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CBA Faculty and Staff Recognized with College Honors

The 2015 Faculty and Staff Awards Reception for the University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Business Administration was held April 30 at the Van Brunt Visitors Center. Dr. Donde Plowman, James Jr. and Susan Stuart Endowed Dean, presented the awards to the seven award recipients and recognized four retiring faculty.
Retiring faculty members recognized were Dr. Colleen Jones. associate professor of practice in management; Dr. Fred Luthans, University and George Holmes Distinguished Professor of Management; Dr. Linda Ruchala, associate professor of accountancy; and Dr. Hendrik van den Berg, professor of economics.
The award recipients are featured below with Plowman’s comments from the event.
Distinguished Service Award
Sheri Irwin-Gish

Sheri Irwin-Gish and Dean Plowman

Sheri Irwin-Gish, executive director of Communications, Marketing and External Relations, received the Distinguished Service Award. The award recognizes a staff member with outstanding performance who inspires a teamwork attitude and is committed to excellence.
Sheri Irwin-Gish’s leadership over the past four years has dramatically improved the global visibility of the College of Business Administration. Showing the world what we have started at CBA did not happen overnight and it wasn’t easy. It took Sheri’s vision to create a plan, which tied all of her ideas together in an appealing package – the world is noticing. Under Sheri’s guidance, her team of six in Communications, Marketing and External Relations have implemented a recognizable brand identity for CBA which can be seen throughout all of our marketing pieces from the website to the annual College of Business Administration magazine to monthly Inside CBA electronic newsletters to marketing pieces for all of our events. Sheri has done an outstanding job overseeing all communications, marketing and outreach aspects for a changing and growing college. She can always be counted on to not only accomplish whatever task is set before her, but to do so in a professional, intelligent and team-oriented manner. She also finds time to support and mentor students by providing opportunities to participate in programs that will help them with future success. Sheri has Started Something in the College of Business Administration.
Excellence in Teaching Award (Non Tenure Track)
Laurie Miller

Laurie Miller and Dean Plowman

Dr. Laurie Miller, assistant professor of practice in economics, was presented the Excellence in Teaching Award. The award recognizes a professor of practice, lecturer or adjunct faculty member who has made a positive impact on his or her students’ educational experience.
Too many times students say, “I understood the material in the lecture, but on the exam I wasn’t sure how to do the problem.” Laurie Miller joined CBA in 2012 and her teaching style fights that trend. She incorporates her infectious passion and enthusiasm for economics through active participation and repetition to facilitate active learning in the classroom. She also knows that everyone has a different learning style and she uses multiple delivery methods to make economics relatable to them – often by using familiar examples and current events to demonstrate economic principles. She also has a deep appreciation for the demand on student schedules and hosts virtual office hours via Adobe Connect while at home to help students on their time. Laurie has high expectations for her students and rewards hard work. In return, her friendly and inviting demeanor helps students positively respond to her expectations. According to one student, “I have yet to see her without a smile and positive attitude, which is awesome and is motivation to show up to every class.” Her nominators agree Laurie often goes above and beyond to prepare students.
Distance MBA Teaching Award
Elina Ibrayeva

Dean Plowman and Elina Ibrayeva

Dr. Elina Ibrayeva, assistant professor of practice in management, received the Distance MBA Teaching Award. The Distance MBA Teaching Award honors a faculty member who has made the most positive impact on the distance MBA students’ educational experience. Ibrayeva was selected for this award by current distance MBA students.
Elina Ibrayeva joined CBA in 2012 and has created engaging classes in both global leadership and applied organizational behavior. She encourages student engagement and discussion to enhance learning. Elina introduces ideas and information to her students, which makes them think about applying these applications in real world scenarios. Her students also appreciate her snippets of wisdom that apply to life in general. She goes above and beyond to make her students feel their input was valued, and she has given them the courage to step outside their comfort zone with the tools needed to succeed. Insight from her students included, “Dr. Ibrayeva’s classes gave me the opportunity to pursue a new opportunity working in a more global setting. They were amazing classes with an even more amazing professor.” And “She went above and beyond to make me feel like my input was important and valuable to her. This genuinely helped me professionally.”
Distinguished Teaching Award (Tenure Track/Tenured Faculty)
Scott Seavey

