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March 15, 2013
CONTACT: K. E. Schwab

Jirasakuldech earns SRU scholarly, creative achievement award

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Benjamas Jirasakuldech, associate professor in Slippery Rock University's School of Business, has been named the 2013 President's Award for Scholarly and Creative Achievement recipient.

The award honors Jirasakuldech's research titled "Financial disclosure, investor protection and stock market behavior; an international comparison," published in the Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting.

JIRASAKULDECH The honor will be presented at the University's annual Academic Honors Convocation at 2 p.m., April 7, in Morrow Field House.

Jirasakuldech joined the faculty in 2008. A four-member panel of judges selected her.

The work examined the relation between financial opacity, investor protection and stock market behavior for 16 countries. The review used the 1995 CIFAR corporate disclosure ratings and the 2006 World Bank investor protection index to measure a country's relative level of financial transparency and legal protection for investors.

The review also looked at the return behavior of each country using numerous time series tests such as serial correlation, Markov chain, runs, duration dependence and variance ratio tests.

"We found that the results showed no significant differences between high and low disclosure countries. However, high disclosure counties appear to be associated with a lower level of stock market volatility. The Cox proportional hazard test results indicate that extreme returns (positive and negative) are more likely in low disclosure countries," Jirasakuldech wrote.

Jirasakuldech, who served as lead author for the project, worked with fellow researchers D. M. Dudney, T. Z. Zorn and J. M. Geppert, all in the College of Business Administration at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

"The findings in this body of research conducted by Dr. Jirasakuldech and her co-authors shed more light on the understanding of stock market fluctuations and investor behavior and enrich the existing body of knowledge in a very important area of behavioral finance," wrote one nominator. "She is a very active and accomplished scholar. She co-authored nine manuscripts prior to joining the SRU faculty and contributed to seven others during her short tenure in the School of Business at SRU."

Another nominator cited her research as "an excellent example of well-crafted empirical research with important implications for practitioners, policymakers and future research applications. The paper can also be employed in pedagogical applications for finance, economics and mathematics majors at SRU...In the case of Dr. Jirasakuldech's study, the constructs are theoretically sound, the analytic techniques are rigorously applied and the results are robust. The study contributes to our understanding of the relationship between information disclosure and stock market characteristics," wrote another.

Jirasakuldech earned her doctorate in finance at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She majored in finance at Texas Tech University where she earned her master of science degree. She earned her undergraduate degree in marketing at Assumption University in Bangkok, Thailand.

Prior to teaching at SRU, she taught at the University of the Pacific and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

She has served as assistant to the managing director of Unocal Inc. in Thailand and was involved in engineering support for NCR and AT&T in Thailand. She served as a commodity funds analyst for DEC Capital Inc. in Lincoln, Neb.

Jirasakuldech was a Gerald L. Phillippe Fellow and was named an Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln

In addition to her other publications, Jirasakuldech has attended a number of regional, national and international conferences. At SRU, she has received six grant awards, including the President's International Professional Development Grant. Previously, she had received five summer research grants at the University of the Pacific.

She is a chartered financial analyst and a member of the CFA Institute, Financial Management Association and American Real Estate Society.

On campus, she has served on a host of committees and projects, including the University curriculum committee, the international service advisory committee, the President's Commission for Race and Ethnic Diversity, the SRU Hearing Board and the SRU Appeal Board. She has served on the College of Business, Information and Social Sciences Student Transfer Committee, the CBISS Brown-Bag Research Symposium, Undergraduate Research Symposium, student engagement activity committee, research committee and as adviser to the SRU Economics and Finance Club and the SRU Economics/Finance and International Business Club.

Others nominated for this year's award were: Mary Ann Thurkettle, associate professor of nursing, and Adelaida Cortijo, associate professor of modern languages and cultures.

The annual convocation, which salutes SRU's academic success, draws more than 3,000 students, faculty, staff and parents. The event honors spring and fall semester 2012 dean's list students, presidential scholars, academic honoraries, scholar athletes, service learning scholars and scholarship recipients.

The 2013 President's Award for Excellence in Teaching and the President's Award for Outstanding Service will also be presented at the convocation.

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.