In an academic year full of distinct opportunities and challenges, College of Business faculty and staff continued to prepare students to lead the future of business. When the world went remote due to COVID-19, the Nebraska Business community pulled together to successfully work toward its mission. Eleven faculty, staff and Ph.D. students received recognition for their efforts to drive discovery, create opportunity and empower individuals.
Dr. Kathy Farrell, James Jr. and Susan Stuart Endowed Dean of the College of Business, announced the award winners during a spring faculty meeting held via Zoom.
“While these times bring a lot of uncertainty around the world, one thing at Nebraska Business has remained the same – our faculty, staff and graduate students continue to lead by example by empowering future business leaders through excellence in the classroom, impactful research endeavors and distinguished service,” she said.
Distinguished Teaching Award (Tenure-Track)
Dr. Dirk Black, assistant professor in accounting, received the Distinguished Teaching Award. The honor recognizes the professor who makes the most positive impact on their student’s educational experience. Many shared that they nominated him due to his ability to capture the attention of the entire class and the care he has for his students.
“He (Black) has so much passion for his work, and that translates into great teaching and caring about his students more than almost any professor I’ve had,” wrote his nominator.
Excellence in Teaching Award (Non-Tenure Track)
Dr. Uchechukwu Jarrett, associate professor of practice in economics, earned the Excellence in Teaching award, which goes to a professor of practice, lecturer or adjunct faculty member who makes a positive impact on his or her students’ educational experience.
A nominator shared, “He (Jarrett) makes it clear that he cares deeply about the comprehension of the information of the students in his class. He frequently asks how he can help us better understand the information, and he tries different teaching approaches when needed.”
Distance Teaching Award
Dr. Roberto Stein, assistant professor of practice in finance, received the Distance Teaching Award, honoring a faculty member making the most positive impact on the online graduate student’s educational experience. Online students vote for their favorite professor for the award and noted Stein’s ability to deliver content in an easy and understandable approach made the course he taught accessible.
“He was very thorough with his lessons and broke concepts down in a way that was extremely easy to understand. He goes above and beyond to answer questions and provide his students with tools to succeed in his class,” his nominator wrote.
Graduate Student Teaching Award
Brian Liston-Clark, Ph.D. student in economics, received the Graduate Teaching Assistant Award, which goes to a graduate student with teaching responsibilities. Nominators noted his infectiously nice personality and ability to teach in an effective and understandable manner.
His nominator wrote, “He (Liston-Clark) was always fair in grading and expectations, and he was more than approachable. It’s very respectable how much Brian juggles on his plate while succeeding on all fronts, and for that reason, I believe he deserves recognition.”
Distinguished Research Award
Dr. Tom Omer, professor of accounting and Delmar Lienemann Sr. Chair of Accounting, received the Distinguished Research Award for his notable achievements in research over an extended duration. His research covers different facets of accounting such as the effects from clawback provisions, and he recently ranked second in the world for accounting research in the BYU Research Rankings.
“If you look at what Dr. Omer published in the last six years, it is just incredible. He raises the profile of the department, especially when we’re trying to recruit new faculty. Everyone knows his name and everyone wants to work with him. When you look at the type of research he does, it demonstrates his breadth of knowledge and how inquisitive he is when thinking about accounting information and relationships in accounting. The fact that he’s been this productive for this long is a testament to his ability to adapt and examine new areas,” said Dr. Aaron Crabtree, director of the School of Accountancy, associate professor of accountancy and KPMG Fellow.
Emerging Scholar Research Award
Dr. Danny Tannenbaum, assistant professor of economics, received the Emerging Scholar Research Award, which recognizes a tenure-track assistant professor in the first three years of their career who makes an outstanding contribution to academic literature. Tannebaum’s recent research focuses on the financial impact of evictions and has been featured in The New York Times.
A nominator noted his research for new technologies and the labor market, published in the Journal of Monetary Economics.
