Sobey School News

Meet Our Postdoctoral Scholars in Emerging Disciplines

Date Published: May 20, 2021

The Sobey Postdoctoral Scholars in Emerging Disciplines program was established to nurture, promote, and advance highly innovative and creative multidisciplinary research at the Sobey School of Business. The program was made possible by the philanthropic leadership of the Sobey family, the Sobey Foundation and Sobeys Inc., as part of their transformational $18 million gift to Saint Mary's University and the Sobey School of Business.

Wenyao Hu and Hao (Leo) Lu join the Sobey School of Business as our inaugural Sobey Postdoctoral Scholars in Emerging Disciplines.

 Wenyao Hu

Wenyao Hu obtained his PhD in Finance from the Lally School of Business at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (New York). His teaching interests include FinTech, data analysis, corporate finance, investments, financial management and machine learning.

Wenyao says he is excited to join the Sobey School of Business, which he describes as “an ideal environment for business scholars” that “inspires research excellence, encourages collaboration and serves society.”

Given that his research focus is an interdisciplinary combination of natural language processing and corporate finance, Wenyao says the Sobey School will provide him with a unique opportunity to implement creative research ideas. “Previous research mainly focuses on quantitative information from firms and ignores the importance of qualitative information,” he says. “My skill set in textual analysis can highlight the importance of the actual text content insides the financial reports or fillings. What’s more, this type of knowledge can also be implemented in other Sobey School disciplines, such as accounting, marketing, management and more.”

Wenyao looks forward to having opportunities to work with outstanding faculty at the Sobey School of Business: “I can work closely with some world-recognized researchers and learn how to do trending and influential research with them. With its broad interdisciplinary nature, I think Sobey School of Business is ideal for starting my career as a researcher. This will be an incredible experience for me as a young scholar who needs guidance from established faculty.”

An avid hiker, Wenyao says he is also looking forward to exploring Halifax, “a city near the ocean with a great environment.”

Hao (Leo) Lu

Hao (Leo) Lu obtained his PhD from the University of Calgary’s Haskayne School of Business and has a strong academic and industry background in corporate social responsibility (CSR), risk management and insurance. He has been published in reputable journals including Business & Society and the Journal of Business Research.

The opportunity to join the Sobey School came at a great time for Hao, as he was in the process of changing his research focus from CSR to social entrepreneurship and social innovation when he learned of the role.

Hao is working closely with Sobey faculty members Dr. Claudia De Fuentes and Dr. Joniada Milla to examine impact assessment of innovation policy. He is excited to have the opportunity to jump into the dataset as a member of the first research team that has access to Statistics Canada’s comprehensive data.

Hao says he feels there is a strong fit between his research agenda and the mission of the Sobey School of Business, which “prepares citizens of the world to lead sustainable, entrepreneurial businesses and communities.”

What else attracted Hao to the Sobey School of Business? “The collegial working environment and the cooperative culture, the level of research support provided to faculty members, and the level of freedom I have in conducting research that I am interested in.”

In addition to his research project with Dr. De Fuentes and Dr. Milla, Hao is interested in “understanding the performance and sustainable development of social enterprises, and the social initiatives of small and medium enterprises.” He would like this research to “provide guidance to entrepreneurs in Nova Scotia and Canada, especially those who intend to contribute to the financial and social prosperity of local communities.” He also hopes his experience and research agenda in business ethics, CSR and social entrepreneurship can contribute to the future success of the Sobey School of Business.

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