Wake Forest Online MSBA Faculty

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Learn from Expert, Market-Connected Faculty

Wake Forest online master’s in business analytics (MSBA) faculty members are expert teacher-scholars with extensive experience in analytics, data science, and strategic management. They listen to the voice of the market to innovate courses, infusing real-world scenarios and practical learning applications to ensure the curriculum remains on the cutting edge of data and technology.

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Online Business Analytics Faculty and Deans

  • Gordon McCray, PhD

    Associate Professor

    Dr. Gordon McCray is the Vice Dean of Academic Programs, AT&T Fellow, and Associate Professor at the Wake Forest University School of Business. In his role as Vice Dean, McCray oversees all existing and new academic programs at the School. His research interests include project management, outsourcing, systems development, and the visual arts market.

    McCray is an alumnus of Wake Forest University having earned his Bachelor of Science in Physics. He would go on to earn his MBA at Stetson University and receive his PhD in Information Systems at Florida State University.

  • Tonya Balan, PhD

    Associate Teaching Professor

    Dr. Tonya Etchison Balan is an Associate Teaching Professor in the School of Business at Wake Forest University. She received her undergraduate degree in mathematics and her PhD in Statistics from North Carolina State University. Dr. Balan has extensive experience as a practicing statistician working with customers in such diverse industries as health care, retail, financial services, government, and consumer packaged goods.

    Prior to joining Wake Forest, Balan was on the faculty of North Carolina State University’s Poole College of Management. She also spent 10 years as Director of Analytics Product Management at SAS Institute where her team was responsible for providing strategic direction for all aspects of the development and deployment of SAS’ suite of analytics products. Dr. Balan is something of a foodie and enjoys cooking and trying new recipes and cuisines. She also enjoys playing the piano and traveling the world with her family.

  • Michael Ames

    Professor of the Practice

    Mike Ames is a Professor of the Practice at Wake Forest University, teaching courses including Analytics Software Technology. His areas of specialization include software development, software engineering, product management, predictive analytics, machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), data science, deep learning, TensorFlow, MXNet, Spark, cloud, data visualization, fraud and compliance, and thought leadership.

    Professionally he is a software leader who has focused on the development of data and analytic products and solutions for over 15 years. He has led teams of data scientists and solution engineers, focused on new and novel uses of machine learning and AI. His charter is to simplify the complex, focus on performance, design with the end in mind, and shine a light on the black box.

    He has conceived and brought to market over a dozen new products and solutions ranging from data- and decision-management tools to real-time investigative solutions to combat fraud. He has led R&D organizations to develop fraud and compliance solutions, as well as product management groups focused on data management, data science, and fraud solutions.

    Ames received his BBA in Economics from the University of Georgia and MBA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

  • Scott Shafer, PhD

    Associate Dean of Business Analytics and Professor of Management

    Dr. Scott Shafer is Associate Dean of Business Analytics and Professor of Management at the Wake Forest University School of Business. His research interests include cellular manufacturing, computer simulation, six sigma, business models, and supply chain management.

    Shafer is co-author of the books Operations Management: A Process Based Approach with Spreadsheets, Operations Management for MBAs, 6th Edition, Project Management in Practice, 6th Edition, Project Management: A Managerial Approach, 10th Edition, and Quantitative Business Modeling. He was also certified as a Six Sigma Black Belt by the American Society for Quality and was Certified in Production and Inventory Management by the APICS.

    He received his undergraduate degree in industrial management, a BAA in marketing, and his PhD in Operations Management, Information Management from the University of Cincinnati.

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