2022 Warrington PhD Teaching Award winners Justin Kim, Matthew Son and Minmo Gahng.
2022 Warrington Ph.D. Teaching Award winners (from left) Justin Kim, Matthew Son and Minmo Gahng.

Three finance and accounting PhD students honored with teaching awards

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Ph.D. students Minmo Gahng (Ph.D. ‘23), Justin Kim (Ph.D. ‘23) and Matthew Son (Ph.D. ‘23) were awarded Warrington College of Business Ph.D. Teaching Awards for their teaching efforts across the spring, summer and fall semesters of 2021 and 2022.

The award is presented by the Teaching & Learning Center at Warrington to recognize outstanding graduate student teaching and instructional innovation. The recipient for each semester is selected by the Warrington Teaching Committee.

Gahng is a Ph.D. student in Warrington’s Eugene F. Brigham Finance, Insurance and Real Estate Department. He is interested in studying how young and entrepreneurial companies finance their growth. He has studied special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs), an alternative way to raise capital and go public. The research has attracted a lot of attention – Gahng appeared in the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg, and key results of the research have been cited by the recent regulation proposed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). He received his master’s degree in economics from Duke University and his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Yonsei University in Korea.

Gahng was very excited when he heard the news that he was awarded the Warrington Ph.D. Teaching Award.

“I can’t thank enough my advisors, Jay Ritter, Mark Flannery and Andy Naranjo for their guidance,” he said.

Gahng taught Financial Management, the case- and discussion-based capstone course for senior finance students in the summer of 2021 and 2022. He organized the course from the perspective of a finance manager working for a growing biotechnology company under uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. He asked students to take the class as if their job was recommending important investment (e.g., whether to develop vaccines, therapeutics, both, or nothing) and financing (e.g., whether to externally finance the development costs, and if so, how) decisions to their company’s top management.

Kim is a Ph.D. student in the Fisher School of Accounting. His research interests include corporate taxation, real and financial effects of taxes and accounting for income taxes and tax disclosure. He attended the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, where he double majored in business administration (with a concentration in finance) and in economics. He also completed his Master of Accounting at UNC with a concentration in tax. Prior to pursuing his Ph.D. in accounting, Kim served in the public accounting industry at Deloitte for four years as a Certified Public Accountant.  

“It is an honor to receive the Ph.D. Teaching Award,” Kim said. “I thank the Fisher School of Accounting and the Warrington College of Business for the award. I also thank the Teaching Committee for their deliberation and recognition of my teaching efforts. Though, I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge that it was a team effort – I am indebted to the faculty and fellow Ph.D. students for their insight and feedback throughout the process, to the staff for their support, and to my students for the learning environment we were able to create together.

“I’d like to especially thank the last group – my TAX 4001 students. As much as I taught them, it was quite humbling and personally rewarding to interact and learn from them. I very much look forward to continuing growing as an educator.”

Kim taught Introduction to Federal Income taxes in the spring of 2022. The course is designed, Kim described, as helping students understand the conceptual standards of tax policy and obtain a basic working knowledge of federal tax laws. One of its goals is to help students develop a framework for incorporating tax considerations into business decisions.

Son is a Ph.D. student in Warrington’s Eugene F. Brigham Finance, Insurance and Real Estate Department. His research interests include big data and machine learning, FinTech, derivatives, fixed income assets, market microstructure and mutual funds. He completed his BA in economics and BS in public health from Korea University. He later attended the University of Alberta for a master’s degree in economics and finance.

“I’m very pleased to be included as the award winner among the great Ph.D. instructors in our business school,” he said. “It gave me confidence in my pedagogical philosophy and great recognition among faculty members.”

Son taught Financial Modeling, which demonstrates the full workflow of how to handle financial modeling problems with spreadsheets and programming languages, he described.

“In the course, I introduced several automation techniques and emerging technologies such as machine learning,” he said. “I believe these skill sets learned from the course would set students apart in academia and any industry they choose to go to.”