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Michelle Seref

Interim Assistant Dean of Outreach and Student Engagement
  • Full Collegiate Professor

Michelle Marie Hanna Seref, Instructor, Accounting & Information Systems.

Michelle Seref
1046 Pamplin (0209)
880 West Campus Drive
Blacksburg, VA 24061


Dr. Michelle Seref received a Ph.D. in Operations Management in 2009, from the University of Florida, where she also earned Master's and Bachelor's degrees in Industrial and Systems Engineering. As part of her Master’s research, she co-authored the textbook Developing Decision Support Systems using Excel and VBA. Her Ph.D. dissertation focuses on Supply Chain Management Decisions under Various Marketing Strategies, including advance sales inventory management and new product development pricing and timing decisions. She has published related research articles in top journals such as the European Journal of Operations Research and Computational Management. Dr. Seref also has a Master’s degree in Rhetoric from Virginia Tech. Her rhetoric research focuses on the rhetoric of decision making and communication factors in interdisciplinary collaboration.

Dr. Seref's current research area is in Text Mining and Decision Analytics, with a particular focus in Rhetoric Mining, Context Mapping, and Qualitative Factor Analysis. Rhetoric mining is a new text analytics method for quantifying persuasion. Rhetoric mining is a mixed-methodology approach which combines qualitative context analysis with automated tagging and quantification of rhetorical moves in order to analyze the influence of persuasion in consumer decision-making. Context Mapping is a new text visualization framework composed of a novel graph-based method for capturing context, combining deep learning and 3D grid-partitioning to create a map of prominent context regions. Context Mapping research analyzes what is said and Rhetoric Mining research analyzes how it is said. These research have applications in disinformation, online reviews, crowdfunding, investment strategies, and fraud detection. Qualitative Factor Analysis combines quantitative and qualitative analyses of survey data to extract factors which influence business decisions. This research is applied to problems in disaster operations management, service operations, interdisciplinary collaboration, and diversity. Dr. Seref's research offers a new perspective by combining her background in operations management and decision support systems with qualitative analysis methods as a way of enriching decision science models.