2023 Lam-Larsen Distinguished Research Professorship Awards

The Distinguished Research Professorship Awards recognize faculty for their research impact, including productivity, publishing, and awards, as well as societal impact, and fostering multi‐disciplinary collaborations within the Lam Family College of Business, across San Francisco State University and broader society through community engagement, research, partnerships, and more.

Join us in congratulating the five award recipients for 2023, Professor Foo-Nin Ho, Associate Professor Venoo Kakar, Professor Antoaneta “Toni” Petkova, Professor Robert Saltzman, and Professor Lihua Wang!


The Award

The objective of the Lam-Larsen Distinguished Research Faculty Awards is to recognize the outstanding intellectual contributions of faculty towards enhancing the academic reputation and research environment of the college. Awardees, designated as Lam-Larsen Distinguished Research Professors, receive a $10,000 annual stipend for two years and present their work to the college’s community.  These awards are funded by the Lam-Larsen Global Innovation Fund.

Eligible faculty must be tenured Lam Family College of Business (LFCoB) faculty and employed at San Francisco State University for a minimum of seven years. The committee also considered exceptional cases, limited to tenured Associate Professors, who have built a distinctive and compelling research record while in residence at the LFCoB in less than the stipulated seven-year period.

The primary consideration is academic impact, measured by the quality and quantity of peer-reviewed publications in top-tier journals. Academic impact is also reflected in the authorship of academic books, membership on prestigious editorial boards, and “Best Papers” awards from academic associations. Other examples include refereed papers in prominent and highly rigorous national and international conferences, book chapters and monographs, citations, referrals, and peer reviews.

Another consideration is societal impact, as reflected in fostering multi-disciplinary collaborations within the LFCoB, SF State, and society. Examples include sustained community engagement, research with graduate and undergraduate students, partnerships with Bay Area business and civic communities, research impact on curricular innovations, speaking invitations, media citations, books and articles in the popular press, and press releases. Beyond engagement and service, however, the societal impact has to be validated in terms of research publications.

Read about some of the achievements of each of this year's distinguished awardees:

Foo Nin Ho headshot

Foo-Nin Ho, Ph.D.

Professor, Marketing

Professor Foo-Nin Ho joined San Francisco State University in 1993. He was promoted to full professor in 2005 and has since served as the Chair of the Marketing Department from 2017-2022. To date, he has had 24 publications, of which ten are listed as A* or A in ABDC. This record includes three journals listed in the Financial Times Top 50. Professor Ho has been particularly active, with seven papers, three working papers, and one book chapter—all since 2015. Moreover, he is in the Editorial Board of the prestigious Journal of Business Ethics and Management Review. He reports 1,006 citations to date.

Professor Ho has also been very active working with junior faculty, serving as a mentor in the college. Additionally, he has collaborated with scholars in Taiwan and with a doctoral student from Yale University.

Professor Ho received a $25,000 grant in 2014. A review of his publications reveals a wide range of scholarship, including Facebook scandals, luxury and social costs, the luxury customer, hospitals and healthcare, curbing student cheating, the role of trust, and the core functionalities of a product or brand. He has played a role in advancing notable methodologies, particularly conjoint research, in his work, and has a deep interest in enhancing the research climate within the college.

Venoo Kakar

Venoo Kakar, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Economics

Professor Venoo Kakar joined San Francisco State University in 2013 and is currently an Associate Professor of Economics. She has 13 peer reviewed publications, with one rated as A* and five as A by ABDC, as well as a policy brief. She has presented her work at 45 national and international economics conferences and professional meetings.

Professor Kakar is a productive faculty member with 1.30 published papers per year and seven since 2015. Her field of study and instruction include macroeconomics and econometrics. She is widely acknowledged for her research contributions in public economic policies. Professor Kakar’s research has been widely cited in many areas, including real estate economics, the economics of inequality, monetary policy, and health. Notably, some of her research articles on the gig economy (Airbnb) and student debt have received media attention, such as on National Public Radio (NPR), because of their significant social impact.

Professor Kakar is also a recent recipient of the prestigious Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Grant for $250,000 to study the impact of public student-loan forgiveness policies on wealth outcomes for American households.

Professor Kakar has mentored many students in research, and some of her initiatives have resulted in collaborative research articles with students that were published in high-impact, peer-reviewed journals.

Toni Photo

Antoaneta "Toni" Petkova, Ph.D.

