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Celebrate Women’s History Month with six inspiring women pursuing their Ph.D. at VCU Business! As the world prepares to celebrate them with an International Day on March 8, we share the accomplishments and endeavors of these amazing candidates.

Samaher Aljudaibi

Area of Study: Information Systems Management, Human-AI Interaction

Dissertation Title: “Human AI Interaction Based Research Focused on Users’ Acceptance and Trust.”

Advisor: Victoria Yoon, Ph.D., Professor, Information Systems, VCU Business

“She consistently showcases remarkable motivation and dedicates herself to delivering her best in every task.  Moreover, she demonstrates resilience in challenging situations.  Regardless of the obstacles she encounters, she maintains a positive attitude.  This characteristic is not only admirable but also reflects considerable strength on her part.”

– Dr. Yoon

Leah Alley

Area of Study: Management

Dissertation: My dissertation is on employees as agents of corporate social responsibility. The title is “Who is Responsible for Corporate Social Responsibility? Investigating Employees’ Roles as Agents of CSR.”

Advisor: Jose Cortina, Ph.D., Management and Entrepreneurship, VCU Business

Leah is smart and calm, and she works hard. If she isn’t handicapped too much by her advisor, she will do great things!

– Dr. Cortina

Devon Jefferson

Area of Study: Audit Experimental Research

Dissertation Title: “Supervisor-Subordinate Communication in the Contemporary Audit Environment.”

Advisor: Lindsay Andiola, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Accounting, VCU Business

Devon is a rockstar Ph.D. student with a strong work ethic, creative ideas and a positive ‘I can figure this out’ attitude. Her graduation in May will be bittersweet for me, sad to see her go but can’t wait to see all she accomplishes at Wake Forest in the future!

– Dr. Andiola

Ashley Li

Area of Study: 5th year Ph.D. candidate in Accounting

Dissertation: My dissertation title is “Common Institutional Ownership and Opportunistic Insider Trading.”

Ashley is an amazing, naturally talented, and hardworking individual. I feel so blessed to have spent the past five years as her cohort and am excited to witness the amazing things she will accomplish as an Assistant Professor!

– Devon Jefferson

Ming Li

Area of Study: Accounting, with research interests on financial reporting, corporate disclosure, capital market and ESG.

Advisor: Thomas Hansen, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Accounting, VCU Business

Ming is an insightful and hard-working colleague. We are working together on a paper investigating goodwill impairments, and she has been a great contributor to the project. She is quick to respond to requests and demonstrates a strong level of self-motivation. In addition, she is professional and friendly, and it is a pleasure to work with her.

– Dr. Hansen

Sonika Singhal

Area of Study: Information Systems, with interest in areas of Human AI interaction and Investment in an AI era.

Dissertation Title: A probable title for my dissertation is “Algorithmic Trading and Market Dynamics,” where I intend to analyze how information systems and algorithms contribute to market liquidity, price discovery and the overall dynamics of financial markets.

Advisor: Victoria Yoon, Ph.D., Professor, Information Systems, VCU Business

“She exhibits a profound passion for learning, evident in her fervent drive to excel and expand her knowledge. Her unwavering commitment to her studies is truly commendable. I have every confidence that she will achieve remarkable success, and I eagerly await witnessing her future accomplishments.”

– Dr. Yoon

These candidates and the global community continue to inspire and engage women at all levels of business, creating the potential that every student can be responsible for the next breakthrough. For more information on VCU Business Ph.D. programs, explore more at

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