What’s Next for Dr. Rachel Chung?

After five years as the Director of Business Programs at Chatham University, Dr. TingTing (Rachel) Chung stepped down in January 2018.  She remains with us as an Associate Professor of Business and is the Coordinator of Data Analytics & MIS, and she is excited to be able to focus more on her research and teaching students.

Dr. Chung’s tenure as director was a busy one.  The first major project she tackled was restructuring the Masters of Business Administration (MBA) program.  This major undertaking improved the academic rigor of the MBA program, created new concentrations, and optimized compatibility with the Masters of Accounting (MAcc) program.  Dr. Chung undertook this challenge to get the program ready for accreditation, and also to ensure students could easily build a full-time schedule without challenging financial aid or visa status for international students.  Additionally, her tenure saw the establishment of dual degree programs with Chatham’s Falk School of Sustainability and Environment, allowing Sustainability and Food Studies masters candidates the opportunity to also graduate with an MBA. Most importantly, Dr. Chung led the Business and Entrepreneurship Department to achieve the IACBE accreditation.

Dr. Chung with students at the MIS/Analytics Club meeting

However, Dr. Chung views her greatest achievement as director was establishing two new majors: Management Information Systems (MIS) and Data Science Analytics.  When she first arrived, she noted that, “Students didn’t even know much about advanced Microsoft Excel features, and now they can program and use artificial intelligence!”  Much of her research focuses on the use of information and data in business settings, so while establishing these majors was not a goal when she began as the director, it is not surprising the majors were eventually created.  Starting with two students in programming classes in 2014, there are now 37. Hiring Tim James, a Google engineer, as an adjunct professor assisted in the growth of the programming classes.  In 2017, Applied Data Science became a major, and the department hired Dr. Stephanie Rosenthal as the first faculty member.  MIS and Data Science Analytics is really taking off at Chatham, with undergraduates launching the MIS/Analytics Club at the beginning of April 2018!

Technology and analytics are Dr. Chung’s passion, so she is excited to focus on coordinating the two majors, and not the entire business program.  Moreover, she will have more time to dedicate to her research.  In 2017, five articles she co-wrote were published or conditionally accepted for publication in peer reviewed journals.  Topics included using QR Code technology to facilitate informal learning in children and how people can detect deception.  In 2012, Dr. Chung participated in a BBC World News interview about her behavioral security research study. Along with Dr. Rosenthal, she recently won a grant from NSA (National Security Agency) to conduct a study related to cybersecurity detection.  But what she is the most excited about this year is being a judge for the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), which returns to Pittsburgh.  It is the most prestigious science fair for high school students, she has been a judge in either the systems software or behavioral science categories twice before. In 2016, Dr. Chung received the IBM Faculty Award in the category of Cognitive Computing for her fraud analytics research.

Dr. Chung also cannot wait to spend more time and attention working with her students.  She is a dedicated educator, willing to go the extra mile to ensure they receive the support they need, encouraging them to apply for internships, and preparing them for life after Chatham.  Speaking of, Dr. Chung is looking forward to summer, when she will travel to Switzerland to visit a college friend for the first time in 25 years!  Dr. Chung, along with her mother, sister, and niece, will stay at her friend’s bed and breakfast.  She is also looking forward to bringing cookies with her niece’s artwork printed on them with edible ink, by local Pittsburgh baker, Jasmine Cho of Yummyholic.

A meal made by Dr. Chung

As the summer approaches, Dr. Chung looks forward to spending time in nature, taking advantage of all that Southwestern Pennsylvania has to offer.  She is a member of the Western Pennsylvania Mushroom Club and the Allegheny Land Trust.  When she isn’t outdoors or with her family, she enjoys cooking.  Thank you, Dr. Chung for your tireless efforts on behalf of the Business and Entrepreneurship Department!  We would not be where we are today without your leadership.  Enjoy your well-earned summer vacation, and we look forward to the 2018-19 school year!

Karen Sudkamp is a second-year dual degree student, looking forward to graduating in the summer of 2018 with a MA in Food Studies and an MBA.   She is interested in all things related to building a more sustainable and just food system and to find a role for business to participate in that journey.

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