Faculty focus: Dr. Claire Liang, assistant professor of finance

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Faculty focus: Dr. Claire Liang, assistant professor of finance

September 18, 2014, Katja Sonkeng

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Dr. Claire Liang, assistant
professor of Finance

Having lived a life of a globetrotter for the past decade, Liang is now excited to return to her roots. “I grew up in a quiet, rural environment in Taiwan, so the quietness and closeness to the nature here in Carbondale is perfect,” she said. Further recalling her first campus visit, she immediately liked the “down-to-earth dynamic of the department and how passionate everyone is about research.” Most intriguing to her as a former Manhattan resident, however, is the SIU Campus Lake and Thompson Woods. “It’s like having Central Park right in the middle of the campus! So whenever I get stuck in my research, I will take a walk to the woods to refresh my ideas.”

Besides teaching two undergraduate courses in management of business finance this semester, Liang is also in the process of publishing two journal articles on financial markets as facilitators of economic dynamism and their impact on companies as well as the effect of information uncertainty on asset pricing. Both are highly industry-related topics that clearly reflect her teaching philosophy of combining industry practice with theory.

Ultimately, her goal as an instructor at SIU is to prepare students for their future careers in the most effective way. “The theory, math skills and the problem drills you do are important. But when you go to the real world, a lot of times, it’s the common sense and judgment that matter,” Liang said.

The Ivy League alumnus (Cornell University, NY) thus strives for an open and honest dialogue with students, true to the motto, “teaching is like research, it’s a continuous learning process.” “You can always do better. So I want the students to tell me how I can make the teaching more effective. That is what I am here for,” she concludes.

Holding a Ph.D. in finance from the University of Alberta in Canada, Liang also earned a B.S. in physics from National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan, as well as an M.B.A. and a Ph.D. in engineering from Cornell University in Ithaca. Previous work experience include positions at the investment banking division at Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, advising corporate clients on equity offerings, balance sheet optimization, and mergers and acquisitions.