Melissa Thomasson and Dean Marc Rubin
Melissa Thomasson and Dean Marc Rubin Photo: Jay Murdock
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Faculty members honored for this year's achievements

Six faculty members receive awards

While recognizing more than a thousand Farmer School students who graduated this year, the school also honored several faculty members for their achievements.

Brett Smith, the Cintas Chair in Entrepreneurship, the Founding Director of the Center for Social Entrepreneurship, and Professor of Marketing is this year’s recipient of the Farmer School of Business Senior Faculty Award for Research Excellence.  

Brett earned his PhD at the University of Cincinnati and is also a Miami University alum. Brett’s research focuses on social entrepreneurship, specifically, the intersection of faith and entrepreneurship. 

Brett has published over 50 scholarly books, academic and practitioner journal articles, and made over 100 scholarly presentations. Six of his articles have been published in journals included on the Financial Times 50 list of top academic journals.

Brett is a previous recipient of the James Robeson Junior Faculty Research Excellence Award and the Richard K. Smucker Teaching Excellence Award for the Outstanding Junior Professor.

Chris Sutter, the David F. Herche Endowed Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship and Assistant Professor of Management, is this year’s recipient of the James Robeson Junior Faculty Award for Research Excellence.

Having earned his PhD at Ohio State University, Chris’s research focuses on understanding economic activity among the poor in developing countries and how outside organizations can effectively intervene in such environments with market-based poverty alleviation strategies.

Chris has published nine academic journal articles, all of which have been published in journals listed on the Financial Times 50 list of top academic journals.

Melissa Thomasson, the Julian Lange Professor of Economics, is this year’s recipient of the Richard K. Smucker Teaching Excellence Award as the Outstanding Professor.

Melissa earned her PhD at The University of Arizona. She describes her teaching philosophy as helping students to develop the tools to become independent, life-long problem solvers and to relate economics to daily life.

Melissa uses the teaching tools of “ripped from the headlines” and has students read drafts of her Health Economics Book and her Congressional testimony as ways for her students keep up with emerging knowledge. 

Melissa is co-founder of the student organization, Women in Economics, which seeks to increase the proportion of women majoring in economics. Through sponsored seminars and mentoring, the organization has increased the percentage of women earning economics degrees from 16% to 33%. 

Melissa is also a past recipient of the James Robeson Junior Faculty Research Excellence Award.

Scott Dust, the John F. Mee Professor of Management and Assistant Professor of Management, is this year’s recipient of the Richard K. Smucker Teaching Excellence Award as the Outstanding Junior Professor.

Scott earned his PhD at Drexel University. He describes his teaching philosophy as grounded in three concepts: “Evidence-Based Management” which entails making decisions through explicit and judicious use of the best available evidence, “Contingency Thinking” which implies there is no universal best way to lead and instead is situational, and “Constructive Controversy” which provides a framework for creating value through intellectual opposition.

By applying these concepts, Scott believes his courses are more impactful, in terms of cognitive development, and more useful, in terms of career success.  Scott is also a previous recipient of the James Robeson Junior Faculty Research Excellence Award.

Carol McGuire, Assistant Teaching Professor of Information Systems & Analytics, is this year’s recipient of the Richard K. Smucker Teaching Excellence Award as the Outstanding Clinical Professor.

Carol earned her PhD at Case Western Reserve University and is also a Miami University alum.

Drawing on her years of executive-level experience, Carol describes her teaching philosophy as “the pursuit of bringing the relevance of Information Systems & Analytics to students via student-centered, active learning.” Carol operationalizes her philosophy through techniques such as “Storytelling-painting the big picture” and “Ripped from the Headlines-demonstrating how technology is woven into the fabric of everyday life.”

Gillian Oakenfull, Faculty Director for Diversity and Inclusion and Professor of Marketing, is this year’s Farmer School Faculty Service Excellence Award winner. The award is given to faculty members who demonstrate excellence in service to the Farmer School in overall contribution and impact toward supporting our mission. These types of activities include leadership and commitment to departmental, divisional, and university initiatives.

Gillian earned her PhD at the University of Houston. During the current academic year and in addition to her role as Faculty Director for Diversity and Inclusion, Gillian has served the university, school, department and/or community through 18 specific service assignments.

Highlights of her year of service include chairing the University’s Council on Undergraduate Curriculum, serving on the One Miami Climate Taskforce, the LGBTQ+ Concerns Council, the Title IX Sexual Assault Administrative Hearing Panel, the FSB Diversity Committee, serving as faculty advisor for Women in Business, founder and director of KICKGLASS Marketing, and president of the Fairview-German Language School Athletic Boosters.

Gillian is also a past recipient of the Richard K. Smucker Teaching Excellence Award as the Outstanding Professor.

Scott Dust award

Gillian Oakenfull award

Brett Smith award

Chris Sutter award

Skip Benamati accepts Carol's award