Our People

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Haluk Demirkan, PhD & PMP; Director of CBA and MSBA


Dr. Haluk Demirkan is a Milgard Endowed Professor of Service Innovation and Business Analytics, and the Director of the Center for Business Analytics and Master of Science in Business Analytics at the Milgard School of Business, University of Washington Tacoma.

With 150+ publications and his 20+ years of professional experience, he has been advising more than 40 Fortune 500 companies in maximizing the return on companies’ resources by effectively implementing strategic data, analytics, cognitive and service-oriented technology & management solutions.

He received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Istanbul Technical University, an M.E. in Industrial and Systems Engineering and a Ph.D. in Information Systems and Operations Management from the University of Florida.


Michael Helser, PhD; Manager, Operations and Programs


Michael Helser is the Manager of Operations and Programs for the Center for Business Analytics (CBA) at the Milgard School of Business, UW Tacoma.

He is responsible for managing the daily operations and programs of the CBA, developing business and community relationships, and promoting opportunities for collaboration and innovation. Additionally, he works with co-creates value with the director in developing and implementing professional programs and oversight of the Center’s marketing strategy and communications.



Ellen Hermansen, Advisor, Masters of Science in Business Analytics


Ellen Hermansen is the advisor for the Master of Science in Business Analytics program. Ellen's previous experience in higher education includes two years working in community college admissions and three years advising international students in areas of immigration, academics, and university transfer. Ellen has lived and worked internationally in Germany as a Fulbright Teaching Fellow, as well as in South Korea as a public school teacher. She holds a B.A. degree in German Language from Grinnell College, an M.A. in Cross-Cultural and International Education from Bowling Green State University, and she is currently pursuing her MBA in the Milgard School of Business at UW Tacoma.



Margo Bergman, Ph.D, MPH, Milgard Fellow for CBA, Senior Lecturer, Faculty MSBA


Dr. Margo Bergman is Senior Lecturer at the Milgard School of Business, University of Washington Tacoma, and a Milgard Fellow in the Center for Business Analytics.

She has over 15 years of experience in decision-making research, data analysis, and teaching. She has worked on projects related to these topics for the Department of Defense, Chambers of Commerce, the University of Washington Medical School, and the Veteran’s Administration.

Dr. Bergman is a frequent peer reviewer and conference speaker, with publications in a variety of fields.

She received an M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Houston, and an MPH from the University of Washington – Seattle.

Currently, she is:

  • Serving as a board member for;
    • Louisa Boren STEM K-8
  • Serving as a peer reviewer for multiple journals

Some of her recent projects are:

  • Genetic risk perception of college students
  • Metrics for Big Data in Bioinformatics Research
  • Machine Translation for Public Health



Sergio Davalos, Ph.D., Associate Professor


Dr. Sergio Davalos is a member of the Center for Business Analytics, the Master of Science in Business Analytics Programs at the Milgard School of Business,  and the Center for Data Science at the University of Washington Tacoma.

He has more than 30 years of experience teaching in academia.  He was worked in computer science, management information systems, and business information systems programs.    While at the University of the Virgin Islands, he was part of a group that developed one of the first online bachelor's program in computer science.

He received a B.A. in Mathematics, an MS in Computer Science, and a Ph.D. in Management Information Systems with a Cognitive Science minor from the University of Arizona.

His research is multidisciplinary involving several fields of study such as marketing, accounting, finance, and transportation.  Some of his recent projects are:

  • Discovering evidence of nostalgia in social media
  • Personality prediction based on vlogs, demographics, and Facebook status
  • Bankruptcy prediction based on an evolutionary computing ensemble
  • Sentiment analysis metrics: developing and validating
  • Dynamic News feed clustering in Facebook



Luna Zhang, Ph.D., Assistant Professor


Dr. Luna Zhang is an Assistant Professor of Business Analytics and a member of the Center for Business Analytics and the Master of Science in Business Analytics Programs at the Milgard School of Business.

She has over 10-year experience in data analytics. Dr. Zhang has been invited to present her research at conferences including INFORMS, CIST, WISE, and POMS. Her paper has been published in a premier academic journal. 

She received her MS in Economics and Ph.D. in Business and Economics from Lehigh University.

Her research interests include

  • Economics of electronic commerce
  • Online consumer demand
  • Information systems and operations management interface

Some of her current projects are:

  • Consumer purchase behavior in online and offline markets
  • Global IT and performance
  • Search cost and price competition



MSBA Co-Creation Partner

  • Cynthia DeHope, MSBA Program Recruiter & Admissions, Email

CBA Student Consultants

  • Noah, Chief Marketing Officer & Content Production Specialist, Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration (Marketing), LinkedIn 
  • Kennedy, Jr. Data Scientist, Senior, LinkedIn
  • Avery, Marketing Specialist, Senior, Linkedin
  • Vaishali, Lab Technical Assistant, Masters of Science in Computer Science & Systems,  LinkedIn

Analytics Innovation Club Officers

MSBA Student Pro-bono Analytics Consultants

  • John Cannon, President of Analytics Innovation Student Club, MSBA student, LinkedIn
  • Michael Turek – Vice President, MSBA Student, LinkedIn
  • Tina Chou – Secretary, MSBA Student, LinkedIn
  • Sandeep Vadluri – Treasurer, MSBA Student, LinkedIn
  • Megan Tan – Communications Officer, MSBA Student, LinkedIn

Former Value Co-Creation Partners

  • Becki Waskey, Bachelor of Business Administration, Milgard School of Business, 2020, LinkedIn
  • Jeff Bennett, CBA Research Consultant & Project Manager, MSBA 2019, LinkedIn
  • Jaime L. Core, Manager, Operations and Programs of CBA, LinkedIn
  • Nick Butler, Instructional Designer & Technologist, LinkedIn
  • Bruce Worobec, Lecturer, LinkedIn