Professor, Management

Professor Antoaneta Petkova joined San Francisco State University in 2006 and was promoted to full professor in 2016. Though faculty readily acknowledge Toni’s work with the Assurance of Learning, several achievements are particularly noteworthy in her selection as among the Lam Larsen Distinguished Research Professors this year. First, she is an active and productive scholar. To date, she has 25 peer-reviewed papers, six proceedings, and four book chapters. Five of her peer-reviewed papers are listed as A* in ABDC, with two as A. She is among the most productive scholars in the college, averaging 1.47 publications per year.

As further validation of the quality of her scholarship, Professor Petkova was awarded the Best Paper in the Academy of Management Education in 2016. However, much like the tip of an iceberg that reveals only the most recent award, past recognitions are noteworthy: the Best Paper for the Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies in 2014, the Best Paper in the Western Academy of Management for Best Symposium in Management Education, the Western Academy of Management, both awarded in 2011 and the Best Article in Strategic Organizations published in 2007. This 2007 paper was based on citations, downloads, and qualitative impact over 5 years (2007-2012). She has 4,130 citations to date.

Not all surprising, Professor Petkova was awarded the Western Academy of Management Ascendant Scholar in 2011. Additionally, Professor Petkova’s achievements reflect her societal impact. She received the distinctive honor as the President of the Western Academy of Management in 2022-2023.

Professor Petkova serves on three editorial boards: Organization and Management, the Journal of Management Inquiry, and the Journal of Management Studies.

Professor Petkova’s research focuses on the processes of social evaluation of new social ventures, particularly in emerging and underserved sectors. She has successfully extended her research in curricular and course innovations at the Lam Family College of Business, co-authored with colleagues in the college, and mentored faculty beyond San Francisco State University.

Robert Saltzman

Robert Saltzman, Ph.D.

Professor, Management

Professor Robert Saltzman joined the Department of Business Information & Computing Systems (predecessor to the Department of Decision Sciences and the Department of Information Systems) in 1989 and was promoted to full professor in 1996. He is currently on the Decision Sciences Department faculty.

Since his appointment at San Francisco State University, Professor Saltzman has taught a wide range of courses in Mathematical Analysis, Business Statistics, Decision Modeling, Quality Management, and Operations Research.

Professor Saltzman has published 37 papers, with three classified as A* and one A by the ABDC. He has participated in 29 conferences and professional meetings. An authority in mathematical modelling, Professor Saltzman’s research is eclectic, covering various quantitative techniques in the areas of operations management/operations research and statistics to approach a wide variety of problems/issues such as street parking availability, travel distances for national sports teams in football and baseball, call center waiting times, student through-put towards a degree, and shuttle bus service.

He was awarded the Alan Khade Best Paper by CSUPOM in 2019.  Professor Saltzman has collaborated widely within and outside the college, and has worked with numerous students in supervising their master’s degree thesis.  Particularly noteworthy by way of societal impact is his research on the shuttle bus service simulating the San Francisco State University shuttle bus operations that led to benefits arising from specific improvements. This work received a high commendation from Campus Planner Wendy Bloom. Though his initial training was theoretical in nature, Professor Saltzman’s research covers both theory and applications.

Lihua Wang

Lihua Wang, Ph.D.

Professor, International Business

Professor Lihua Wang joined San Francisco State University in 2006. She was promoted to full professor in 2018 and has been particularly active in all phases – teaching, research, and service – in the college ever since.

Professor Wang has 16 peer-reviewed publications, with two in A* and four A, per ABDC. Particularly noteworthy is her momentum, with ten papers published since 2015 and 11 research projects currently in various stages of development. One publication was awarded the Best Paper by the Journal B2B Marketing in 2006, and the Emerald Citations of Excellence in 2015. She reports 2,055 citations since 2006, with 809 since 2018.

Professor Wang has participated as a speaker in 18 international conferences. What might be less pronounced is her co-authored work with international scholars, particularly the Chinese academic community.

Her research has covered inter-organizational relationships, co-creation with customers, value creation, and employee stock ownership. In addition to conferences, Professor Wang has presented her research at the University of Chicago and lectured at the Columbia Business School and National University of Singapore.

Professor Wang’s societal impact is likewise noteworthy. In collaboration with the SF Bay Area community, she initiated a highly successful mentoring program involving SF State alumni and our current students. This program has carried forward to academic publications for which she developed four cases, two covering SF State alumni, in a highly-rated case journal. In support of case-oriented publications, Professor Wang organized case workshops for faculty. This initiative was largely a result of her attention to our former college mission that had prioritized pedagogical research.

Past Award Recipients