University of Delaware
Kenneth Lewis (right) received several Lerner College awards, including the Student Choice Teaching Award.

Lerner faculty honors

Lerner College of Business and Economics announces annual faculty awards


9:15 a.m., June 6, 2014--A professor with nearly four decades of service to a cause, a professor who has directed over 50 master’s theses and a professor who has repeatedly published in top tier journals were among this year’s faculty and professional excellence award recipients in the University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics.

The awards, which celebrate outstanding teaching, research and service, as well as professional excellence, were announced at the end-of-semester college meeting in May.

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Teaching, research and service awards

Three faculty members won the Lerner College awards for outstanding teaching, research and service, which are based primarily on nominations by students, alumni and faculty colleagues. Each of the winners will receive a monetary award and an award plaque for their outstanding accomplishments and contributions to the college.

Kenneth Lewis, Chaplin Tyler Professor of Economics and director of the Center for Applied Business and Economic Research, received the Lerner College Outstanding Outreach/Service Award, which recognizes a full-time faculty member whose contributions significantly impact the college, local, national and/or international communities.

Lewis has served as a member of the Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Committee (DEFAC), which recommends the basic financial parameters to be used in establishing the state’s budget; he has also served as chair of the revenue forecasting subcommittee for almost four decades. 

“The subcommittee provides revenue forecasts for the current fiscal year and the next two years for many categories in the state’s several budgets,” said one colleague of the importance of Lewis’ role. “Ken’s service on DEFAC for over 35 years is an outstanding public service contribution by a Lerner College faculty member.”

His colleague added, “In addition to his DEFAC responsibilities, Ken has remained an active scholar, has published 55 journal articles and for many years served at the graduate program director of the Department of Economics and presided over the growth of our master’s program and development of our doctoral program.”

Lewis was also this year’s recipient of the Lerner College Student Choice Teaching Award, which is an honor bestowed by the Lerner College Student Advisory Board in recognition of excellent teaching.

Guido Geerts, professor of accounting and MIS and EY Faculty Scholar, received the Lerner College Outstanding Scholar Award, which recognizes outstanding scholarship by a full-time faculty member over a sustained period of time.

“Guido has built an outstanding research record over the years,” read one nomination. “Within the last year only, he has published three articles in ‘A’ journals. He is considered to be one of the premier researchers in his field of accounting information systems. Guido works with some of the best people in the field, mentors young people and has been nationally recognized for his research several times, including two prestigious awards in the last two years.”

Charles R. Link, Bank of America Professor of Business in the Department of Economics, received this year’s Lerner College Outstanding Teacher Award, which recognizes a full-time faculty member’s overall contribution to the educational mission of the Lerner College.

“In addition to being an excellent classroom instructor, Charles excels at mentoring both undergraduate and graduate students,” read one nomination of Link, which pointed out he teaches 600 students annually; has directed 54 master’s theses and research papers and has served as a reader for nine others; and has been the major adviser for 10 doctoral dissertations and has served as a committee member for one other dissertation. 

The nomination also pointed out, “He excels both in the classroom and as a mentor to students. He willingly gives his time to both undergraduate and graduate students. He has co-authored publications with eight of his students, having multiple publications with several.”

Professional excellence award

The Leon and Margaret Slocomb Professional Excellence Award is presented each year to a full-time faculty or professional staff member in the Lerner College who exhibits a caring attitude for the interest of students and clients, and demonstrates an exemplary commitment to public service, community involvement and innovative activity. The winner receives a monetary award and a plaque of recognition.

Ali Poorani, associate professor of hotel, restaurant and institutional management, received the award for his sustained and high-level commitment to students and the community.

“His work as an adviser for two very active student clubs has provided students with service learning experiences,” wrote one colleague of Poorani. “These clubs have greatly contributed to the betterment of the community and have brought help to those in need. The community activities are both innovative and engaging. He has also led study abroad programs that focus on service learning. These programs have broadened our students’ appreciation for how fortunate they are and have provided opportunities to interact and give back to those in need in a very meaningful way.”

Teaching honors

The MBA program announced the MBA Teaching Award, which went to two recipients this year: Jack Baroudi, professor of accounting and MIS and associate dean for graduate programs, and John Stocker, assistant professor of finance. 

Debra Gassner Dragone, instructor in the Department of Accounting and MIS, was also honored at the end of the semester with the University’s Excellence in Teaching Award.

Based primarily on nominations from current and past students, faculty excellence awards recognize teachers whose courses are viewed as being thought-provoking, intellectually demanding, related to other fields and touching on contemporary issues and student experiences. 

Along with the other honorees, Dragone will receive $5,000, have her portrait hung in the Morris Library for five years and have a brick inscribed with her name installed in Mentors’ Circle.

Article by Kathryn Meier

Photos by Lane McLaughlin

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