Posted on January 30, 2023 by Wendy Frost

The UTSA Carlos Alvarez College of Business recognized the outstanding contributions and accomplishments of faculty members in 2022 during the annual awards ceremony in January. Ten faculty members were honored for excellence in the areas of teaching, research and service.

2022 Alvarez College of Business Faculty Award Winners

Teaching Excellence

Mark T. Leung, 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.

Known throughout his career as a master teacher, Leung has taught students at all levels and received a 4.9 average on his most recent teaching evaluations. Helping students achieve their academic goals, he promotes student success and encourages students to develop their critical thinking and analytical skills. His students commented that he was the G.O.A.T.—greatest of all time in regards to his teaching.

The recipient of the Endowed 1969 Commemorative Award for Teaching Excellence for tenure-track faculty is Jihye Jung, assistant professor of marketing. Teaching marketing research at the undergraduate and graduate levels, Jung incorporates various learning styles in the classroom to keep her students engaged.

She excels in utilizing the hybrid learning model. Her online components focus on reading material and watching recorded videos, while her face-to-face sessions use interactive approaches and cover more in-depth material.

Two recipients were chosen for the 1969 Commemorative Award for Teaching Excellence for fixed-term-track faculty.

Albert Huang, assistant professor of practice in management, strives to place the needs of his students first, not just by providing them with knowledge and skills, but also by showing empathy. He has taught at all levels, including in the Executive MBA program where he is the faculty director. His students found his classes enjoyable and productive.

Teaching at UTSA since 1997, Mark Phillips, professor of practice in management, brings real-world knowledge to the classroom from his extensive background at USAA. His students value the insights he shares and the applied nature of his teaching. One of his strengths is understanding the needs of the students at their various stages of development in their educational program.

Research Excellence

Research is a vital component of the academic mission of a top university. Four faculty members were recognized for their academic accomplishments and were presented with the Col. Jean Piccione and Lt. Col. Philip Piccione Endowed Research Award.

Our first recipient is Binay Adhikari, assistant professor of finance. Focusing on the area of corporate finance, he has a passion for behavioral research that includes looking at how personal traits such as gender and religion impact executives’ rational decision-making.

In the last three years, he has had three papers accepted within the college’s elite journal list, and he has five additional papers in the Journal of Corporate Finance.

Deepa Chandrasekaran, associate professor of marketing, focuses her research on addressing substantive, strategic issues in the areas of innovation and marketing strategy. Recent topics have included crowdsourcing, digital platforms, product design and emerging markets.

Chandrasekaran collaborates with UTSA doctoral students and faculty, and her research has had a significant impact within her discipline. Currently, she has over 1,000 citations in Google Scholar.

Teaching at UTSA since 2018, Anthony Rios, assistant professor of information systems and cyber security, utilizes his research in natural language processing to address social problems and improve healthcare and biomedical research.

He has published 15 papers, 13 of which he is the first author. His papers have garnered over 800 citations. He was recently awarded the National Science Foundation’s Career Award, which is their most prestigious award for early-stage faculty. His research funding totals over $1 million during his tenure at UTSA.

The final research recipient is Rohit Valecha, associate professor of information systems and cyber security. Valecha’s research utilizes design science methods to study the role of social media and microblogging in the area of emergency management.

Throughout his career, he has authored more than 21 journal articles, 50 conference papers and five funded grants that have totaled more than $1 million. Most recently he was chosen to receive the Provost’s Cloud Technology Endowed Fellowship for 2022-2023.

Service Excellence

This year’s Patrick J. Clynes Endowed Service Award winner is Wenbo Wu, associate professor of management science and statistics. Wu views service as an essential component of a faculty member’s career. He provides meaningful and impactful service to his department, college and university.

Serving as chair of the Department of Management Science and Statistics, he was instrumental in leading the department’s AACSB accreditation efforts. Wu also has a strong track record serving the professional community through the American Statistical Association, the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences and the American Mathematical Society.

Overall Excellence

Photo of Pamela C. Smith with Jonathon Halbesleben

In recognition of overall faculty excellence in teaching, research and service, Pamela C. Smith, professor of accounting, 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 tax scholar, Smith teaches federal income tax at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. She hopes to inspire her students to develop their analytical skills in order to be successful members of the accounting profession.

Her research focuses on how tax policy impacts decision-making within the nonprofit healthcare field. She has published 49 peer-reviewed articles in tax and specialized healthcare journals.

Always willing to roll up her sleeves in service to UTSA and the college, Smith was instrumental in leading the college’s successful AACSB reaccreditation last year and leading the college as interim dean from 2021-2022.

— Wendy Frost