Carson College of Business celebrates faculty, staff, and PhD student success

Washington State University logo.

Washington State University’s Carson College of Business recognized the exceptional contributions of its faculty, staff, and graduate students at an annual awards event.


Outstanding Faculty Research

Closeup of Kunter Gunasti.

Kunter Gunasti

Department of Marketing and International Business

Since joining the Carson College in 2016, Gunasti has established himself as a prolific researcher, publishing highly regarded work in top journals including the Journal of Consumer Research, the Journal of Marketing Research, and the Journal of Consumer Psychology. His research spans a number of fields including numerical cognition, consumer experiences, and branding. In 2023, his research was published in highly regarded journals, including the Journal of Consumer Research and the Journal of Business Ethics, underscoring his reputation as a leading scholar in consumer behavior.


Outstanding Faculty Service

Closeup of Kunter Gunasti.

Chuck Munson

Department of Finance and Management Science

Munson is recognized for his significant contributions to education and academic development. He serves as director of the PhD program, where he guides aspiring educators and chairs numerous dissertation committees. Munson is committed to advancing teaching methodologies through workshops and actively participates in university committees. He serves on five editorial boards, showcasing his dedication to fostering educational excellence and engagement.


Outstanding Faculty Teaching

Closeup of Kunter Gunasti.

Mesut Cicek

Department of Marketing and International Business

Cicek is honored for his role as an engaging and caring professor who provides immense value to his students and the Carson College of Business. In 2023, Cicek taught more than 700 students across six courses, making him one of the most sought-after instructors in the college. Even while managing large classes, Cicek excels in fostering personal connections with his students. He also serves as faculty advisor for the International Business Club, among other mentorship roles. His commitment to student success and innovative teaching approaches exemplify excellence in faculty instruction.


Outstanding Staff Award for Student Engagement

Closeup of Kunter Gunasti.

Dan Kennedy

Carson Center for Student Success

Kennedy personifies dedication to student success. Under his leadership, the Carson College’s mentorship program grew from 80 to 150 pairs of mentors and mentees in just two years. Kennedy meticulously oversees the matching process, ensuring meaningful connections that benefit students and mentors alike. He collaborates with stakeholders, including employers and alumni, to market and enhance the program’s reputation. His efforts have significantly impacted students’ success, helping them secure internships and job opportunities after college.


Outstanding Staff Award for Faculty Engagement

Closeup of Kunter Gunasti.

Melissa Painter

School of Hospitality Business Management

Painter is a crucial support figure in the School of Hospitality Business Management. Despite staffing challenges, she works hard to ensure smooth departmental operations while managing events and addressing technical challenges with grace, even while recovering from a broken leg. Her commitment and resilience showcase her exceptional contributions to supporting faculty engagement.


Outstanding Staff Award for College Engagement

Closeup of Kunter Gunasti.

Lisa Baden

WSU Vancouver

Baden’s commitment to students, staff, and faculty is evident through her strategic problem-solving and innovative approach to departmental operations. Baden not only oversees administrative functions but also contributes to teaching professional development courses, demonstrating her impact on student career readiness. She manages staff, student workers, and teaching assistants, ensuring the college runs smoothly and exceeds expectations at every level.


Outstanding Doctoral Student Research Award

Closeup of Kunter Gunasti.

JT Bates

Department of Management, Information Systems, and Entrepreneurship

Bates has achieved remarkable success in research during his tenure. Notably, he coauthored a peer-reviewed paper accepted at the prestigious Academy of Management Journal. He is also lead author on another paper accepted by the Journal of Business Ethics. His extensive contributions to data analysis, study execution, and scholarly writing demonstrate his dedication and proficiency as a researcher. Bates’s research portfolio, including multiple manuscripts under review and ongoing projects, underscores his outstanding contributions to the field.


Outstanding Doctoral Student Teaching Assistant Award

Closeup of Kunter Gunasti.

Wayne Xu

School of Hospitality Business Management

Xu has excelled as a teaching assistant for over two years, having received outstanding evaluation scores. His dedication is reflected in student feedback, praising his responsiveness, support, and engaging teaching style. Xu’s proactive approach extends beyond teaching, ensuring smooth classroom operations and invaluable assistance to faculty. His enthusiasm for hospitality education and commitment to student success are exemplary.


Outstanding Doctoral Student Teaching Award

Closeup of Kunter Gunasti.

Shirin Shahsavand

Department of Finance and Management Science

Shahsavand’s teaching consistently garners high marks in course evaluations and praise from her students. She continuously seeks feedback to refine her teaching strategies. Shahsavand’s dedication to improving her instructional methods reflects her commitment to student success and academic excellence. Her thoroughness, engaging delivery, and genuine care for her students contribute to a positive and enriching classroom experience.

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