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Administrators / Faculty

Steve Trost

Steve Trost serves as the Institute's Director and as Adjunct Professor within the School of Entrepreneurship, where he teaches Entrepreneurship & Society EEE-2083 and Entrepreneurial Value Creation in Society EEE-3031.  Having owned and operated a research and development business for more than 17 years, he is an accomplished inventor, with 13 granted U.S. patents and multiple international patents.  Dr. Trost, a first-generation college student, received his bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from MIT (1991), master's in civil engineering from OSU (1996) and PhD's in civil engineering (1998) and entrepreneurship (2019) from OSU.

Vance Fried

Vance Fried served as the Institute's founding director and currently serves as president of the TEL Foundation and TEL Library (  His research focuses on public policy and entrepreneurship, education entrepreneurship and policy and venture capital. He is an Emeritus Professor of Entrepreneurship at OSU.

Per Bylund

Per Bylund is an Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship and the Records-Johnston Professor of Free Enterprise in the School of Entrepreneurship at OSU.  Dr. Bylund teaches Entrepreneurship & Society EEE-2083, Entrepreneurship & the Economy EEE-4103, The Entrepreneur: Hero or Villain EEE-4813, and Entrepreneurship: Theory and History EEE-6213.  His research focuses on entrepreneurship, strategic management and organizational economics.

Free Enterprise Scholars

Austin Aduddell is a junior Finance and Accounting major from Edmond, OK.  He enjoys traveling, hanging out with friends, and playing basketball. 

Brayden Brown is a senior at Oklahoma State University majoring in Marketing. He is actively involved in his church and fraternity and loves spending time with people, playing basketball, and reading books. His hometown is Dallas, TX. He once hiked the Grand Canyon rim to rim with a group of friends. 

Caden Burchard is a senior from Carrollton, Texas studying Economics with minors in Finance and Nonprofit Management. He enjoys his positions as Philanthropy Chair in his fraternity, tutor for the Athletics Department, reading books, and being with people.

Sidney Curtsinger is a Tulsa-native and 5th year Architecture student at Oklahoma State University, minoring in both Sustainable Design and Entrepreneurship & Architecture. She serves as President of the Free Enterprise Society for 2020-2021 and is involved in other architecture-related organizations. She enjoys film-making, serving at church, and organizing new initiatives & events. 

Jordan Dickey is a senior at Oklahoma State from Stillwater, OK. Her major is Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering with a Pre-Med option. She plans to either attend medical school or work as a Biosystems engineer developing health- and medical-related products.

Elizabeth Dworkin is a junior majoring in Plant and Soil Sciences and Agribusiness with a focus on soil and water conservation and a pre-law track. She is from Dallas, Texas and, after completing her degrees at OSU, plans to attend law school and pursue a career in corporate law in the agriculture industry.

Rohan Gupta is currently pursuing masters in Business Analytics and Data Science at Oklahoma State University. His hometown is India and his hobbies include playing table tennis, going to gym and watching TV series. He has 4 years of prior analytical experience in the domain of operations and consulting.

Kayla Ifekoya is a junior majoring in Architectural Engineering from Tulsa, Oklahoma. She is involved in RHA at OSU Stillwater and enjoys planning fun events for her hall. She loves to travel and see new things in this big world. After graduating college, she plans on opening up her own house flipping business.

Alice Keithly is a senior from Enid, OK. She is majoring in Communication Sciences and Disorders, and after graduation, she plans to attend audiology school. She is the president of her sorority and enjoys reading and hanging out with friends in her free time.

Josh King is a junior at Oklahoma State majoring in Aerospace Administration and Operations (Professional Pilot option) and is planning to minor in Economics. In his free time, he enjoys playing tennis, flying, and reading. Having traveled to five continents, Josh carries a fascination of exotic cultures as well as a love for hiking, skiing, and learning.

Nikhila Reddy Meka is a graduate student at Oklahoma State University majoring in Computer Science. She was born in India, completed her undergrad and moved to the United States to pursue her Masters. She enjoys traveling, sketching, camping, hiking and cooking.

Mason Mitchell is a junior majoring in Sports Business Management from McKinney, Texas. He is an active member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity. Mason enjoys wakeboarding on Lake Eufaula, Texas Holdem, and training Jiu-Jitsu.

