Research Fueling the Future of Real Estate

“Research is the future of any industry” – Professor Michael A. Tomlan

Over the past few years, the Baker Program in Real Estate has undergone many changes. The biggest has been the addition of essential faculty members. Beginning with the announcement of Dustin C. Jones, Esq. as the Program’s Director, the Deans of the Art, Architecture, and Planning and the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University have looked to provide the requisite knowledge base to incoming and future students through the hiring of esteemed professors.

Assistant Professor: Suzanne Lanyi Charles
Assistant Professor: Suzanne Lanyi Charles

These new faculty members look to usher into the program fresh ideas, passion for the real estate industry, and maintaining the program’s interdisciplinary focus that ranges over finance, engineering,design, and law. Moreover, the new professors will look to augment the learning experience by incorporating their particular research to the classroom. With the addition of Suzanne Lanyi Charles, Daniel Lebret, and Eva Steiner to the Baker Program in Real Estate, the future of the graduate real estate education on the Cornell University campus shines bright.

Professor Suzanne Lanyi Charles comes to Cornell’s Baker Program in Real Estate with an extensive private sector background. Prior to teaching at the University of Michigan and earning her Ph.D. at Harvard, Suzanne became an accomplished architect at Booth-Hansen in Chicago, IL. During her time with Booth-Hansen, Suzanne was responsible for the redevelopment of the Palmolive Building, while becoming more intrigued with the financial aspects of real estate. This led her to pursue a Masters and eventually a Ph.D. in Design Studio Real Estate and Urban Planning at Harvard University. Through graduate school, she gained a passion for research within the industry.

Palmolive Building, Chicago, IL
Palmolive Building, Chicago, IL

The desire to look deeper into the effects of suburban redevelopment has become the focus of Suzanne’s pursuits outside of teaching. Through a grant received from the Cornell’s Social Sciences department, Suzanne will focus on the physical and social changes that occur during the redevelopment of homes built post the World War. Not only will she be considering the design and value implications, Suzanne will consider the policy blind spots apparent in the population change, immigrant settling, and additional class conflicts.

Senior Lecturer: Daniel Lebret
Senior Lecturer: Daniel Lebret

With Baker Program students having a professor thoroughly discovering the social impacts of real estate value-add redevelopment, their new full-time professor, Daniel (Dan) Lebret, brings to the table an ensemble of life experience and education that mixes well like a fine roux. Hailing originally from the farming countryside of France, Dan received education within medicine, French literature, and culinary school before eventually coming to Cornell as a Ph.D. candidate in the MBA program; focusing on economics and finance.

Although most first year Baker students become familiar with Dan through his demanding Excel Real Estate Financial Modeling, he looks to advance his research within the complexities of commercial real estate credit risk. Presently, Dan has been investigating the story behind the credit risk model applied by debt providers. His research has inspected the failures of securitization, and the term most developers of real estate look to avoid, recourse. Through financial modeling of commercial real estate debt instruments, Dan’s research covers real estate transactions ranging from gateway to tertiary markets. As he discusses his findings with industry leaders, and CREF (Center for Real Estate Finance) Academic Director and Robert C. Baker Professor in Real Estate Daniel Quan, Dan looks to a build a story to wrap his numerical valuations.

Assistant Professor: Eva Steiner
Assistant Professor: Eva Steiner

On the other side of financing real estate transactions rests investment. The Baker Program considers the acquisition of Eva Steiner to the Cornell Real Estate finance department an important addition in validating it as the supreme real estate faculty. Having spent significant years within the private sector at LaSalle Investment & Management in their European offices, Eva walked into teaching by happen stance. Due to her exemplary knowledge base and success, she began teaching investment managers in corporate finance. During this time, Eva caught the teaching bug. Having the ability to interact and share knowledge provided the rewarding emotions she desired for her career.

With her purpose identified moving forward Eva, pursued a Ph.D. at Cambridge University focusing on Real Estate Finance. Her research highlighted the implications of REIT structure and corporate finance. She comes to Cornell University, fulfilling a long time desire of always wanting to be associated with the institution. Although she has not publicly formalized her research, she and colleague Wally Boudry have completed successful brainstorming sessions that will lead to important findings within the investment models of real estate.

The life blood of any successful educational institution depends on thought provoking professors. Through the addition of Suzanne Lanyi Charles, Daniel Lebret, and Eva Steiner, Cornell’s Baker Program in Real Estate features a diverse triumvirate focused in furthering the university’s initiative to cement it as the leading research institution in Real Estate. Through the collective research of the added faculty, Cornell will lead the real estate industry into a glowing future.

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