New Faculty Profile: Y. SEKOU BERMISS

New position: Assistant Professor of Management, McCombs School of Business, Management Department

Former university: Northwestern University

Former title: Ph.D. student

Education: B.S., Chemical Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, N.Y.); M.S. and Ph.D., Management and Organizations, Northwestern University

Hometown: Brooklyn, N.Y.

What attracted you to The University of Texas at Austin?

The supportive and collaborative environment of the faculty here. It is a top-notch research university that also values collegiality. The faculty in the Management Department works very hard to maintain a healthy culture that supports members as they progress throughout their careers. The beauty of the city of Austin also attracted me. I had been to other cities in Texas and was in awe of the hills, lakes and general greenery of the area.

What is your area of expertise?

I study intangible firm resources, such as knowledge, reputation and identity, and how they impact firm outcomes. The "knowledge economy" poses many unique challenges for companies that didn't exist 30 or 40 years ago. I am very interested in disentangling these problems empirically to gain a more comprehensive understanding of how 21st century organizations operate.

Are you prepared for fall semester?

Fortunately, I don't have to teach until the spring, so I have some time to get ready. As far as research is concerned, I have hit the ground running. I am settled into my office and have commenced work on ongoing projects.

What is one thing you are looking forward to the most during your first semester?

This is the first university I have been affiliated with that has a premier sports program, so I am really looking forward to my first UT home football game.

Have you discovered a favorite restaurant in Austin yet?

My colleagues have taken me to some great places to initiate me to Austin. I had some really good barbecue at County Line (haven't made it to Salt Lick yet), and an uber-trendy delicious dinner at Wink. Admittedly, I have only experienced the tip of the iceberg.

What do you think of the summer heat?

Coming from Chicago, I have to say the heat took some adjustment, but I am taking it in stride. I am eagerly awaiting my first Texas winter.

What is one word that best describes you?