Addisyn Patty is from Dallas, Texas and is majoring in Early Childhood Education. She is a sophomore this year and is thrilled to get to participate in the Free Enterprise Society! She loves getting to work with children and just started her own clothing boutique with her sister. She also enjoys getting to volunteer and serve others.

Dylan Robertson is a senior at Oklahoma State majoring in Management and Information Systems.  He has served as Vice President of International Projects for Engineers Without Borders and served as Project Lead for their Guatemalan Stove Project. Dylan currently serves as Lecture Chair for the Free Enterprise Society.

Kent Slater is a sophomore majoring in Industrial Engineering and Management with a minor in Emergency Management. His hometown is Bartlesville, Oklahoma. Kent enjoys watching sports, competitive gaming, and reading. He plans to earn a graduate degree and pursue a career in engineering upon graduating from Oklahoma State.

Zachary Tatum is a senior at Oklahoma State University majoring in Finance, from Edmond, OK. He is actively involved on campus, in the community, and within his fraternity. Zach's hobbies include hanging out with friends, going to the gym, and spending time with family.

Monique Walker is a senior Political Science and International Studies major at Oklahoma State University, minoring in Economics.  She is active in student government, having served on the SGA Multicultural Affairs Committee for two years.  Monique serves as Vice President of Alpha Phi Omega and is a member of Phi Kappa Phi honor society.  She enjoys traveling, cooking, reading, and hiking.

Doctoral Student Fellows

Fernando Monteiro Christoph D'Andrea is a first-year PhD student in entrepreneurship at Oklahoma State. Originally from Brazil, he received his B.S. in industrial engineering and his M.S. in management engineering. After more than 10 years as a business consultant, he returned to academia where he enjoys researching the role entrepreneurs play in a market hampered by governmental intervention and how that influences economic and social development. His ideas build on works of Austrian economists such as Mises and Rothbard. He enjoys reading, traveling, and having thoughtful conversations.

Shawn Jones is a fourth-year PhD student in entrepreneurship at OSU. Shawn received a B.S. in business administration and an M.S. in entrepreneurship from OSU. His research interests include entrepreneurial impact, Austrian economics, economic history and entrepreneurial ecosystems.

Joyce Nabisaalu is a second-year PhD student in entrepreneurship at Oklahoma State. She received a master’s degree in entrepreneurship at OSU and a master’s degree in project management from Cavendish University Uganda. Her research interests include innovation in business, family business, and venture financing. She enjoys outdoor activities with her family.

Michael Novak is a second-year PhD student in entrepreneurship at Oklahoma State. Michael received a B.S. in marketing from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside and an MBA in data analytics from UW-Whitewater. His research interests include Austrian economics, entrepreneurial cognition, corporate venture capital and innovation. Michael enjoys traveling, reading and spending time with family. 

Duygu Phillips is a fourth-year PhD student in entrepreneurship at Oklahoma State. Duygu earn an MSc in marketing from the University of Birmingham, UK. Her research interests include Austrian economics, institutional theory, network theory and family business. One of her research projects focuses on the evolution of cryptocurrency within the context of institutional uncertainty. She loves traveling and learning about different cultures.

Abby ShalekBriski is an agricultural economics PhD student at OSU. Her research interests include econometrics, production and natural resource economics. Abby earned an M.S. in agricultural economics from OSU and holds B.S. degrees in mathematics, animal science and agricultural economics from the University of Idaho.

Josephine Shikongo is a second-year PhD student in educational leadership and policy studies at Oklahoma State. Her research interests include academic capitalism, institutional foundations and public policy. She is a certified accountant and loves the beach.

Doctoral Student Scholars

Jorge Arteaga hails from Nicaragua with 15+ years of industry experience in finance and entrepreneurship in Latin America. He is currently pursuing a PhD in Entrepreneurship with interest in entrepreneurial finance. His goal is to support the fight against poverty and inequality in Latin America through research in entrepreneurship and new venture financing in the region.

Adwoa Asamoah is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Finance with Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University (OSU). She is originally from Ghana, West Africa, but moved to the U.S. in August 2018 to pursue a Master's degree in Quantitative Financial Economics at OSU. She has experience in finance, financial economics, financial modeling, and valuation.

