The Carson College of Business honored its outstanding faculty, staff and graduate students during an annual awards event held online May 4.

Outstanding Faculty Research Award

Closeup of Arvin Sahaym
Arvin Sahaym

Arvin Sahaym
Department of Management, Information Systems, and Entrepreneurship

Sahaym’s colleagues credit him for being both an excellent researcher and research mentor. In 2019, he had six papers published in top-tier journals on the topics of management, information systems and entrepreneurship. Five of the papers were coauthored with students or individuals he is mentoring, demonstrating his commitment to helping others develop their research skills.

Outstanding Faculty Service Award

Closeup of Sue Gill
Sue Gill

Sue Gill
Department of Accounting

Gill was honored for her leadership over the past nine years, during which she even agreed to serve an extra year as department chair after a failed search. Under her direction, the department has developed a national and international reputation, including recognition for its research. She also contributed to the college’s teaching mission through her own teaching and mentoring of others. Colleagues said she is dedicated to their professional development and particularly helpful to junior faculty as they learn how to navigate the numerous demands on their time.

Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award

Closeup of Jason Porter
Jason Porter

Jason Porter
Department of Accounting

Colleagues said Porter is an exceptional teacher who is generous about sharing his expertise across the department, college and university. Porter teaches Accounting 330 and Accounting 331, required courses for accounting majors. Recruiters for public accounting firms scrutinize students’ grades in those two classes, so Porter is responsible for teaching students the technical skills needed to succeed as accounting professionals. While his classes cover difficult material, Porter brings a creative approach to instruction. He tapes lectures for students to watch as homework assignments, which are supplemented by problem-solving in class. He has written a number of cases he uses to make material relevant to students.

Outstanding Doctoral Student Teaching Assistant Award

Pavan Munaganti
Department of Marketing and International Business

Munaganti has been indispensable as a teaching assistant during his career at WSU, his supervisors say. In addition to carrying a heavy teaching load, Munaganti has served as the point person for two honors theses in the last year. Munaganti also was one of the two managers of the Center for Behavioral Business Research, with responsibilities related to scheduling, maintenance and event planning.

Outstanding Doctoral Student Teaching Award

Closeup of Natalie Liberman
Natalie Liberman

Natalie Liberman
Department of Management, Information Systems, and Entrepreneurship

Students give Liberman high marks for her teaching style. She brings her own experience as a manager to the classroom, where she teaches negotiation skills, business ethics and corporate responsibility. Her classes are stimulating, engaging and participatory, and she truly cares about students’ learning, colleagues say. Students feel welcome to ask her advice on a variety of topics, which shows their level of trust and respect.

Outstanding Doctoral Student Research Award

Closeup of Zhe (Chris) Ouyang
Zhe (Chris) Ouyang

Zhe (Chris) Ouyang
Department of Hospitality Business Management

Ouyang built a strong research profile during her doctoral studies with nine papers published, all in top-tier hospitality and tourism journals, with several more in the pipeline. This is a rare accomplishment among Ph.D. students and highlights the quality of her research. She won first place in the Carson College’s Three-Minute-Thesis competition and represented the college in the university-wide competition.

Outstanding Staff Student Engagement Award

Closeup of Michelle Chapman
Michelle Chapman

Michelle Chapman
Assistant director for student engagement and scholarships in the Carson Center for Student Success

Chapman played a critical role in the Carson Career Amplifier Program’s launch, her colleagues said. When she started working on the project in early 2019, the program was just a roughed-out plan being considered by the WSU Faculty Senate. There were dozens of moving pieces. Chapman took all this on, even though she did not officially get the amplifier program coordinator position until mid-summer. All of the program’s elements were up and running on time.

Outstanding Staff College Engagement

Closeup of Tony Thompson
Tony Thompson

Tony Thompson
Public relations and brand manager in the Office of Development

Thompson is helpful to people across the college and the entire university – faculty, staff and particularly students. He is always looking for ways to promote the Carson College and his beloved WSU and to spread the news of “all that is right on this campus,” his colleagues said. He has a natural ability to win over others, and he is in his element when he’s teaching and mentoring students.

Outstanding Staff Faculty Engagement

Closeup of Melissa Painter
Melissa Painter

Melissa Painter
Administrative assistant in the Office of the Dean

Painter is a hard worker and compassionate colleague, her co-workers said. She excels at customer service, and she’s kind and collaborative in her interactions with staff and faculty. She’s adept at enforcing policy when needed while working to find solutions to problems. She truly cares about her job, her colleagues and the college.