La Salle professors among top 2% of global scientists

February 2, 2024

The Stanford study ranked the academics based on research citation metrics.

Zane Robinson Wolf, Ph.D (left) and Madjid Tavana, MBA ’81, Ph.D. (right)

Call it an academic “three-peat.” For the third time in as many publications, Madjid Tavana, MBA ’81, Ph.D., professor of business systems and analytics, and Zane Robinson Wolf, Ph.D., professor of nursing, have been listed among the top 2% of researchers in a study published by Stanford University.

The analysis of more than 50 years of standardized research data in journal publications and citations looked at research productivity by scientists from all over the world.

Tavana was included in the areas of operations research, artificial intelligence and image processing, and engineering, while Wolf was identified in nursing, clinical psychology, and public health & health service.

“This is an incredible honor for La Salle University. Drs. Tavana and Wolf are to be congratulated for this ongoing recognition,” Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Cameron B. Wesson, Ph.D., said. “They are among the many faculty at La Salle engaged in high-quality research across various disciplines and being published in leading journals. Our students benefit by having access to world-renowned academicians.”

In total, 200,000 scientists and researchers out of 10 million were compiled and rated in 22 major fields and 174 subfields over a 57-year period between 1965–2022. The study has been published in 2019, 2021, and 2023.

Tavana joined La Salle in 1984 and chairs the Department of Business Systems and Analytics in La Salle’s School of Business. His research focuses on decision sciences, operations research, knowledge engineering, business analytics, and information sciences. He serves as editor-in-chief of seven academic journals, including the Decision Analytics Journal and the Healthcare Analytics and Supply Chain Analytics journals published by Elsevier. He is a Distinguished Research Fellow at the Kennedy Space Center, the Johnson Space Center, the Naval Research Laboratory at Stennis Space Center, and the Air Force Research Laboratory. Tavana received an honorary professorship from the University of Paderborn in Germany in 2016 and serves
on the Doctoral Program Scientific Committee in Business at Sapienza University in Italy.

“Research is the driving force guiding us through the uncharted territories of knowledge and innovation,” Tavana said. “I use applied research to uncover knowledge and transform this knowledge into tangible benefits for organizations and society.”

As the former dean of La Salle’s School of Nursing and Health Sciences, Wolf holds the title of dean emerita and has continued to teach nursing courses as she has since 1980. She has been the editor-in-chief of the International Journal for Human Caring since 1999. Her work focuses on nursing rituals, patient and medication safety, nurse caring, and wounded healers in nursing. She served for 20 years as a board member of the Institute for Safe Medication Practices and is presently a board member of the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Committee of St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, Anne Boykin Institute for the Advancement of Caring in Nursing, and Museum of Nursing History.

“It is exciting because I am very actively writing and very actively doing research,” Wolf said of her inclusion on the list.

In the future, the Stanford list may grow to include other La Salle researchers because of her efforts. A recent book she edited that addresses patient safety threats, Breaching Safe Nursing Practice: Case Studies of Failures Omission, Commission, and Crimes with former Associate Professor and Director at the La Salle Neighborhood Nursing Center Denise Nagle Bailey, Ed.D., includes other La Salle faculty.

“I am mentoring people and trying to get them published too,” Wolf noted. “That’s one of the things that I have been doing for years to help others get published.”

-Brian Kirschner