob.Tenney@ttu.edu

Are you currently on the job market for a full-time position? No

If you are not on the job market, when do you expect to graduate? Summer 2018

Why did you choose Texas Tech? I was introduced to the Personal Financial Planning Program at Texas Tech by alumni of the program. They had such great enthusiasm and excitement about the program I decided to look into it. The more I researched the more impressed I became with the program.

Prior Degrees: B.S. Horticulture Management (Brigham Young University); MBA (Brigham Young University)

Research Interest: Financial Literacy, Annuities, Financial Counseling, Retirement Planning

Teaching Interests: Introduction to Personal Finance, Money for College Students

Vita


Kemberley Washington 
Kemberley Washington, CPA
Ph.D. Student
Email: Kemberley.Washington@ttu.edu

Are you currently on the job market for a full-time position? No

If you are not on the job market, when do you expect to graduate? December 2016

Why did you choose Texas Tech? While teaching and providing financial literacy education on many different media platforms, I developed a strong interest and passion in pursuing an advanced degree in the area of the personal financial planning. After visiting Texas Tech University for a summer program, I fell in love with the program and enjoyed the people in the PFP program. The program is equipped with well-qualified individuals who can provide different expertise to help you expand your knowledge.

Prior Degrees: Bachelor of Science in Accounting (Southern University and A&M College); Masters of Professional Accountancy (Southern University and A&M College)

Research Interest: Disaster financial planning, human capital, financial planning education, and program development

Teaching Interests: Accounting, finance, investments, and personal finance

Vita: Available upon request



Duncan Williams
Duncan Williams, CFP®

Ph.D. Student
Email: Duncan.Williams@ttu.edu

Are you currently on the job market for a full-time position? No

Why did you choose Texas Tech? I spent nearly ten years as a financial planning practitioner, and Texas Tech always had the best reputation among academic programs in the field.

Research Papers: Williams, Duncan and Michael Finke, 2011, "Determining Optimal Withdrawal Rates: An Economic Approach". The Retirement Management Journal, 1 (2), 35-47.

Williams, Duncan, Michael Finke and Wade Pfau, 2011, "Spending Flexibility and Safe Withdrawal Rates". Submitted to The Journal of Financial Planning.

Prior Degrees: B.A. in Economics, University of Georgia

Research Interest: Distribution Planning, Pre-retirement Planning, Portfolio Optimization

Teaching Interests: Capstone in Financial Planning, Investments, Risk Management, Estate Planning, Introductory Personal Finance Courses, Financial Planning Theory

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Jacob Williams
Jacob A. Williams
(CFP® Candidate, Passed exam July 2014)

Ph.D. Student
Email: Jacob.A.Williams@ttu.edu

Are you currently on the job market for a full-time position? No

If you are not on the job market, when do you expect to graduate? May 2017

Why did you choose Texas Tech? It has a great reputation in the Financial Planning Industry. Also, the faculty research aligns more closely with my interests than other PhD programs that focus on Financial Planning. The program alumni from Texas Tech University are in good career positions in great locations.

Prior Degrees: MS Personal Financial Planning (Texas Tech University); MBA (Texas Tech University); BS Business Finance (Brigham Young University-Idaho)

Research Interest: Retirement Planning, Annuity Usage, and the use of Private Business Equity in Retirement Withdrawal Strategies.

Teaching Interests: Asset Management, Risk Management, Retirement Planning, Capstone (Case Studies), Empirical Methods in Finance, Behavioral Finance

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Cagla Yildirim
Cagla Yildirim

Ph.D. Student
Email: Cagla.Yildirim@ttu.edu

Are you currently on the job market for a full-time position? No

If you are not on the job market, when do you expect to graduate? May 2017

Why did you choose Texas Tech? Back at William Paterson University I heard so many great things about TTU. And also, the Personal Financial Planning Program at TTU is the number one in the country.

Prior Degrees: M.S. in Personal Financial Planning (Texas Tech University); B.S. in Personal Financial Planning and minor in Economics (William Paterson University)

Research Interest: Behavioral Finance, Spending Habits of Immigrants, Ethics in Financial Planning

Teaching Interests: Asset Management, Introduction to Personal Finance, Income Tax Planning

Vita

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