Nine Illinois Gies faculty receive Dean’s Impact Awards

Nine exceptional faculty members at the University of Illinois’ Gies College of Business have been named recipients of the 2018-19 Dean’s Impact Award. The award recognizes outstanding faculty for their contributions to the College.

“I am proud to recognize these nine wonderful faculty members for everything they have done in support of the College,” said Jeffrey R. Brown, the Josef and Margot Lakonishok Professor of Business and Dean. “These individuals each have a unique passion for our students and a relentless drive to make Gies College of Business a world leader in business education.”

Gies College of Business established these awards in 2017 to recognize faculty who demonstrate exceptional commitment to the College and its students through their service, instruction, and research.

2018-19 Dean’s Impact Award winners:

Michael Bednar, Department of Business Administration, has worked tirelessly to develop and pilot an action learning course, BUS 301. He has done so for no additional renumeration or courseload reduction. He is one of the strongest supporters of the College’s faculty recruiting efforts, and he is also one of the College’s most productive associate professors in terms of scholarly research.

Brooke Elliott, Department of Accountancy, is helping the College navigate undergraduate curriculum change and online education in accountancy. She also also been successful in landing rising star faculty members in her recruiting efforts.

Michael Kustanovich, Department of Accountancy, has developed and delivers two of the College’s most technical accounting courses. He is also a student favorite, as he prioritizes making sure both graduate and undergraduate students are well-served. He also volunteers his time regularly in the College’s CPA study night series.

Steve Michael, Department of Business Administration, is an exceptional instructor and thought leader in the Hoeft Technology & Management Program. Steve most recently led the charge for the development of the Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship major. This major will allow Business Administration to better employ the substantial strengths of its faculty and create value in our students. It also creates synergy with the entrepreneurial focus held by many stakeholders of Gies College of Business.

Cele Otnes, Department of Business Administration, has overseen and helped with the architecture of the a new organizational chart in the Department of Business Administration. She is also overseeing a feverish effort to recruit new high-quality faculty to the department.

Tim Reierson, Department of Accountancy, has developed and delivers an unmatched experience for students enrolled in the Master of Science in Accountancy program. Activities include a summer Chicago trip, hundreds of personal coaching hours, a talent show, development of a conversation partner program, and a digital badge program. Reierson’s experience as a partner at PwC combined with his passion for serving international student sets him apart.

Mark Vonnahme, Department of Finance, has guided mentorship activities of the College’s flagship Master of Science in Finance program. He has played a key role in facilitation students’ experiential learning, and he has also played key roles of the College’s Office of Risk Management and Insurance Research, a premier center for practical research and interaction between industry and education.

Gretchen Winter, Department of Business Administration, has worked for the past decade to lead the Center for Professional Responsibility in Business and Society. She has quarterbacked events such as the BP Case Competition, coordinated Leighton Lectures, as well as helped with the development of content and pedagogy in BUS 101 for Gies first-year students and BUS 302, which equips Gies student leaders during the Spring semester for the following year of BUS 101.

Yuhai Xuan, Department of Finance, has invested heavily in overseeing all academic facets of the College’s high-growth Imba program, and despite this heavy, mission-critical role, he has maintained a very active research pipeline.

This is the second year the College has handed out the Dean’s Impact Awards, which recognize faculty who go far above and beyond. The awards are supported financially by the Shebik Centennial Faculty Fellow Fund in the Gies College of Business through the generosity of Steve and Megan Shebik.