Gabelli School PhD student ready to study, research

Joon Ho Kong, PhD '21

Joon Ho Kong, PhD ’21

Joon Ho Kong, PhD ’21, has researched wage inequality and the behavior of capital markets.

Now, as one of the Gabelli School of Business’ first PhD students, he’s ready to see where new lines of academic inquiry might take him.

“The most important thing is the research—how my research will be productive,” Kong, 28, said of what will be his five years at Fordham.

Kong is used to being productive. A native of Seoul, South Korea, he spent four years as a math and economics major at Emory University in Atlanta, a time interrupted by a two-year stint in the Korean military. Then he moved on to Virginia Tech, where he earned a master’s degree in economics.

He first came to the United States with his father, a finance professor who had come to the University of California at Berkeley on a research sabbatical.

Kong is one of three inaugural PhD students at the Gabelli School. He will focus his studies on capital markets and the optimization of the capital structure. He is not locked into one research area, though.

“I’m still thinking,” he said.

The newness of the Gabelli School PhD program was part of its appeal.

“I like the fact that Fordham just launched the program,” Kong said. “Even though [the school] didn’t have [existing] PhD students, the professors are very productive in research.

“So I thought, if I can be in the first cohort at Fordham, I can boost [my] research expertise and get a great education from great professors.”

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