Our People

Main page content

CBA & MSBA Driver Team

Haluk Demirkan, PhD & PMP; Assistant Dean of Analytics Innovation, 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; Programs and Operations Manager, and Milgard Data & Analytics Academy Instructor

Dr. Michael Helser manages the operations and programs in the Center for Business Analytics (CBA) at the Milgard School of Business, UW Tacoma. Michael is also on the faculty in the Data & Analytics Academy at UW Tacoma's Milgard Center for Business Analytics where he teaches in the Foundations for Data Analytics program.

Michael develops and nurtures business and community relationships for collaboration and innovation in partnership with the CBA. Additionally, he works with the director in developing and implementing professional education programs and he has oversight of the Center’s marketing strategy and communications.


Heidi Norbjerg, Advisor, Masters of Science in Business Analytics

Heidi Norbjerg is the Advisor for the Master of Science in Business Analytics program and provides guidance and support to our MSBA students throughout their time in the program, from orientation to graduation.

Heidi has completed the UW trifecta – attending or working at all three University of Washington campuses. She can tell you the best places to study and the best places to eat in Tacoma, Seattle, and Bothell. She has worked in higher education since 2011. In addition to advising the MSBA students, Heidi is also the Recruiter & Advisor for Milgard’s undergraduate BABA program.


Merve Kayhan Serter, Technical Program Manager at CBA, Instructor, AWS Academy Accredited Educator

Merve is the Technical Program Manager of the Center for Business Analytics (CBA) at the Milgard School of Business. She manages the CBA Virtual Analytics Lab, identifies and implements technology solutions for higher education, and provide technical and analytics support to the students. She is also a Milgard Data & Analytics Academy instructor and AWS Academy Accredited Educator. Her teaching interests are in the areas of Data Analytics, Data and Information Systems Management, Database Management, and Cloud Computing.

She holds an M.S. degree in Management of Technology from New York University, Tandon School of Engineering where she was awarded i2e (invention, innovation, and entrepreneurship) Student Achievement Award. She has prior experience in academia as well as technology companies. Her interests are business analytics, cloud computing, innovation management, and STEM Education for Children.


Cynthia DeHope, MSBA Program Recruiter & Admissions

Cynthia DeHope is the Graduate Recruiter/Pre-Admissions Advisor for the Master of Science in Business Analytics program. She has worked in both pubic and private institutions of higher education in various roles since 2006. These include Program Director, Academic Advisor, and Financial Aid Counselor.

Cynthia holds a Master of Arts in Education with teaching certification and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication (Public Relations) from Pacific Lutheran University. She also studied abroad at the National University of Ireland, Cork while completing her undergraduate degree.

Business Analytics/Information Systems/Operations Management Faculty, Milgard School of Business, UW Tacoma


Sergio Davalos, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Fellow for CBA

Dr. Sergio Davalos is an Associate Professor of Information Systems, and 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
  • Advisor for Analytics Innovation Club


Margo Bergman, Ph.D, MPH,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:

  • Sentiment Analysis for Consumer Confidence
  • Price Elasticity and Consumer Search
  • Community Engaged Research with WA State Courts

Value Co-creating Partners, Instructors, or Practitioner Expert Advisers

CBA BI & Data Analytics Consultants

  • Michael Turek, Marketing and Community Outreach Leader, MBA, LinkedIn
  • Ashrith Madan, CBA BI & Data Analytics Consultant, LinkedIn
  • Jegan Selvaraj, CBA BI & Data Analytics Consultant, LinkedIn
  • Sonika Shivani Vijaykumar, CBA BI & Data Analytics Consultant, LinkedIn

MSBA Student Business Analytics Consultants

Meet our MSBA Student Consultants


Analytics Innovation Club Officers

Monib Sabet, President of Analytics Innovation Student Club, MSBA StudentLinkedIn
David Bui,Co-Vice-President of Analytics Innovation Student Club, MSBA StudentLinkedIn

David joined the Analytics Innovation club with a background in project management specializing in Artificial Intelligence. He looks to bridge the gap between his business experience with technical skills learned while still a student at the MSBA Milgard School of Business. During his free time, he is involved in Toastmasters as VP of Public Relations, investing in real estate, and spending time with his dogs.

Gauri Patil, Co-Vice-President of Analytics Innovation Student Club, MSBA StudentLinkedIn
Darrin Bliler, Secretary, MSBA StudentLinkedIn
Enrique Otanez, Treasurer, MSBA StudentLinkedIn
Benjamin Pope, Communications Officer, MSBA StudentLinkedIn

Former Value Co-Creation Partners

  • Ellen L. Hermansen, MSBA Advisor, LinkedIn
  • Jayanth Sanganabatla, Software Engineer, Master of Cybersecurity and Leadership, LinkedIn
  • Avery Neims, Marketing Specialist, Senior, Linkedin
  • Noah Carr, Chief Marketing Officer & Content Production Specialist, Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration (Marketing),2019, LinkedIn 
  • 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