Posted on May 2, 2024 by Rebekah Alegria

Two Carlos Alvarez College of Business faculty members were honored at the UTSA University Excellence Awards.
Rita Mitra receives the Teaching Excellence Award at the University Excellence Awards.

Rita Mitra receives the Teaching Excellence Award at the University Excellence Awards.

This annual event recognizes the significant contributions of UTSA's faculty and staff across various categories including teaching, research, and service. 

Minghe Sun, professor of management science and statistics, was awarded the Research Achievement Award for his impactful and high-quality research in the fields of management science and operations research. With a career spanning over three decades, Sun has distinguished himself through his innovative applications of optimization techniques for real-world problems, including recent advancements in machine learning and supply chain management. 


“My work in the area of multiple objective network optimization solved problems that researchers are not able to solve over many years,” said Sun. “And, my research in data structures opened a new way to store and retrieve data interactively and quickly.” 

His influential work has been published in top-tier journals including Management Science, Operations Research, Production and Operations Management and the European Journal of Operational Research.  

"Minghe is not only an accomplished scholar, but also highly recognized in professional circles for maintaining an extraordinary level of research productivity," remarked Wenbo Wu, chair of the Department of Management Science and Statistics. 

Rita Mitra, professor of practice in information systems and cyber security, received the Teaching Excellence Award, a testament to her dedication to fostering a dynamic and inclusive learning environment.  

Known for her engaging teaching methods in both in-person and online classes, she regularly teaches the introductory Unlocking Cyber course and Operating Systems Security and Telecom and Networking. Mitra emphasizes a holistic approach to education focusing on persistence, practice, participation, and planning. 

“I find this award an opportune time to reflect on the terrific ecosystem within which I work including my peer faculty and undergraduate tutors,” said Mitra. “Finally, I am so grateful for the diverse set of learners that come through our beginning courses in information systems and cyber security. They bring a rich set of experiences that inform their peers as well as my approach to teaching.” 

Her students frequently laud her ability to make complex subjects accessible and engaging. "Rita’s knowledge and passion make her more valuable than any textbook," one student noted. Another highlighted, "Her encouragement and detailed feedback have not only enhanced our learning experience but have also empowered us to succeed in the field of cybersecurity." 

In addition to these award recipients, UTSA also acknowledged Jerry Keating, the Peter T. Flawn Professor of management science and statistics; Glenn Dietrich, professor of information systems and cyber security; and Marshall Pitman, professor of accounting; for their dedicated service to the university, marking 50, 45, and 40 years respectively. 

— Rebekah Alegria