Her research starts in the streets of Miami. A real estate expert and graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington, Ramya Aroul examines how areas like Wynwood Walls not only attracts visitors but adds meaning and identity to a neighborhood. What was once a sign a decay is now bringing life. Aroul works diligently to bring this same passion for street art to the real estate classroom. Her financial know-how combined with her hands-on approach to learning makes her classroom a memorable experience for all.
A Conversation with Dr. Aroul
What do you like most about your career?
“The best part of my job is assimilating and diffusing knowledge. As an academic, I have the freedom to determine what I want to study and pursue research on areas I am truly passionate about. Not being tied to the usual nine to five work hours provides a great deal of flexibility and allows me to balance my time between personal and professional obligations. And to top it all off, there are very few other professions in this world that have such a lasting influence on people’s lives. Being a part of imparting knowledge to the current and future generations is truly satisfying!”
What has been your favorite course to teach?
“My favorite course to teach is financial modeling. It is one of the most sought after but sparsely understood skills in finance. This course provides all students (even beginners in excel) with the opportunity to develop the skills needed to build financial models. This course is a great amalgamation of finance know-how and excel skills – the perfect knowledge corporations expect. Therefore I have designed this course to be a 100% practical, hands-on, assignments-based course focusing on getting students to work with Excel and solve computational problems from a broader range of finance concepts. I have had several students benefit from this course in their professions.”
Tell us about an academic project you are working on or recently completed.
“These days, many cities are joining a growing movement of not only allowing graffiti to exist but even fostering its development as ‘street art.’ No longer a sign of urban decay, street art now has become a sign of a colorful neighborhood making a meaningful, measurable contribution to real property value. In my study with Dr. Andrew Hansz from the University of Texas at Arlington and Ms. Michele Wood from Valbridge Property Advisors, we examine how street art affects the real estate on which it is placed, and the real estate market around it. We document the transformative power of street art seen in the Wynwood neighborhood in Miami. Developers, property owners, and appraisers need to be aware of street artworks, and how it can potentially impact the value of the residential and commercial real estate. As it becomes more prevalent and more sought after as an amenity, real estate appraisers cannot simply exclude street art as personal property from the valuation anymore. In our study, we use robust small sample techniques in an attempt to come up with a value for street art empirically.”
- Ph.D., University of Texas at Arlington, 2014
- MS, Real Estate, University of Texas at Arlington, 2009
- MBA, ICFAI University, India, 2005
- MS (Tech), Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, India, 2002
Awards and Honors
- College of Business Outstanding Graduate Teaching Associate Award, UT Arlington, 2013-14
- South Central SAS Users Group (SCSUG) Educational Forum Student Scholarship Award, 2013
- James R. Webb ARES Foundation Doctoral Student Award, 2013
- Financial distress and valuation in asset markets
- Sentiment in real estate markets
- Sustainability in residential real estate markets
- Endogeneity and simultaneity issues in hedonic valuation
- Executive Committee, BITSAA-DFW Chapter
- Core member, Our Pale Blue Dot Foundation
- American Finance Association
- American Real Estate Society
- American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association
- Financial Management Association
- FIN 340 Real Estate Fundamentals
- FIN 450 Financial Modeling in Excel
- FIN 501 Finance for Decision Makers
- FIN 550 Advanced Financial Modeling with Excel
- FIN 575 Principles of Real Estate