Patrick F. and Helen C. Walsh Research Professor (2019-2021)
Professor of Finance
D’Amore-McKim School of Business at Northeastern University
Nicole Boyson meets the blend of research and teaching we set out to find when judging and creating this list. With more than 1,500 Google Scholar citations, generating lots of media coverage, the Professor of Finance and Patrick F. and Helen C. Walsh Research Professor at Northeastern University’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business has some serious research chops. But she’s also popular and effective in the classroom, earning the D’Amore-McKim Best Teacher Award in 2016 and being nominated for the same award in 2005, 2008, and 2014.
Boyson’s research focuses on investments and corporate finance. She currently teaches Fixed Income Securities, Alternative Investments, Corporate Finance, and Investments at Northeastern. “I am researching conflicts of interest in the investment advisory business,” Boyson says. “My most significant discovery is that not all advisers that are required to be fiduciaries behave in a fiduciary manner. Their conflicted behavior appears to negatively affect the well-being of their clients.”
Current age: 52
At current institution since what year? 2004
Education: Ph.D. Ohio State University, MBA Case Western Reserve University, BBA Kent State University
List of courses you currently teach: Fixed Income Securities, Alternative Investments, Corporate Finance, Investments.
TELL US ABOUT LIFE AS A BUSINESS SCHOOL PROFESSOR
I knew I wanted to be a business school professor when… I was an undergraduate and I was inspired by some wonderful faculty. It took me a while to make it happen, but I’m so grateful that I did.
What are you currently researching and what is the most significant discovery you’ve made from it?
I am researching conflicts of interest in the investment advisory business. My most significant discovery is that not all advisers that are required to be fiduciaries behave in a fiduciary manner. Their conflicted behavior appears to negatively affect the well-being of their clients.
If I weren’t a business school professor, I’d be… a writer of short stories.
What do you think makes you stand out as a professor?
I care a lot for my students, and I strive to continuously improve both my teaching materials and the way in which I present them.
One word that describes my first time teaching: nervous!
Here’s what I wish someone would’ve told me about being a business school professor: Being enthusiastic and sincere is more than half the battle when it comes to being a good teacher.
Professor I most admire and why: Dr. David Kirch, one of my prior accounting professors at Kent State University. He infused our class with lessons on ethics, kindness, and follow-through.
TEACHING BUSINESS SCHOOL STUDENTS
What do you enjoy most about teaching business students?
Their intellectual curiously and desire to make the world better. They are far more mature than I was at that age!
What is most challenging?
Students that struggle with the material, even when they try their hardest.
In one word, describe your favorite type of student: questioning, thoughtful, always striving to learn more.
In one word, describe your least favorite type of student: students that underestimate their own abilities and don’t bother putting in the effort.
When it comes to grading, I think students would describe me as… tough but fair.
LIFE OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM
What are your hobbies?
I love to spend time with friends and my husband and kids, read, write, walk, garden (flower), and sing very loudly when no one is listening. I also enjoy the community I’ve found on, of all places, Twitter!
How will you spend your summer?
Doing research, spending time with my husband and kids.
Favorite place(s) to vacation: Anywhere with a beach. Sanibel Island, Puerto Rico, Outer Banks
Favorite book(s): Charlotte’s Web is number one, followed by short fiction by Kate Chopin and just about anything by Ellen Gilchrist or John Cheever
What is currently your favorite movie and/or show and what is it about the film or program that you enjoy so much?
I loved The Good Place for its exploration of the afterlife, morality, and what it means to be “good.”
What is your favorite type of music or artist(s) and why?
I love Paul Simon, Tom Petty, and Jackson Browne, among others. Their songs tell beautiful stories, often about faith and redemption.
THOUGHTS AND REFLECTIONS
If I had my way, the business school of the future would have much more of this… interaction between students and faculty, time to discuss ideas and ethics.
In my opinion, companies and organizations today need to do a better job at… focusing on ethics, letting students see the larger picture beyond their current roles.
I’m grateful for… my health, my husband and children, and my friends
Faculty, students, alumni, and/or administrators say:
“Professor Boyson cares deeply about both teaching and research and remains close with students post graduation, ensuring to be active in their network and connect them to each other for career support and mentoring. In 2016 she won the D’Amore-McKim best teacher award. Professor Boyson serves on the Editorial Board of the Financial Analysts Journal, has served on the board of the Midwest Finance Association, has been a member of numerous program committees of professional organizations, and acts as an ad-hoc referee for journals including The Journal of Finance, Review of Financial Studies, Journal of Financial Economics, and The Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis. Prof Boyson often appears in video and print media.”