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Twitter is more than rantin’ and ravin’ and snarky memes. It can influence stock returns, according to Alexander Kurov, professor and Fred T. Tattersall research chair in finance. Kurov and Chen Gu, a 2018 graduate of the finance doctoral program, found that firm-level Twitter content has information useful for predicting next-day stock returns, and that it is a stronger predictor of returns for firms with less analyst coverage. Their study, “ Informational role of social media: Evidence from Twitter sentiment,” is published in the Journal of Banking and Finance.

Brant Hammer Appointed Fred T. Tattersall Excellence in Financial Industry Chair

Brant Hammer, teaching assistant professor in the Finance department, has been appointed as the Fred T. Tattersall Excellence in Financial Industry Chair.

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The Future is Innovative Females

In an effort to reach innovative and entrepreneurial females throughout the state, the WVU Morris L. Hayhurst LaunchLab hosted its Second Annual Women Innovate Pitch Competition. Ten women entered the virtual competition in October in hopes of winning prizes up to $5,000 to turn their idea into a reality. The contestants had to consider every aspect of their pitch – everything from production to advertising – and field questions from the all-female panel of judges. First place went to Anna Cummings, a business management major and entrepreneurship minor from Ashburn, Virginia, whose pitch identified an unaddressed need for a device to help earring-wearers attach their earring backtracks. “The Women Innovate Pitch Competition is an important opportunity for women entrepreneurs,” said Carrie White, executive director of the Morris L. Hayhurst LaunchLab. “The LaunchLab is here to provide support to all student innovators. However, historically we have seen fewer female clients as compared to male. This event is designed to level that field. The first year we held it, we saw our female entrepreneurs increase by 20 percent. We want to provide encouragement to all WVU students who wish to create something new!” 

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Leidos and the Future of Business

Leidos, a Fortune 500 science and technology leader, partnered with the Chambers College in October for the ‘State of Innovation: Top Emerging Technologies Poised to be Key Drivers of a Post Pandemic World’ seminar. The event was part of the Leidos “Future of Business” series, designed to explore disciplines that are disrupting the business world, including cybersecurity, data analytics, cloud computing and the world of fintech. 

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Bank on it

The Center for Financial Literacy and Education, in conjunction with the Finance Department, received an Executive Training Program Gift for $38,000. Finance Faculty Brant Hammer, Frank DeGeorge and David Fragale will teach a 15-week program to a group of burgeoning portfolio managers from United Bank. This partnership was initiated through the 2019 Bank Summit and cultivated further due to a long-standing relationship with finance Professor Paul Speaker.

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Roll Call

Four Chambers College alumni who trailblazed their way to success in the business world joined the 2020 Roll of Distinguished Alumni class. They include Tina Bigalke, chief diversity officer of PepsiCo; Glenn Carell, managing director of Global Trading Systems Designated Market Making Operations; Dan D’Arrigo, former executive vice president and chief financial officer of MGM Resorts; and Albert Lewis, owner and chairman of Glass Inc.

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