Surya Ayyalasomayajula is a fourth-year PhD student in MSIS at Oklahoma State University.  Surya received BSc and MBA degrees from India and a Masters in Business Analytics from Oklahoma State University.  His research interests include Healthcare Analytics and Healthcare Optimization.  Surya enjoys hiking, pilgrimages, and reading religious scriptures.

Gabriel Bahr is a PhD student in the MSIS program at Oklahoma State University. A native of Stillwater, OK, Gabriel has lived in both China and Japan. He enjoys bodybuilding and playing fetch with his dog.

Pramit Banerjee is a fourth-year PhD student in Marketing at Oklahoma State University's Spears School of Business. He received his MBA in India and worked in industry in various sales & marketing roles prior to coming to OSU. His research areas of interest are experiential vs material consumption and how it is influenced by product display layouts, choice, cultural aspects like power distance beliefs and social aspects like loneliness.

Bardia Batala is a PhD student in the department of Hospitality and Tourism Management at Oklahoma State University.  He received his BSc in Industrial Engineering and his Master’s degree in Business Administration.  His main area of research is services marketing and consumer behavior in tourism and hospitality.  He enjoys travelling, playing guitar and playing racquetball.

Whoi Cho is an Agricultural Economics PhD student at Oklahoma State University. He earned bachelor's and master's degrees in Agricultural Economics, also from Oklahoma State University. His research interests are diverse, including production economics and precision agriculture.

Richard Daramola is a PhD student in the Economics Department at Oklahoma State University. He hails from Ipe-Akoko in Ondo, Nigeria. He obtained Master's degrees in both Mathematics and Economics from Central Michigan University. His research areas include Development Economics, International Trade Labor and Demography, and Public Policy. He enjoys watching soccer. 

Yuri Hupka is a Ph.D. student in Finance at Oklahoma State University. He also holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Oklahoma State, as well as B.A. and M.S. in Applied Economics from Saint Cloud State University. His primary research fields include Asset Pricing, Time-Series Econometrics, and Energy Commodity Markets.

Roy Martin is a second year Ph.D. student in accounting. He earned his MAcc and BBA from the University of Washington. His research interests include taxpayer behavior, the effect of taxes on corporate finance structure, and the effect of accounting choice on tax compliance. Before starting his Ph.D. studies, Roy began and operated “The Bearded CPA”, a public accounting firm in Washington State.

Can Olgun is a third-year PhD student at Oklahoma State University's Spears School of Business, majoring in Hospitality and Tourism Management.  His hobbies include watching/discussing movies, writing, and traveling to random places to explore new environments.  After graduation, he is eager to make an impact pursuing an academic career to do research and prepare young leaders for the hospitality industry.

Mohit Saraswat is a second-year PhD student in Chemistry at Oklahoma State University. His research interests include biomaterials, nanotechnology, and inclusive teaching methods. He is interested in learning more about entrepreneurial ideas to help commercialize his scientific research. He holds a B.S. and M.S in Chemistry from University of Delhi, India.

Shruti Sengupta is an Economics Ph.D. student at Oklahoma State University. She completed her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Economics from the University of Calcutta, India. Her areas of interest are Applied Microeconomics, Development Economics, Labor and Demography, Public Policy, and Regional Economics. She enjoys reading, teaching, road trips, and music. 

Forough Shadbad is a Ph.D. Candidate in Management Science and Information Systems (MSIS) at Oklahoma State University. She received bachelor's and master's degrees in Solid State Physics from the University of Tabriz, Iran. Her research interests include Behavioral Information Security, Information Privacy Concerns in Social Network Sites, and Business Value of Corporate Venture Capital Investment on Cybersecurity.

Qinghe Su is an Economics PhD student at Oklahoma State University. She earned a master’s degree in economics from Vanderbilt University. Her research interests include development economics, labor economics, education economics and public policy.

Yi Zhang is a first-year PhD student in Entrepreneurship at Oklahoma State University. She earned two MS degrees, one is in Accounting and Information System from Virginia Tech University, and the other is in Financial Management from Southwestern University of Finance and Economics, Chengdu, China.

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