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2016 Best 40 Under 40 Professors: Stacey Jacobsen, Cox School of Business

Stacey Jacobsen SMU 2

Stacey Jacobsen

Assistant Professor of Finance

Southern Methodist University, Cox School of Business

With research that focuses on empirical corporate finance — specifically corporate governance and mergers & acquisitions, as well as market microstructure — SMU’s Stacey Jacobsen is a recipient of SMU Cox’s Research Excellence Award. She has published works in the Journal of Finance, Journal of Financial Economics, Management Science, and Review of Finance. At the same time, her Journal of Finance article developed a cutting-edge algorithm to measure U.S. stock market quality in the high frequency trading era. Professor Jacobsen has also served as an academic finance conference discussant and/or presenter in conferences and events around the world. Before b-school life, Jacobsen was an investment banking analyst and strategy associate.


Age: 39

At current institution since: 2011

Education: Ph.D., Finance, Indiana University, 2011

Courses you currently teach: Financial Modeling

Professor you most admire: Rather than one professor, I have to say I most admire my entire family of academics, which includes both of my parents, brother, aunt, and uncle. Each one taught me something unique about academia: the power of tenacity; to continuously love the process of learning; and the ability to be productive, while enjoying a rewarding family life at the same time. And of course, I admire my mentors: Utpal Bhattacharya and Craig Holden.

“I knew I wanted to be a b-school professor when…I was thinking about applying to MBA programs, so I sat in on a graduate course. It was during this period that I realized graduate school was the right fit for me, yet in a different capacity.”

“If I weren’t a b-school professor…I would be a writer for Saturday Night Live.”

Most memorable moment in the classroom or in general as a professor: As a new professor, my first perfect teaching moment: I forgot I was standing at the front of the room, my students forgot they were tired and it was late, and we shared a collaborative, energetic and stimulating discussion.

What professional achievement are you most proud of? I am most proud of defending my dissertation, accepting a job offer, graduating, and having my first daughter in a three-month period, then publishing my dissertation.

What do you enjoy most about being a business school professor? It is a great pleasure to watch talented and hardworking students enter the program, learn and do well, then accept incredible job offers. It is always a great honor to have a student come back and share his/her experience with my current class. I am most proud at these moments.

What do you enjoy least about being a business school professor? I least enjoy grading. I greatly enjoy reading student projects; however, I agonize over the ranking and assignment of grades.

Fun fact about yourself: I can be singularly focused. One night at a coffee shop, I was working late on my dissertation and didn’t notice all the other tables had been moved and a jazz band was playing next to me.

Favorite book: David Copperfield

Favorite movie: Any movie with Bill Murray or Jason Schwartzman

Favorite type of music: Jazz (Oscar Peterson) and Rock and Roll (Damien Jurado, The Smiths)

Favorite television show: Arrested Development

Favorite vacation spot: Anywhere in Maine. It’s so beautiful.

What are your hobbies? Friday-night-backyard-flashlight-adventure with my two little girls.

“If I had my way, the business school of the future would have…a more diverse student base, increased focus on programming and big data, and an in-class barista for each night class.”

Students Say…

“Prof J’s Financial Modeling course was easily one of my favorite classes I’ve taken while at SMU Cox. The class material was not only relevant and incredibly useful, but her positive attitude and clear enthusiasm for the subject matter made it a delight to come to class every week.  One of the rare people who is able to wake you up and keep you engaged during a night class!”

Chase Garrett, MBA Candidate (’16)

“Stacey Jacobsen has a contagious level of excitement about what she teaches. I remember her having a discussion with us about how we could extrapolate our current project to make the calculations for millions of data points using R (statistical software) on a supercomputer and the real effects it would have on understanding M&A transactions. She went beyond just coursework to inspire us about financial modeling.”

Saranya Guruvayurappan, FT MBA (’16)

“Assistant Professor Stacey Jacobsen did a great job of integrating complex concepts and real life events, making her class a capstone in the finance curriculum. I was impressed by the attention and care that she put into preparing her class and following up with us.”

Jean Perez, FT MBA (’16)