Published 08/10/11

Bryant honors exemplary faculty

August 2011

The Annual Faculty Achievement Awards and the Faculty Federation Distinguished Faculty Award are Bryant’s highest honors for faculty in the University’s College of Business and College of Arts and Sciences. The awards, presented at the end of each academic year, recognize superior accomplishments in teaching, research and publication, service, and mentoring.

“Bryant’s faculty are second to none in pursuit of academy excellence and their commitment to serve the University,” says Vice President for Academic Affairs and University Professor José-Marie Griffiths, Ph.D. “The faculty awards are an important part of the University’s culture, allowing fellow faculty to recognize and celebrate the exemplary accomplishments of their peers.”

The following awards were presented for the 2010-2011 academic year:

OUTSTANDING SERVICE

Madan Annavarjula, Ph.D.
, Associate Professor, International Business and Strategy

For his meritorious service to the University as the coordinator of the International Business program and as an associate professor of international business and strategy, Madan Annavarjula, Ph.D., was recognized with the 2011 Faculty Achievement Award for Outstanding Service.

“I believe that we, as faculty, have a unique opportunity to be involved in institutional development as a means of enriching our students’ learning,”Annavarjula says.

Annavarjula was instrumental in Bryant’s invitation to become a member of CUIBE - The Consortium for Undergraduate International Business Education. His work on various committees, including spearheading the global initiatives for Bryant’s Vision 2020 Strategic Plan, and his engagement with the business community through Bryant’s International Business Practicum, have elevated the University’s academic reputation.

Being recognized by his peers is a humbling experience, Annavarjula says: “There are so many accomplished, dedicated, and motivated faculty colleagues here. To be recognized among them is an honor for me,” he said.

This is Annavarjula’s second faculty award in as many years. Last year he was honored with the Faculty Achievement Award for Teaching.

RESEARCH AND PUBLICATION

Amber Day, Ph.D.
, Assistant Professor, English and Cultural Studies

For her significant contribution to the fields of media studies and performance studies through her work on political satire, Amber Day, Ph.D., assistant professor of English and cultural studies, received the 2011 Faculty Achievement Award for Research and Publication.

Published earlier this year, Day’s book,Satire and Dissent: Interventions in Contemporary Political Debate, has received enthusiastic reviews and generated requests for Day’s commentary by such media outlets as The Huffington Post, the Christian Science Monitor, and Northeast Public Radio.   

The book focuses on parodist news, satiric documentaries, and ironic activism, highlighting their shared objective of bypassing standard media outlets and the highly choreographed nature of current political debate.

Day continues to study the deconstruction of social and political issues through satiric material, and recently presented a paper at Harvard University about a “culture jamming” campaign by activist group The Yes Men. She is also co-writing a paper for Popular Communication’s forthcoming special issue on global examples of news parody.

Recognition by fellow faculty is an example of Bryant’s appreciation and encouragement of research, Day says. “It is flattering to be honored.”      

FACULTY DEVELOPMENT MENTOR OF THE YEAR

Tony Houston, Ph.D.
, Associate Professor, Modern Languages

For his efforts in guiding faculty and tirelessly sharing his expertise with fellow professors, Tony Houston, Ph.D., associate professor of modern languages, was honored with the 2011 Faculty Development Mentor of the Year Award. 

For Houston, mentoring has been inseparable from his work as the romance languages coordinator. “When you staff a program, your responsibilities don’t end when you recruit someone. You have to prepare them for the first day of class,” he says. “Part of this, for me, has been sharing what I know about the cognitive processes underlying second language acquisition, and part of it is learning what each person has to contribute and giving them room to grow.”

Houston was integral in the formation of the Department of Modern Languages and conducts language-teaching workshops that demonstrate the connection between principles and practice.

Though Houston says of the faculty achievement award, “It’s the most meaningful honor I could imagine,” he also notes that the real index of success as a mentor is no longer being needed.

FACULTY FEDERATION DISTINGUISHED FACULTY AWARD

Kenneth J. Sousa, Ph.D.
, Associate Professor, Computer Information Systems

For his commitment to academic excellence demonstrated by the high standards that he has established for The Honors Program at Bryant, Professor of Computer Information Systems Kenneth Sousa, Ph.D., received the 2011 Faculty Federation Distinguished Faculty Award.

Sousa has been the coordinator for The Honors Program since 2006, doubling its membership during his tenure. In addition, Sousa has served on the College of Business Curriculum Best Practices Committee and is the past president of the Northeast Decision Sciences Institute. He also serves on the editorial boards for the Journal of Computer Information Systems and the International Journal of Information Systems and Social Change

The importance of this annual award, Sousa says, is that it highlights the great things faculty are doing at Bryant. “Teachers impart knowledge, but educators develop people. These awards help people reflect about the good work we do as educators,” he says. 

Sousa says that being recognized by his peers makes the honor particularly meaningful: “Being judged by people who know and understand this profession leaves me with a great responsibility to follow the example of past winners and pass the baton on to future recipients.”   

EXCELLENCE IN TEACHING

Srdan Zdravkovic, Ph.D., 
Assistant Professor, Marketing

For his excellence in teaching and the enthusiasm he exhibits both in and outside of the classroom, Srdan Zdravkovic, Ph.D., assistant professor of marketing, was presented with the 2011 Faculty Achievement Award for Teaching.

Zdravkovic says he sees a significant correlation between active student involvement and performance, and encourages students to work with him outside of class. He also ascribes to a philosophy of flexibility within his classroom instruction. “I believe in being adaptable. I want to teach the most relevant material for that day. I think students appreciate that, and it inspires debate and discussion,” he says.

Zdravkovic serves as the co-advisor for the Bryant Marketing Association. He is also a facilitator in the Behavioral Lab for marketing research and teaches a Foundation For Learning course to first-year students.             

Recently, he was one of four faculty members instructing a team of international business majors as they claimed the No. 1 spot overall for the week of March 21-27 in the Business Strategy Game. The simulation game is an online exercise that placed 4,558 teams from 283 colleges and universities around the world in head-to-head competition running an athletic footwear company.

Though his main motivation is student success, Zdravkovic says he is driven by fellow faculty. “They are a real inspiration to me.”