“In this landmark study, Daniel and his team provided crucial information on how the changing world of work affects worker earnings and income inequality in society,” the nominator said. “Accordingly, this study can be expected to have broad impact for a long time to come.”
Ph.D. Student Research Award
Reha Karadag, Ph.D. student in management, earned the Ph.D. Student Research Award, which is presented to students with the most impressive research record. A nominator applauded Karadag for his numerous publications in peer-reviewed academic journals, and his development of a research identity in the field of strategic management.
“He (Karadag) is the lead author on five of his six working papers, and he has exhibited a scholarly ability to contribute to both the theoretical development and empirical analysis of his work,” wrote the nominator.
Faculty Service Award
Rob Simon, associate professor of practice in marketing, began teaching for the college more than 10 years ago, and formerly served as the president and CEO of a retail apparel company. He received the Faculty Service Award, which recognizes those who make a distinguished contribution with a record of sustained performance that significantly contributes to the college's service mission.
A nominator recognized Simon for his constant contributions to the Department of Marketing and the college.
“Rob is also very supportive of the rest of the department's initiatives, including substantial support for the recently-developed marketing behavioral lab research participant pool,” wrote the nominator.
Staff Distinguished Service Awards
This award recognizes staff who show consistently outstanding job performance; provide service or support above and beyond the call of duty; exemplify or inspire a “teamwork” attitude; make innovative or creative contributions.
Deb Eisloeffel, human resources manager and Gallup-certified strengths coach, leads a team of three and oversees the operations of all HR activity at the College of Business, some of which includes developing and implementing HR policies and managing employee relations. She is heavily involved in staff development and brings a commitment to that across campus. She co-created the Start Strong Strengths Academy, where 19 staff members at the college learned more about working with CliftonStrengths® and became strengths mentors. As the co-chair of the Professional Development Committee for the University Associate for Administrative Development, she recently helped with efforts to bring to life the inaugural staff conference, Empowerment: Learning and Networking at UNL, originally to be held May 2020.
Her nominator shared how her thoughtfulness, dedication and inclusive demeanor act as a driving force for several efforts at the college.
“Deb exemplifies the best qualities of human resources: being authentically human while constantly developing herself and creating opportunities for others to do so,” wrote her nominator.
Jeffrey Sherrill, director of IT, joined the College of Business in 2014 as a systems coordinator and oversees all information technology at the college. He regularly partners and collaborates with a wide variety of people to ensure technology is in place that enables the College of Business to meet its research and instructional objectives. A nominator called out his willingness to step up to the plate whenever necessary and lead in a mentoring fashion.
“You always know Jeff is on your team. His positivity is contagious, and it’s always helpful to bring morale up during tough times,” his nominator wrote.
Faculty Achieving Promotion and Tenure
Dr. Varkey Titus Jr., assistant professor of management, was promoted to associate professor and granted tenure. He teaches Identifying and Exploring Entrepreneurial Opportunities (ENTR/MNGT 421) and Seminar in Selected Topics – Entrepreneurship (MNGT 994). His expertise is in corporate entrepreneurship and venturing, entrepreneurship and strategic management. Titus’s research has been published in several top peer-reviewed academic journals, such as Strategic Management Journal, Academy of Management Journal and Journal of Management. Dr. Jon O’Brien, U.S. Bank Distinguished Professor of Business and Chair of the Department of Management, recognized Titus for his achievements in the department, including seven publications in top academic journals, a three-time recipient of the Certificate of Recognition for Contributions to Students awarded by the UNL Teaching Council and Parents Association and notable contributions to the Center for Entrepreneurship.
“Dr. Titus has done much more than is usually expected of a junior faculty member in terms of serving on committees and being highly involved in the Ph.D. program and in recruiting, selecting and mentoring students. He not only went above and beyond, but he did so eagerly to help build a stronger department,” said O’Brien. “In short, Dr. Titus excelled in all aspects of research, teaching and service.”
To view past winners or nominate someone for a future award, visit the Nebraska Business Recognitions webpage: https://business.unl.edu/nominate.