Sobey School News

Announcing the Sobey Professorships

Date Published: May 20, 2021

The Sobey Professorships were established to attract and retain the best faculty in the Sobey School of Business and to realize the long-term strategic objective of ensuring that the School can achieve and sustain a position as one of the leading business schools in Canada.

The program is part of the broader initiative to grow the research and scholarship impact of the Sobey School and is funded from the historic gift received by the School from the Sobey Family, Sobey Foundation and Sobeys Inc. in 2019.

The following Sobey School of Business faculty members have been awarded the first Sobey Professorships for a five-year term:

  • Dr. Yigit Aydede, Sobey Professorship in Economics 
  • Dr. Natalia Kochetova, Sobey Professorship in Accounting 
  • Dr. Ethan Pancer, Sobey Professorship in Marketing 
  • Dr. Vurain Tabvuma, Sobey Professorship in Management 
  • Dr. Michael Zhang, Sobey Professorship in Finance, Information Systems and Management Science 


Dr. Yigit Aydede, Sobey Professorship in Economics

Yigit Aydede

Dr. Yigit Aydede is an Associate Professor of Economics at the Sobey School of Business. His research interest is economics of population in the area of applied microeconomics. He teaches machine learning, econometrics and data analytics courses both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. His current research projects are related to machine learning applications on health care and chronic disease surveillance systems. Mostly recently, his research team was selected to the Nova Scotia COVID-19 Research Coalition. Their research is trying to understand the role that environmental factors play on local transmission rates. He is also one of the founding members of MLportal (Research Portal on Machine Learning for Social and Health Policy), which is a joint initiative by a group of researchers from Dalhousie and Saint Mary’s universities and collaborators all over the world.

Dr. Natalia Kochetova, Sobey Professorship in Accounting


Dr. Natalia Kochetova, PhD, FCPA, FCMA is a Professor of Accounting and Auditing at the Sobey School of Business, where she also serves as an Academic Director of the PhD Business Administration (Accounting, Finance, Management) Program. She holds a PhD in Accounting from Georgia State University, and a BSc (Honours) in Accounting from the University of South Alabama. Dr. Kochetova is a Canadian CPA;  she was awarded an honorable “Fellow” designation in 2014. Dr. Kochetova’s research focuses on judgment and decision-making processes and outcomes by financial statement auditors, internal auditors, and CFOs. Together with her co-authors, she has received several research grants from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada and from the Canadian Academic Accounting Association. Her research has been published in Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory; Accounting, Organizations and Society; Behavioral Research in Accounting; Contemporary Accounting ResearchInternational Journal of Auditing; and The Accounting Review. Dr. Kochetova has served on the Boards of Directors of the Chartered Professional Accountants (CPA) Nova Scotia, CPA Atlantic School of Business, Canadian Academic Accounting Association, Alliance Française-Halifax, and on the Board of Governors of Saint Mary’s University. She is currently a member of Canadian Audit and Assurance Standards Board.

Dr. Ethan Pancer, Sobey Professorship in Marketing


Dr. Ethan Pancer is an Associate Professor of Marketing at the Sobey School of Business. He is an expert in impression formation and how digital innovations and social media shape consumer behavior. Dr. Pancer’s research has appeared in the Journal of Consumer PsychologyJournal of Business EthicsJournal of Advertising, and the Journal of Interactive Marketingamong others and has been awarded multiple federal (SSHRC) grants for his work. He often speaks at major conferences, advises early stage companies, and has worked with organizations like IBM, Rogers Communications, IDC and Hope Blooms.

Dr. Pancer has designed and taught courses on Marketing Management, Consumer Behavior, and Entrepreneurship. Since joining the Sobey School of Business, he has been recognized with multiple teaching awards including the Stewart Medal, the university’s highest honor for excellence in teaching. Dr. Pancer was named as one of “The 40 Most Outstanding B-School Profs Under 40 in the World” (Poets & Quants 2017) at age 32. He received his BCom, MSc, and PhD in Marketing from the Smith School of Business at Queen's University.

Dr. Vurain Tabvuma, Sobey Professorship in Management 

Dr. Vurain Tabvuma was born and raised in Zimbabwe. He got his undergraduate degree from Africa University. In his mid-twenties he headed to the UK where he obtained a Master’s Degree (with Distinction) and a PhD from Brunel University under a fully funded scholarship. He has worked at Bournemouth University and the University of Surrey in the UK as a Lecturer and a Senior Lecturer. He has also served as a Visiting Professor at Ryerson University in Toronto. Dr. Tabvuma’s research focuses on intrinsic motivation, public service motivation, pro-social motivation, job satisfaction, organizational change, adaptation and student success. His research has been published in refereed international journals such as Human Resource Management, Journal of Vocational Behavior, Public Administration Review, Journal of Public Administration: Research and Theory, Economics Letters, Population Research and Policy Review, Labor History and Kyklos. He is the proud father of two lovely boys.

Dr. Michael Zhang, Sobey Professorship in Finance, Information Systems and Management Science

Dr. Michael Zhang is Associate Professor in the Department of Finance, Information Systems and Management Science at the Sobey School of Business. He was Acting Associate Dean in Research and Knowledge Mobilization at the Sobey School of Business from 2019 to 2020. He also holds Adjunct Professor appointments in the Department of Applied Human Sciences at the University of Prince Edward Island and the Department of Industrial Engineering at Dalhousie University. Dr. Zhang’s research is in the area of analytics in healthcare services management and operations management. He is currently Nominated Principal Investigator on Supporting Youth with Mental Health Conditions using Machine Learning and Analytics with a three-year, $273,000 grant from Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. His work has been published in numerous journals, including 11 A* and A publications at the journals ranked at ABDC List. He is supervising one PhD student and five Master’s students on analytics projects in healthcare and supply chain management. Dr. Zhang was president of the Saint Mary’s University faculty union from 2018 to 2019. He received his PhD in Management Science from the Ivey Business School, University of Western Ontario; his Master of Economics (Financial Engineering) from Xiamen University, China, in 1998; and his BSc (Electronic Engineering) from Zhejiang University, China in 1994.

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