Faculty and Staff Honored with Annual Awards

Each year the Whitman School celebrates excellence among its faculty and staff members at a special event the week following commencement. Members of the faculty and staff are recognized for living the core values of the Whitman School, as well as excellence and innovation in teaching and research.

Faculty and Staff Honored with Annual Awards

Each year the Whitman School celebrates excellence among its faculty and staff members at a special event the week following commencement. Members of the faculty and staff are recognized for living the core values of the Whitman School, as well as excellence and innovation in teaching and research.

Rising Star Awards

Elizabeth Turner Headshot

Elizabeth Turner
Academic Advisor for Undergraduate Programs

Liz is being honored in recognition of her contributions to the Whitman School, especially in the past year. She joined Whitman in 2016 as an academic advisor and was originally responsible for advising students in accounting and one of the IMPRESS houses. When the advising team expanded, Liz jumped at the opportunity to increase her advising knowledge to work with dual students who have more unique needs and less margin for error. Over the past year, Liz began taking on more leadership within the advising team and assumed more responsibility with some oversight of advising processes. Her colleagues all nominated her for this award and cited her as a “wealth of knowledge,” “team player,” “excellent trainer,” “immensely patient,” and all with a “can-do attitude.”

- Lindsay Quilty, assistant dean for undergraduate programs

Claire Harshberger Headshot

Claire Harshberger
Academic Support Coordinator

Claire is the ideal colleague. She supports and helps all of us in any way possible, and always with a smile. Her positive and constructive attitude is contagious. You can count on her for help and encouragement! She is there for faculty as well as the students, especially the student assistants. And, she keeps on learning and getting better every day. All of us in the department and the School feel fortunate to have her with us!

- Peter Koveos, professor and chair of finance

Staff Member of the Year Award

Chris Mead Headshot

Christopher Mead
Systems Administrator

This award recognizes an individual who demonstrates outstanding service and exemplary achievement, a positive “above and beyond the call of duty” attitude, leadership skills and professionalism. Chris is “always willing to help get to the root of a problem.” He is “not someone to see something half-done,” and is “always willing to find a way to empower you to feel like you left understanding the why and how.” His patience, dedication and technological expertise were and are critical to Whitman’s having the infrastructure necessary to support faculty, staff and students in moving all activities, administrative and academic, online within a matter of weeks. I am honored to have them as a colleague.

- Kevin J. Bailey, assistant dean for marketing/communications and CIO

Lifetime Achievement Award

Patty Morgan Headshot

Patricia Morgan
Executive Assistant

Patty’s contributions over 15 years include guidance through multiple payroll systems migrations and leadership throughout a multi-yearlong staff turnover that covered the entire Dean’s Office. With a thorough understanding of operational processes, she is always stepping up in myriad ways to fill important organizational gaps for the betterment of Whitman.

In 2015, the Dean’s Office began to see retention issues from retirements and other departures causing replacement of every Dean’s Office position. It was not until 2017-2018 that normalcy returned. It was Patty, that showed resolve and grace to help steer the Dean’s Office through this period and provided an important degree of continuity. Patty’s work ethic and willingness to learn and complete important operational functions kept Whitman operating seamlessly during this time.

Recently Patty guided Whitman through a difficult payroll systems migration. The migration had endless pain points and many sleepless nights to ensure faculty, students and staff were paid accurately and timely. It was Patty again providing expertise, with little disruption, displaying superhuman endurance and endless collaboration with Central HR to get the job done.

To quote a colleague “Patty represents all of the core values, specifically integrity, collaboration, and excellence.” Other common descriptions include caring, collaborative, concerned, dedicated, giving, helpful, honest, kind, respectful, responsive and wonderful.

- Kevin Coates, executive director of administration and strategic initiatives

One Whitman Award: Whitman IT Staff

Brian Albanese Headshot

Brian Albanese
Academic Technology Coordinator

Kevin Bailey Headshot

Kevin Bailey
Assistant Dean, Marketing/
Communications and Chief Information Officer