Scott Seavey

Dr. Scott Seavey, assistant professor of accountancy, was recognized as the recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award. The award is presented to tenured or tenure-track professor who has made the most positive impact on his or her students’ educational experience.
During the past four years with CBA, Scott Seavey has become known as a professor who goes out of his way to check in with his students and to show them he cares. In the classroom, he makes an extra effort to keep his students engaged, teach them to think critically and instill the joy of learning. He believes an active learning environment is extremely important to the classroom, and enhanced critical thinking skills is key for students to be able to support well-defined arguments and solid reasoning in his audit classes. Scott truly honors his commitment to being an educational steward and his sincere gratitude to his students for allowing him to be a part of their college career is testament to that. His experience as a CPA prior to joining the faculty at CBA enabled him to share real world applications in the classroom. “It’s a big world out there with lots of really cool stuff to learn about. No matter what subject I’m teaching I try to impress that upon students.”
Faculty Service Award
John Geppert

John Geppert and Dean Plowman

Dr. John Geppert, professor of finance, received the Faculty Service Award. The award honors a distinguished faculty member who has shown a commitment and dedication to service. This faculty member has made a distinguished contribution through service to the university, college, department, community or profession. The award is based upon a record of sustained performance that has significantly contributed to the college's service mission.

For nearly 26 years, John Geppert exemplifies the quality of this award through his passion for CBA. He has a sustained record of leadership service on the college’s most important committees. John takes on the tough issues brought before the committees by gathering and interpreting relevant data in order to engage committee members in healthy debates on the issues. This has dramatically improved the decision making process. Currently, he serves as chair of the Assessment Committee and CBA Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, is a member of the PhD/Research Committee and is the faculty advisor for the CBA Student Advisory Board. He has also worked to develop a comprehensive and complete assessment plan for CBA. As assessment will be a key piece of our reaccreditation report, John’s efforts will substantially strengthen our report. One nominator said, “John is passionate about curriculum and assessment issues, and he is willing to tackle the tough issues that come before the committees. I can’t think of a more deserving recipient of the CBA Faculty Service Award.”

Distinguished Research Award
Peter Harms

Peter Harms and Dean Plowman

Dr. Peter Harms, assistant professor of management, was awarded the Distinguished Research Award, which honors a tenure-track faculty member who has shown a distinguished record in research over a three-year period.
Peter Harms joined CBA in 2007 and has made an impact on management research during this time. In the last three years, Peter has published 26 peer-reviewed journal articles, one book chapter, four technical reports for government agencies and has led or contributed to several high-profile externally-funded projects. In addition to articles in both Journal of Applied Psychology and Personnel Psychology, he has also been published in the Journal of Organizational Behavior. These articles have been well received in academic circles and have been featured on NPR, MSNBC, Fox Business, CBS and in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and U.S. News & World Report just to name a few. Peter has also led and contributed to research projects for the U.S. Army, U.S. Department of Labor and NASA. His nominator said, “I believe you would be hard-pressed to find another faculty member who has accomplished as much in the past three years in terms of the quality, quantity and importance of research than that of Peter Harms.”
Best Paper Award
Jing Wang

Jing Wang and Dean Plowman

Dr. Jing Wang, assistant professor of finance, received the Best Paper Award for her paper, “Debt Covenant Renegotiations and Creditor Control Rights,” which was published in September 2014 in the Journal of Financial Economics. The award is presented to a faculty member for a specific paper published in a high quality journal that makes the most outstanding contribution to the academic literature.
Jing Wang joined CBA in August 2014 and made an immediate impact in the research world. Co-authored with David J. Denis of the University of Pittsburgh, this paper provides important contributions to the literature on debt financing and corporate finance in general. The research suggests the importance of looking at both situations with and without default to have a more complete understanding of creditors’ governance role in corporate finance. This paper garnered immediate and considerable attention as the abstract was viewed 841 times and the paper was downloaded 251 times and cited in 11 research studies through February. In addition, Jing’s paper was invited for submission to Finance and Accounting Memos (FAMe) which publishes selected papers from the top finance and accounting journals to help practitioners and policy makers understand the most recent advances in academic research.

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2015 Faculty and Staff Award Winners

2015 Faculty and Staff Award Winners

Published: May 1, 2015