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2019 Best 40 Under 40 Professors: Roman Sheremeta, Case Western Reserve University (Weatherhead)

Roman Sheremeta

Assistant Professor of Economics

Case Western Reserve University Weatherhead School of Management

It’s safe to say Roman Sheremeta exemplifies exactly what we set out to measure with this project — prolific research and classroom prowess. The 36-year-old has had more than 60 academic articles published during his time as a researcher, notching nearly 3,500 Google Scholar citations at the time of publication. His research has been featured in prominent media outlets like NBC News, NPR, and the Wall Street Journal. But according to Manoj Malhotra, the dean of Case Western’s Weatherhead School of Management, Sheremeta also consistently earns high marks on his teaching evaluation, averaging 4.9 out of 5.

“Roman’s MBA course, Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, which he’s taught from 2013 to 2019, has consistently received one of the highest teaching evaluations at the Weatherhead School of Management (an average of 4.9 out of 5),” Malhotra says. “This is one example of consistently strong teaching evaluations for his courses. Roman has an extensive body of research, with greater than 60 academic articles in leading journals of economics, management, and political science.”

What many of his colleagues and students might not know is when Sheremeta isn’t researching or teaching, he can be found playing guitar and writing songs.

Current Age: 36

At current institution since what year? 2013

Education: Ph.D. in Economics from the Krannert School of Management at Purdue University

List of current MBA courses you currently teach: Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, Managerial Economics


I knew I wanted to be a business school professor when… I always had a passion for discovering new ideas and sharing those ideas with others. Becoming a professor seemed like an obvious route to achieve both of these goals.

What are you currently researching and what is the most significant discovery you’ve made from it?

Most of my early research has been on studying human competitiveness. A significant discovery I have made is that people are overly competitive, even to the detriment of their own expected utility. A number of my follow-up studies have been directed at explaining this overly competitive phenomenon. More recently, I have been interested in studying whether such overly competitive behavior can be used in productive ways.

If I weren’t a business school professor… I would probably be a businessman. My dad was a CFO and a shareholder of a relatively large construction company in Ukraine, and he hoped that I would follow his footsteps. Although I enjoyed seeing new construction projects, discovering new ideas and sharing those ideas with others was more exciting for me.

What do you think makes you stand out as a professor?

I am a very positive person, with a good sense of humor and a friendly attitude. Also, I am very structured at my teaching. I begin my lectures by introducing economic theory. Then, I demonstrate the application of the theory in students’ daily life. To demonstrate that the theory works in simplified economic environments, I use experiments, with the students as participants. After showing students that the theory predicts the observed behavior, I put the theory into a broader perspective and demonstrate its general application.

One word that describes my first-time teaching: Excited!

Here’s what I wish someone would’ve told me about being a business school professor: Doing non-mainstream research is very risky.

Professor you most admire and why: As a graduate student at Purdue University, I was greatly impacted by John Umbeck. He made economics exciting and applicable to daily life. Also, as a young researcher, I had a privilege to work with Vernon L. Smith – a founder of my field and a 2002 Nobel Prize Winner in Economics. Vernon inspired me to work hard and to explore new areas of research even when such areas are not very popular at the time.


What do you enjoy most about teaching business students?

Most business students are highly motivated individuals who will end up doing great things in their lives. As a teacher, I can equip them to achieve those things.

What is most challenging?

Balancing various demands on your time.

Using just one word, describe your favorite type of student: Motivated.

Using just one word, describe your least favorite type of student: Lazy.

When it comes to grading, I think students would describe me as… Fair.


What are your hobbies?

I have a number of hobbies, including traveling, chess, and music. In my free time, if such exists, I play guitar and write songs. I really enjoy playing volleyball, ping-pong, and pool.

How will you spend your summer? Traveling to Australia and then Europe.

Favorite place(s) to vacation: Those places where I have not yet been to.

Favorite book(s): Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis.

What is your favorite movie and/or television show and what is it about the film or program that you enjoy so much? The Shawshank Redemption. It is a story about a person who perseveres against all the odds.

Favorite type of music and/or favorite artist: I like to listen to contemporary Christian music. As for the favorite artist, it is a tie between Jon Thurlow and Phil Wickham.


If I had my way, the business school of the future would have much more of this…

More analytical classes, such as game theory.

In your opinion, companies and organizations today need to do a better job at doing what?

Profit maximization should not be the sole goal. Companies and originations of today are setting an example for others to follow. This example should inspire others to be more creative and to have high moral and ethical standards.

Faculty and administrators say:

“In addition to awards he has earned for contributions to the field of economics (- Multiple research awards, including the 2018 Smith Ascending Scholar Prize which is awarded to a “budding genius” in social science – In 2015, ranked #1 by Forbes Magazine as a Top Economic Thinker of Ukrainian descent – In 2018, ranked #1 by REPEC as a Top Young Economist worldwide who graduated within the last 10 years), Roman is a unique caliber of leader in the classroom. I took his Economics if Negotiations course while pursuing my MBA and in addition to delivering content in a meaningful way, he helped many students in active negotiations for full-time jobs. What I learned in his class has helped me in the year since graduating, and I often find myself sharing his lessons with friends and family. That is what most students are looking for, those professors who communicate in a manner that sticks with you and who make whatever subject matter they are covering relevant and compelling. Roman checks those boxes and then some. Weatherhead is lucky to have him on faculty.”

“Roman’s MBA course, Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, which he’s taught 2013 – 2019, has consistently received one of the highest teaching evaluations at the Weatherhead School of Management (an average of 4.9 out of 5). This is one example of consistently strong teaching evaluations for his courses. Roman has an extensive body of research, with greater than 60 academic articles in leading journals of economics, management, and political science. Google Scholar notes his citation count as 3471. His research has been featured in many media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, NBC News, NPR, and Science Daily. Multiple research awards include 2018 Smith Ascending Scholar Prize awarded to a “budding genius” in social science. 2018 ranked #1 –REPEC- Top Young Economist worldwide who graduated within the last 10 years. 2015 ranked #1- Forbes Magazine as Top Economic Thinker of Ukrainian descent. Roman is overall quite deserving of this honor.”

“I am an MBA student taking Roman’s Negotiation and Conflict Resolution class, which has been consistently voted one of the best classes in our school. Roman has the ideal mix required to be an influential professor. He is an expert in his field and more importantly, knows how to generate interest in students to get them addicted to his school of thought. His class is the only one I get disappointed about if it gets canceled due to a snow day! That itself should say a lot about how engaging and informational it is! I would highly recommend Roman for the nomination as I want to encourage professors to break away from the traditional boring way of teaching and be more like Roman, to make their classes engaging for both sides.”