Jessica Bower Headshot

Jessica Brower
Administrative Assistant

Mike Cameron Headshot

Mike Cameron
Instructional Media Analyst

Dan Connors Headshot

Daniel Connors
Facilities and Event Coordinator

Joe Gorman Headshot

Joe Gorman
Computer Consultant I

Chris Mead Headshot

Christopher Mead
Systems Administrator

John Reedy Headshot

John Reedy
Director of Information Technology

Bill Robinson Headshot

William Robinson
Web Applications Developer

Ben Schlimmer Headshot

Benedict Schlimmer
Manager of Academic Technologies

The One Whitman Award is a new award given to the faculty or staff member who most embodies the five Whitman core values – integrity, inclusion, collaboration, innovation and excellence. This year, the Whitman IT Staff are being honored collectively. Individually and together, “they embody what One Whitman means,” according to one nominator. They have integrity in all they do and collaborate well as a team. Their service is excellent and they are innovative in their approaches to solving complex IT challenges. In fact, from building services to events to general IT support, “they find solutions before we know there might be problems!” A colleague stated: “I have worked at other colleges and have never worked with a team like our IT staff. They are always willing to help, they never make you feel like you are asking a stupid question. They work well together and are truly the epitome of One Whitman.” Another noted that students often “comment how lucky we all are to have such supportive IT people.” Recently, more than ever, the team mobilized to ensure a seamless transition to remote work and teaching. The Whitman IT team is a fine example of One Whitman and most deserving of the inaugural One Whitman Award.

- Kerri Howell, director of communications and media relations, and facilitator for the One Whitman Council

Whitman Teaching Fellow Award

Milena Petrova Headshot

Milena Petrova
Associate Professor of Finance

Professor Petrova has been an outstanding teacher in two areas: finance and real estate. She held a central role in establishing the Real Estate Program and has been actively guiding real estate students in and outside the classroom. Students’ praise for Professor Petrova stems from her commitment and extensive knowledge of real estate and finance. Professor Petrova is also a dedicated researcher. Her areas of specialization are real estate investment trusts, commercial real estate valuation, real estate asset pricing, real estate in a mixed-asset portfolio, corporate governance, corporate financing strategy and corporate restructuring. She is a recipient of multiple grants and awards and has published in leading journals including the Journal of Banking and Finance, Financial Management, Journal of International Money and Finance, Real Estate Economics, and Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics. She has advised many master’s and Ph.D. students.

- Anna Chernobai, associate professor of finance

Oberwager Award For Outstanding Contribution to Student Life

Lisa Knych Headshot

Lisa Knych
Professor of Law and Public Policy Practice

A valuable member of the Whitman School community since 1991. Lisa has made and continues to make significant service contributions to Whitman and Syracuse University. She has been involved with Beta Gamma Sigma as a faculty advisor, and been a member of various important committees including University Assessment and Accreditation Committee, Teaching Committee, Undergraduate Board, and Whitman Scholar Selection Committee, among others. Importantly, Lisa is a crucial pillar of Whitman’s Academic Integrity Committee. In a letter appreciating Lisa’s extraordinary academic integrity service. Margaret Udansky, director or the Center of Learning and Student Success, wrote: “I write to thank you for your recent service as a faculty panel member for a complex, extremely lengthy hearing involving several interrelated academic integrity cases. Serving as a faculty hearing panel member is always an important, time consuming task. But this was not a typical hearing. The number of students involved required far more work than usual on your part to familiarize yourself with each case in preparation for the hearing. And the hearing itself, including deliberations, lasted over four and a half hours. Moreover, the hearing occurred just days after the University shifted to remote, online operations – a time when, I am sure, you were fully occupied with tasks related to unexpectedly moving your own teaching, research and service activities online.”  This captures Lisa’s willingness to go above and beyond that what is required in terms of service in order to make Whitman a better place.

- Ravi Dharwadkar, professor and chair of management

Research Awards

Edward Pettinella Professorship in Business

Cameron Miller Headshot

Cameron Miller
Assistant Professor of Management

 Cam has been a productive researcher since he joined Whitman as an assistant professor in 2017. His research interests lie in the areas of technology strategy and ecosystems, evolutionary economics and the finance/strategy interface. Cam was a Wiley Blackwell Best Dissertation Award Finalist and has been a recipient of numerous outstanding reviewer awards. In a very short time, Cam has published four papers in the Strategic Management Journal and one paper in the Journal of Banking and Finance. Cam is beginning to make a name for himself in the technology strategy space. For example, his 2017 SMJ (with Toh) makes a significant contribution to the ecosystem and coopetition literatures by showing that a firm's willingness to help coordinate a multiparty platform that is central to the development of an ecosystem depends on whether it can capture the benefits of this coordination elsewhere in its technology portfolio. Similarly, his more recent paper in SMJ 2020 (with Toh) explicitly evaluates the performance of doing so. Cam is a bright, young researcher who, through his impactful research contributions, has enhanced Whitman’s research visibility, particularly in the technology strategy space.

