College awards - faculty

Research Excellence

Muzaffer Uysal

Hospitality and tourism management professor Muzaffer Uysal is "extraordinarily successful as a scholar and in his service to the tourism research community," wrote department head Richard Perdue.

Uysal's research focuses on international tourism, tourism demand/supply interaction, and quality of life issues for tourists and residents of host communities. Over the past three years, he has written about 15 articles for the Journal of Travel Research, the International Journal of Hospitality Management, Tourism Management, and other publications.

Since 2011, Uysal has contributed to five tourism books and monographs. Most recently, he co-edited "Creating Experience Value in Tourism," which examines consumer behavior, social media, the service frontline, and other factors that contribute to vacation experience value.

Uysal is the co-editor of Tourism Analysis: An Interdisciplinary Journal and an associate editor of Applied Journal of QOL. He serves on the editorial boards of about 20 other journals.

Recently, Uysal delivered keynote addresses at the International Tourism Congress and the Nordic Symposium in Tourism and Hospitality Research. He is "among the most prolific and influential of all HTM scholars worldwide," Perdue wrote.

Excellence in International Research

Nancy McGehee

Nancy McGehee, professor of hospitality and tourism management, "continues to be extremely successful as an international scholar, culminating in her recent selection as a Fulbright Specialist," wrote department head Richard Perdue.

One of McGehee's research concentrations is volunteer tourism, which she has studied extensively in New Zealand, the Philippines, Mexico, and Haiti. She investigates methods for minimizing the negative effects of volunteer tourism and promoting economic development in host communities.

McGehee also studies tourism development in rural areas, and she recently delivered a keynote presentation at the International Conference on Rural Tourism. "She has collaborated with internationally recognized academics and published several journal articles based on research conducted in Queensland, Australia," Perdue noted.

According to Perdue, "virtually all of Nancy's work is published in the top tier journals in her area." She has written for the Annals of Tourism Research, Tourism Management, the Journal of Travel Research, and the Journal of Sustainable Tourism.

McGehee serves on the board of directors for VIA International, a nonprofit organization that promotes community development and volunteer tourism, as well as the University of Fondwa, Haiti's first rural university.

Junior Faculty Research Excellence

Manisha Singal

"In a few short years, Manisha Singal has demonstrated quality and depth via a stellar publication record," wrote Nancy McGehee and Suzanne Murrmann, professors of hospitality and tourism management.

Singal, assistant professor of hospitality and tourism management, investigates the relationship between corporate social responsibility programs and financial performance in the hospitality and tourism industry. She is particularly interested in studying family-owned firms, wrote McGehee and Murrmann. "Her research provides a novel lens to view the organizational dynamics of these firms that lead to strategic behavior that can affect a firm's financial and social performance."

Another research aim for Singal is identifying characteristics that are unique to the hospitality industry and evaluating their effects on firm strategy and performance. She has studied the financial impacts of consumer sentiment, discretionary income, and corporate sustainability initiatives.

Singal has published 14 papers in journals, including Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, the International Journal of Hospitality Management, and Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal. Her research has been recognized with honors from the Family Enterprise Research Conference and the Academy of Management conference.

Outstanding Faculty in Doctoral Education

Raman Kumar

Finance professor Raman Kumar "is the heart and soul of our Ph.D. program," wrote finance department head Arthur J. Keown. "When it comes to Ph.D. students, Raman is truly selfless."

He has taught Investments and Finance Research Methods for the department, and he also designed the college's Doctoral Business Research Methods course. "This is a class for non-finance business Ph.D. students," Keown noted. "In effect, his impact on the business Ph.D. program reaches far beyond finance."

Kumar has served on more than 40 dissertation committees in eight departments, and he was chair or co-chair for eight out of the last 14 dissertations completed in the finance department. He has co-authored with his students 12 published papers, including two in the Journal of Finance, as well as six working papers.

Kumar is currently in his second term as director of the finance Ph.D. program. He has served on promotion and tenure committees for the department and college, and he was interim department head from 2000 to 2002.

Excellence in International Programs

Devi Gnyawali

Management professor Devi Gnyawali has "played an active and remarkable role in numerous international programs at the department, college, and university levels," according to interim department head Kevin Carlson.

Gnyawali leads a summer study abroad program in China, as well as a trip to Japan, Hong Kong, and Korea. He has facilitated meetings between students and senior executives at international offices for Toyota, GE, Coca-Cola, Canon, Sony, Samsung, LG, and Disney. Many students identify the trip as a highlight of their education at Virginia Tech.

Gnyawli has developed working relationships with universities in China and Korea, and he has collaborated with researchers in Sweden, Finland, France, Italy, Hong Kong, and Nepal.

At Virginia Tech, Gnywali teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in international management. "Gnywali blends his consulting experience, research, and insights from study-abroad company visits to enrich student learning in the classroom," Carlson noted.

He has served on the search committee for the vice president for outreach and international affairs, the Commission on Outreach and International Affairs, and the Pamplin International Programs Committee.

Excellence in Diversity

Yalana Orr

Academic advisor Yalana Orr "has contributed immensely to enhancing diversity at both the college and university level," wrote Rajesh Bagchi, associate professor of marketing.

As the faculty advisor of the Pamplin Multicultural Diversity Council, Orr helps prepare students to excel in multicultural work environments.

Orr also serves as faculty advisor for the Pamplin Ambassador Program, which equips undergraduates to recruit and mentor high school students. Through her efforts, ethnic diversity in the program has increased from 1 percent to 47 percent over the past four years.

For university undergraduate admissions, Orr coordinated the Fall Visitation and Gateway programs from 2005 to 2008. During this time, both programs improved significantly, with increased student engagement and the highest yield of underrepresented students at that time, according to Bagchi.

Orr also participates in Pamplin's Diversity Case Competition, the university's Advancing Diversity Conference, and the Black Organizations Council.

Excellence in Outreach

Lance Matheson

Lance Matheson, business information technology associate professor, is working to improve health information technology education and training in Southwest Virginia. He is revising the curriculum for nurses, pharmacists, and medical assistants, and developing the first health analytics program in the region.

The project, funded by the U.S. Department of Labor, has prepared several hundred community college students to fill critical healthcare jobs in communities with high unemployment.

Matheson is also collaborating with an interdisciplinary Virginia Tech team to develop equipment for farmers in Senegal. The USAID project will help farmers to produce more food and better preserve the crops they raise. Previously, Matheson has helped launch new universities and student programs in Egypt, Haiti, Iraw, and Oman.

College Certificates of Teaching Excellence

Bowe Hansen, accounting and information systems assistant professor; Onur Seref, business information technology assistant professor; Derek Klock, finance assistant professor of practice; Rick Parsons, hospitality and tourism management instructor; Marc Junkunc, management assistant professor; Elise Chandon Ince, marketing assistant professor.

Virginia Tech Pamplin College of Business Virginia Tech Pamplin College of Business Magazine Spring 2014

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