Posted on January 25, 2022 by Melissa Lackey

Eight faculty members and four staff members were recognized during the 2021 awards ceremony.

The UTSA Carlos Alvarez College of Business recognized the outstanding contributions and accomplishments of faculty members during their annual awards ceremony. Eight faculty members were honored in December 2021 for excellence in the areas of teaching, research and service.

Teaching Excellence

David Han in front of Business Building David Han, associate professor of management science and statistics, was named the recipient of the E. Lou Curry Teaching Excellence Award. The award is presented in memory of Lou Curry, a respected accounting faculty member in the college, who passed away in 1995.

Han has taught physical and statistical/mathematical sciences from grade school to the university graduate levels. His teaching specialties include data science and analytics, probability and mathematical statistics, applied statistics, business statistics, engineering statistics, biostatistics and survival analysis.

Han is dedicated to providing students with a high-quality education, even though most of his courses are quantitative, he averages 4.6 on his teaching evaluations.

Amir Karimi headshot The recipient of the Endowed 1969 Commemorative Award for Teaching Excellence for tenure-track faculty is Amir Karimi, assistant professor of management science and statistics. Karimi leads classes ranging from 20 to 150 students both online and in-person.

Karimi looks for ways to incorporate active learning and interactive classroom activities. One example is his classroom activity for hypothesis testing with M&Ms. Students are first asked to calculate and share weight and defects across the class sample, then take and analyze the data in Excel.


Yvette Sands Yvette Sands, assistant professor of practice in information systems and cyber security, was named the recipient of the 1969 Commemorative Award for Teaching Excellence for fixed-term-track faculty.

Sands tries to create a comfortable learning environment while incorporating a variety of instructional methods such as simulations, presentations, hands-on assignments and discussions to engage students with different learning styles. As an example of how Sands connects classroom learning to career, in her IS 1413 – Excel for Business Information Systems course students are encouraged to take the Microsoft Office Excel Certification Exam.

Research Excellence

Stewart Miller The first recipient of the Col. Jean Piccione and Lt. Col. Philip Piccione Endowed Research Award is Stewart Miller, professor of management. Miller’s research focuses on two major themes: multinational firms/executives and internationalization. His current research involves projects that seek to make a broader, more impactful theoretical contribution.

Miller publishes in top-tier journals, and his research has been cited 4,136 times. He has nine elite publications and a total of 13 published in level four publications according to the college’s journal list. At the elite level, he has published in the Journal of International Business Studies, Academy of Management Journal, Organization Science and Strategic Management Journal. Miller also co-authors with Alvarez faculty in management as well as other disciplines and works with doctoral students on research projects.

Richard Gretz Richard Gretz, associate professor of marketing, is the second recipient of the Col. Jean Piccione and Lt. Col. Philip Piccione Endowed Research Award. Gretz’s research addresses critical and strategic issues in platform markets and entertainment marketing. His research contributions center on consumer responses to network effects and the impact of firm strategy on outcomes in platform markets.

Gretz has had four articles accepted including two in an elite journal – The Journal of Marketing – and one in a level four publication this past year. Throughout his career, he has 22 publications, nine since joining UTSA in 2015. His recent work introduced the important concept of platform exploitation to the marketing literature. However, what is most important is Gretz’s passion for mentoring Ph.D. students. Most of his recent publications involve current or former Ph.D. students, including his two recent elite publications.

Service Excellence

Ron Sweet in front of Financial Studies Center Ron Sweet, associate professor of practice in finance, received the Dean’s Excellence in Service Faculty Award. Sweet was instrumental in the creation of the UTSA Investment Society in 2006. The society averages over 50 students per weekly meeting and recently expanded to allow former society members to return and present on topics critical for undergraduate students. This strong alumni network also has been instrumental in student success, and Sweet travels around the U.S. every summer to maintain and grow this network.

Through the society, Sweet also encourages students to engage in philanthropy and leadership development. He started a paper stock portfolio that mirrors a real-life portfolio that backs a charity that provides micro-loans to farmers in the remote mountains of Costa Rica. Sweet also has junior and senior members of the society teach other members topics to support their leadership development and is hoping to add a scholarship for the best student teacher each fall and spring semester.

Deepa Chandrasekaran This year’s Patrick J. Clynes Endowed Service Award winner is Deepa Chandrasekaran, associate professor of marketing and Carlos Alvarez Faculty Fellow. Chandrasekaran is passionate and enthusiastic about serving the broader research community while developing her expertise in the areas of innovation and international marketing strategy.

Chandrasekaran is currently serving as secretary on the Board of the INFORMS Society for Marketing Science (ISMA) and helped co-chair a doctoral student panel at their annual conference to create awareness and action on diversity, equity and inclusion issues in marketing academia. She is also serving as an editorial review board member for the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, where she is a subject area expert in innovation. Chandrasekaran was selected as an inaugural faculty fellow in the college, which focuses on the development of next-generation leadership.

Overall Excellence

Raymond Choo In recognition of overall faculty excellence in teaching, research and service, Raymond Choo, the Cloud Technology Endowed Professor in Information Systems and Cyber Security, was presented with the Endowed 1969 Commemorative Faculty Award for Overall Faculty Excellence. This award, established by benefactors Jean and Philip Piccione and Shirley Sterling, was created to commemorate the founding year of the university.

A well-known scholar, Choo primarily teaches graduate-level courses in digital forensics and information system security research. He typically encourages student engagement through a semester-long research project that is designed to foster and promote student creativity and engagement. Choo is also a faculty mentor for the UTSA First-Gen STEM Scholars Program, a member of the Honors Advisory Council and advisor of the Ph.D. program in information technology.

Choo’s primary areas of research include big data analytics, cyber security and digital forensics. Since 2016, he has received almost $3 million in research grants funded through the National Security Agency, the Department of Defense and the National Science Foundation to name just a few. Internationally renowned for his work, Choo has published 32 articles in elite journals and 50 articles in level four journals. His research has been widely cited even throughout the government, and his research has a high impact with more than 20,000 citations in Google Scholar. Choo also holds several patents related to his research.

— Melissa Lackey