Class of 2015: Masha Shunko

shunko-masha-1079Masha Shunko is far from the first Foster faculty member to list Deloitte on her curriculum vitae, but she’s certainly the first to have started her career at the firm’s Estonia office.

A native of the tiny nation on the Baltic Sea, Dr. Shunko worked out of Deloitte’s Estonia headquarters in Tallinn, the charming capital of the former Soviet republic that has become an economic jewel of the European Union. During five years with the firm, she provided audit and consulting services to clients with global ambitions in Estonia, Latvia, Belarus and Russia.

Her own global ambitions led Dr. Shunko to the United States. Her plan was to complete an accounting degree at Indiana University, pass the CPA exam, and return to Deloitte. But she ran into an irresistible detour. “I took one operations management course and decided that’s for me,” she says.

Dr. Shunko switched her studies to operations at IU right on through her doctoral program at Carnegie Mellon University. There her Deloitte experience inspired her dissertation topic: tax-efficient supply chain management.

As she joins the Foster faculty as an assistant professor of operations management, much of her other research marries the efficiency of engineering with the insight of the behavior sciences. She designs more responsive healthcare operations (a collaboration with the Mayo Clinic to study the effect of redesigned environments on physician performance is in the works). And she studies behavioral operations, especially the effects of queuing systems’ design on employee and customer behavior.

An award-winning researcher and instructor, Dr. Shunko will lead the operations management course in the MBA core at Foster this year, as well as an elective in global supply chain management which she’ll adapt for Foster’s new Master of Supply Chain Management program. The one-year degree program, which debuts in June 2016, will equip students to lead the global sourcing and local distribution of goods, building upon the supply chain innovations of Seattle-based firms such as Amazon, Costco, Starbucks, Boeing and PACCAR.

Learn about more of this year’s incoming class of promising new faculty at the Foster School.