College Recognizes Faculty and Staff at Awards Ceremony
The UTSA College of Business recognized the outstanding contributions of faculty and staff members during the annual College of Business Awards Ceremony.
Seven faculty members were honored for excellence in the areas of teaching, research and service.
Pepe Chang, associate professor of management, received the E. Lou Curry Teaching Excellence Award. The college’s premier teaching award, the E. Lou Curry Award is presented in memory of Lou Curry, a respected faculty member who passed away in 1995. Chang is a well-respected business ethics teacher in the college who is praised for teaching students to think critically so that they can learn to assess any situation.
Mehdi Beyhaghi, assistant professor of finance, was named the recipient of the Dean’s Teaching Excellence Award for Tenure-Track Faculty. Using case studies and active learning, his teaching goals are to help students understand critical topics, speak the language of business and explore new ways of thinking so that they can achieve their professional goals.
The recipient of the Dean’s Teaching Excellence Award for Non-Tenure-Track Faculty is Les Doss, lecturer III in economics. Doss is a valued member of the economics faculty and regularly teaches three to four courses each semester. He is praised for his ability and willingness to teach a variety of upper-division electives such as health economics, sports economics and public economics and finance.
In the area of research excellence, Kefeng Xu, associate professor of management science and statistics, was named the Col. Jean Piccione and Lt. Col. Philip Piccione Endowed Research Award recipient. Xu conducts cutting-edge research in the area of supply chain management and logistics. He has compiled an excellent research record, and his research trajectory continues to climb. Last year he had five accepted articles, with two appearing in elite journals and three in top-ranked journals.
Kai Xu, assistant professor of management, was the recipient of the Dean’s Research Excellence Award for Tenure-Track Faculty. As a new assistant professor, she has established an impressive research record with three articles published or in press in 2015. Her research focuses on international strategy and corporate governance and addresses both high-level academic issues as well as more applied topics.
Lisa Montoya, associate dean of undergraduate studies and entrepreneurship, received the Patrick J. Clynes Endowed College of Business Excellence in Service Award. Montoya frequently meets with prospective employers, community leaders and donors who wish to collaborate with the college. This past year she has served as a member of the Summer Tiger Team, which was tasked with increasing summer school enrollments. She is also a member of the UTSA Senior Women Leaders Committee and the university’s 2020 Blueprint Team for Community Engagement and Public Service. She is the incoming board chair for the Boys and Girls Clubs of San Antonio.
The college’s Endowed 1969 Commemorative Faculty Award for Overall Faculty Excellence honors a faculty member for their accomplishments in teaching, research and service. The award was established to commemorate the founding year of the university. This year’s recipient is Mark Leung, associate professor of management science and statistics. Since joining the faculty in 1999, Leung has demonstrated his passion for teaching and has received the highest recognitions including the UT System Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award. His research interests are largely focused on intelligent system design, machine learning and financial forecasting, and he has had 28 high-quality publications. And, he leads by example through his service contributions to the department and college. Leung is an enthusiastic colleague who believes that service is an extremely important part of academia.
In addition to the faculty awards, three staff members were honored for their contributions to the college. Graduate Advisors Jim Aviles and Cara Jones received a team Dean’s Staff Excellence Award. They were recognized for being stellar advisors who provide exceptional service to our graduate students. In addition, they both took on expanded roles this semester as graduate recruiters for college regional receptions as well as for two new full-time graduate programs.
The second Dean’s Staff Excellence Award was presented to Rubina Saya, director of fiscal administration. Rubina has worked for the college since 2011 and has made a big impact helping to update accounting systems and record keeping throughout the college. She was recently recognized at the university level for developing a template to calculate faculty salaries.
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