- Ravi Dharwadkar, professor and chair of management

Dean’s Citation For Research

Anna Chernobai Headshot

Anna Chernobai
Associate Professor of Finance

Anna is a complete professional. She is an excellent teacher. She has provided valuable service to the department, the School and her colleagues. And, as her record indicates, she is an exceptional researcher, bringing her research to the classroom and inspiring students. Her research excellence is acknowledged by the profession, as shown by the numerous accolades she has received. Anna never compromises her high learning and research standards. Her co-authors are probably in the best position to assess her value. As one of her co-authors states: “For Anna, there is nothing that can’t be done. Very competent, responsive, and thorough researcher. She is also good at handling demanding data collection and analysis tasks, a very good combination to have in a coauthor. It’s great to have her as colleague and friend!”

- Peter Koveos, professor and chair of finance

Junior Guttag Research Award

Lynne Vincent Headshot

Lynne Vincent
Assistant Professor of Management 

Maya Angelou once said something to the effect that "creativity can’t be used up, the more you use, the more you have." That’s great news for Lynne Vincent, recipient of the Guttag Award for Research. Lynne’s research focus has largely been on creativity, with unique ties to topics such as morality, affect, honesty, reputation and entitlement. Lynne joined Whitman five years ago after a two-year stint at Vanderbilt. She has been hitting management premier publications like the Academy of Management Journal, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, and the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. She is an enthusiastic leader in the Whitman Behavioral Lab and serves as a director of interdisciplinary collaborations at Cornell’s PARADIM program, which seeks to encourage innovations in materials science. Finally, Lynne is a gracious, supportive colleague that makes Whitman a better place.

- Pamela Brandes, associate professor of management

Senior Faculty Research Award

Erasmo Giambona Headshot

Erasmo Giambona
Professor of Finance
Michael J. Falcone Chair in Real Estate

Professor Giambona’s research interests include corporate finance and real estate. He has published over 20 papers on these topics, many of which appear in premier journals such as Review of Financial Studies, Management Science, and Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis. He serves as an associate editor for the Journal of Financial Intermediation and as a reviewer for all the top finance journals. He joined Whitman in 2016 and also serves as director of the James D. Kuhn Real Estate Center.

- David Weinbaum, professor of finance

Meredith Teaching Recognition Award

Fatma Sonmez-Leopold Headshot

Fatma Sonmez-Leopold
Assistant Teaching Professor, Finance

The Teaching Recognition Award is sponsored by the Meredith Professors to benefit non-tenured faculty members. It recognizes excellence in teaching and fosters a culture of collegial mentoring among faculty members at Syracuse University. One of this year’s recipients is Professor Sonmez-Leopold, who has been an outstanding teacher since joining the Whitman School three years ago from Queens University in Canada. Her teaching interests include corporation finance and fixed income securities. In addition to doing an outstanding job in the classroom, Sonmez-Leopold has been serving as the finance co-coordinator for the Undergraduate Program’s Integrated Core. As one student put on their teaching evaluation: “I wish I had her in every class. I cannot put into words how impactful that course was for me and how much I wish I had her for every class. She deserves awards for her teaching.”

2020 Excellence in Graduate Education Faculty Recognition Award

Raja Velu Headshot

Raja P. Velu
Professor of Managerial Statistics

Syracuse University’s Graduate School annually solicits nominations from graduate students, faculty, staff and alumni for the Excellence in Graduate Education Faculty Recognition Award. This award honors faculty who have made a significant, positive influence on graduate education at Syracuse University through their commitment to superior graduate teaching, dedication to departmental and community presence, and research initiatives. Professor Velu has research interests in data analysis, statistics, finance, asset pricing and models for big data. He has been a JPMorgan Faculty Fellow (2011-12) and a recipient of the Chancellor’s Citation for Excellence (2013). His expertise has led to consultant roles with major corporations such as Yahoo!, Saks Fifth Avenue and Time Inc.

The following faculty members were promoted to Full Professor:

Susan Albring Headshot

Susan Albring
Professor of Accounting

Natarajan Balasubramanian Headshot

Natarajan Balasubramanian
Professor of Management

Joe Comprix Headshot

Joseph Comprix
Professor of Accounting

The following faculty members were promoted to Associate Professor with Tenure:

Rong Li Headshot

Rong Li
Associate Professor of Supply Chain Management

Guiyang Xiong Headshot

Guiyang Xiong
Associate Professor of Marketing

Teacher of the Year Awards

Don Cardarelli Headshot

Master’s Teacher of the Year
Donald Cardarelli
Professor of Management Practice

Kivanç Avrenli Headshot

Undergraduate Teacher of the Year
Kivanç Avrenli
Professor of Practice

Congratulations to all our faculty and staff award winners!

Acknowledgement and thanks to those who nominated and to the committees that worked diligently to review and recommend award recipients.

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